Fabric Highlight: Cupro
“It feels like silk, but it’s not silk? I love it!”
This is how we’ve become accustomed to hearing people describe cupro—a fabric that is rapidly making a name for itself in sustainable fashion and beyond.
Cupro is made from cotton linter, the soft, short fuzz that sticks to the seeds after the cotton plant is collected and ginned. What’s interesting about the origin of cupro fabric is how long it has actually been in production and how many of us are just now becoming familiar with its benefits.
The production of cupro as a clothing material, branded Bemberg by the original manufacturer, began in the early-20th century in the Hokuriku region of Japan. By the 1950s, raw cupro was in full-scale production for yarn-dyed linings, eventually leading to a full-fledged textile business for Asahi Kasei—now the only cupro manufacturer in the world. Fast forward to today, and you can shop beautiful, long-lasting pieces made by brands like Vesta Studio, and featured in past collections of Chan & Krys.
Cupro has a luxurious look and feel, much like silk. Its soft, supple texture lends itself well to dresses and pants, draping beautifully to form among the most flattering silhouettes. Best of all, for those of us who say “No thank you” to the toxic processes of dry cleaning, the delicate fabric is machine washable, making it a practical option for sustainable fashionistas.
If you’re still not completely sold, know that cupro retains many of the benefits of cotton. It’s breathable and hypoallergenic. Additionally, the fabric retains dye very well, which can be beneficial in reducing waste.
So, is cupro the end all be all? No, but nothing really is, and there is always room for improvement across all areas of production. But, when considering sustainability and resourceful practices that have a stake in forming a more sustainable world, cupro is a fabric that should be on your radar.
We were happy to learn from Kendall with Vesta Studio that the factory where cupro is produced “recycles nearly all of its textile and water waste and aims to be a zero-emissions company.” The factory also obtained its Global Recycle Standard Certification in 2017.