PROJECTS // LYOCELL RYAN TOP

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Hello, hello!

You can call me Ms. Uncertainty, because I do struggle immensely with decision-making. It seems as though my head is constantly spinning, thoughts repetitively change direction, and possible solutions just cultivate new questions. I’ve always envied people who are just SO sure of something, who are able to end a discussion within minutes. Don’t they feel the need to reexamine or reevaluate their opinion? Oh, that peace-of-mind, something I constantly strive for by “letting go” – but most days, it’s as busy as a beehive up there.

So, while I believe in the inherent goodness of natural fiber, an excellent exhibition about the fast fashion industry made me question my habitual selection. I somehow felt ashamed of my naivety – why, oh why did I never question the more than 20,000 liters of water needed to produce 1kg of cotton? I definitely researched about more sustainable textiles that night. And I have just recently discovered lyocell, a plant-based manufactured fiber, mostly made from processed wood pulp that is squeezed out a showerhead spinneret to be reformed as fibers. The solvents initially used to pulverize the wood pulp are recycled, thereby resulting in a lower environmental impact. Well, doesn’t that sound fascinating?

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PATTERN: Ryan Top by Whitney Deal

SIZING: The sizing is absolutely perfect! It is a little tighter around the chest than most woven tops I own, but that only meant that no SBA was needed (otherwise a standard modification).

FABRIC: Liberty “Archive” print lyocell

MODIFICATIONS: I fixed the gaping neck of the muslin (like this!), shortened it by 7cm, added seam allowances for French seams, and finished the neckline with bias binding instead of facings.

THOUGHTS: With its flowing kimono-sleeves the Ryan Top is an excellent candidate for summer! And it’s a relatively quick and beginner-friendly sew, almost meditative, as handwork keeps my mind stable! And so far, the lyocell is interesting; it breathes similar to cotton, drapes similar to silk.

I’ve always been fascinated with water in all forms – oceans, rivers, or rain. And we’re all connected by it, as it makes up 75% of our bodies! So without water, we perish. I believe that as the climate continues to drastically change, it is important to do everything in our power to protect our water. If anything is sacred, water is sacred! The truth is, we can always plant more trees, but we can never plant more water.

So, in my humble opinion, yes – lyocell is an excellent alternative to silk! Or are you familiar with anything better? Although ordering lyocell fabric all the way from Japan is a paradox itself. Oh well, there goes my mind, again.

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In deep thought, as always,

Louise

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5 responses to “PROJECTS // LYOCELL RYAN TOP

  1. So beautiful!! Love this outfit

  2. Hey Louise,
    I normally never leave comments… BUT I found your blog at least 3 years ago and I was so bummed out that you stopped blogging! So hello again! Your blogposts are alway really appreciated :)
    Bianca

  3. Lovely! Lyocell is an interesting fiber, isn’t it? I’d like to try some blended with another fiber for more stability and strength (it can lose strength when it’s wet, so you have to be careful about how you dry it so it doesn’t stretch out of shape). I’m so glad to find another person that’s interested in the environmental impact of the textiles we wear!

  4. Agreed gingermakes. Kate Fletcher’s books are a good place to begin researching textile sustainability. I’ve attempted to summarize some of the key factors involved in a couple of recent posts. (https://greenstarsproject.org/2016/11/29/daily-footprint-6-clothing-sustainable-textiles-part-1/). I agree that lyocell is a good choice. I looked into viscose from bamboo and, although not quite as eco-friendly as lyocell, I think it’s a step above cotton. The best choices are probably linen and hemp, and (depending on your preferences and priorities) wool is up there too. But of course they are not so silky ;)

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