From this valuable natural product, silky fine protein fibers that are suitable for felt production can be extracted during a very energy-efficient process. A solution is produced which is then spun into a filament in an innovative spinning process. This filament is then bonded with purely natural materials – which is really unique because you normally need chemicals to accomplish this.
The fibers are even edible which is what distinguishes QMILK from the other milk fibers available on the market.
The milk used to make the felt can no longer be consumed due to strict food industry regulations and is normally disposed of.
In order to collect this non-food quality milk, our supplier has set up a broad collection system. One source of the milk is directly from farmers who have contaminated milk or milk that will violate the industry’s strict food regulations. Another source is milk-processing companies, such as cheese dairies. In the production of dairy products, very strict processes must be followed so that the end product is guaranteed to be pure; when something goes wrong, the milk must be disposed of. Instead of dumping it out, this milk can be processed into QMILK. In addition, milk that has passed the “best-purchased before” date is collected from supermarkets.
To date, the milk has only been collected in Germany, but this system is to be expanded worldwide in the future. To this end, QMILK is currently working on setting up the first logistics system for the collection of milk that, thus far due to technical reasons, hasn’t been marketable.
QMILK fibers can be used for felt production. Felt is a textile fabric consisting of different fibers that are bonded together – in our case wool and QMILK fibers. The wool is sourced from South Africa and is mulesing-free in accordance with VAUDE policy.
Info about other wool products from VAUDE can be found here
Due to the refinement with QMILK fibers, our felt produced in Germany is soft to the touch and has antibacterial properties in direct skin contact. We use QMILK felt in our Green Shape Core Collection and also for our Made in Germany models.
So far, the fiber we use for this felt cannot be processed into yarn. The fact that only natural ingredients are used is a challenge for yarn development. We are working diligently to find a way to spin this fiber into yarn so that we can offer more products with QMILK in the future.