Can’t stand the heat? Now you can still stay in the kitchen

Can’t stand the heat? Now you can still stay in the kitchen.

Did you hear about the German designer who turned spoiled milk into soft fabric? This isn’t the beginning of a bad joke but instead the topic of an article that appeared on CCN World this past summer. According to Juliet Mann of CNN, a German company is turning spoiled milk into high-end fashion via a dairy-based fabric. (If you are interested in the process, see below!)*

QMilch (the fabric made entirely of milk), is marketed as a luxury textile, and is currently not suited for commercial use. However, new textile inventions (including QMilch) illustrate the constant developments being made within the field of fabric technology. And in today’s uniform design, fabric performance and comfort is as important as color and fit.

Certain commercial environments can be more demanding than others – and the back-of-the-house is no exception. Restaurant cooks work at a fast pace in a high-temperature kitchen environment. They don’t need the added discomfort of wearing a heavy uniform or constricting garment, but they do need to look neat, clean and professional.

One high tech fabric that has found a home in commercial applications such as the back-of-the-house environment is a moisture-wicking, soft, breathable mesh. Recently interviewed by Catering Magazine, Lisa Stewart, vice president of design at Superior Uniform Group, discussed how in the company’s Coolin’ Edge® line, men’s and ladies’ chef coats are made with a special mesh fabric that wicks away moisture to keep the wearer cool. The flexible mesh fabric can be used in panels or to construct the entire garment. The breathable mesh is also incorporated into key areas on cargo pants, such as behind the knees, adding mobility as well as comfort.

Other high-performance fabrics have been incorporated into uniform garments, including fabrics that that offer enhanced snag-resistance, UV protection, stain release and inhibit odors or are eco-friendly.

*The fabric is created from [spoiled] milk which is allowed to ferment before it is turned into a powder. It is then heated and mixed with other natural ingredients and turned into yarn. –Juliet Mann, CNN, July 5, 2012

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