Another of the materials of the Peruvian jungle is an aerial root known as ¨Tamshi”. With this fiber, baskets, brooms and baskets are made. In turn, the Tamshi is also used to join the logs in the construction of huts for the communities. Similarly, there is the fiber of the Chambira palm, used by the Yaguas tribe to make clothing, hammocks, bags and fishing nets.
The vegetable fiber of “Tamshi” plays an important role in the life of the rural population of the Peruvian Amazon, since it is common in the construction of houses, household utensils and handicrafts; however, very few are aware of the need for its preservation and management. Due to excessive use, the species is seriously threatened; However, with proper management, it can contribute to generating economic income and preserving the Amazonian tropical forests.
The name “Tamshi” is assigned to a group of plant fiber species, such as “Wire Tamshi” (Heteropsis linearis, Kunth), “Cow Tamshi” (Heteropsis oblongifolia, Smith), “Huasi Tamshi” (Heteropsis spp.), ” Tamshi Lamas “(Heteropsis spp.),” Tamshi Basket “(Thoracocarpus bissectus (Vell.) Harling), and others. These species have in common being hemi epiphytes with long, cylindrical, wire-like roots that hang or are attached to the trunks of trees over 20 meters high in primary forests.
The “Tamshies” are native species of the Amazonian forests climax or in apogee, they are not in secondary forests. Tamshies are non-timber forest products, they have multiple uses and applications. In rural areas it is an important construction material that replaces wire and is used as a tie material to hold “beams”, for example.
It is highly resistant to the attack of fungi and insects. Its use is also common in the weaving of baskets, mats, beds, hats, and other utensils and fishing materials. The “tamshies” depending on the thickness and characteristics of the species, are also used in the construction of fences for the protection of animals, assembly of beds in replacement of bed bases, lines to dry clothes and as raw material for the manufacture of handicrafts in different communities native. In urban areas it is also widely used in the manufacture of furniture, as it perfectly replaces the well-known wicker fiber.
Currently, the pressure exerted on this resource forces rural inhabitants to look for these species in areas increasingly distant from the traditional centers of production, becoming increasingly scarce and rare. However, in this situation, very little is known about the basic aspects of its taxonomy, biology, ecology and physical and mechanical characteristics.
In Peru and neighboring countries, inventories of abundance in non-intervened forests in neighboring countries have been reviewed, as well as the results of the inventory carried out in the Palma Real Native Community and the experiences in making handicrafts, using Tamshi as raw material.
A clear example of good practices for the use of this natural fiber is that developed by the artisans of the Palma Real Native Community in Madre de Dios, since they have developed habits of use that allow the sustainability of the resource. This is an empirically learned management, which has been transmitted from generation to generation. Other native communities that we can mention are the native communities of Nanay in Loreto and Puerto Esperanza of the Asheninka ethnic group in Ucayali.
IAAP Tamshi: Otro producto no maderable de los bosques amazónicos con importancia económica: https://bit.ly/3apXL52
Biomimicry is one of the main innovative approaches that is currently used for sustainable fashion design. There is a rapidly growing demand for an effective sustainable design approach in fashion, architecture among other industries, and without compromising the needs of future generations, but very few have proven effectiveness at a macro scale. This is because innovative biomimicry is still an emerging discipline in a development phase. So how upcoming technologic innovations are being inspired by nature and developing the “new normality garments and accessories”?
Shielding Technology inspired by Nature
Over thousands of years, nature and animals have continuously evolved to overcome challenges and adapt to everchanging environments. Here are two good examples: Goldenberry‘s calyx is a great example of the amazing natural shielding properties. If Goldenberry’s fruit is left inside the intact calyx’s husks, then fruit’s shelf life at room temperature can last up to 45 days, maintaining its firmness, acidity, lower ethylene production, less weight loss. The calyx is definitely inedible. A second example is melanized fungi, since It has been demonstrated that it exhibits protection against ionizing radiation and the protective effect of melanin can be transferred to organisms that do not produce the pigment.
Additionally, there are inspiring technologies that will affect our everyday lives like Camouflaging Material’s inspired by the Octopus’ skin and Adhesion Systems based on Gecko’s gravity defying grip.
All above demostrates that biomimicry applied into sustainable design will soon deliver a new generation of products and services that are changing the way we interact each other and with our ecosystems during this “New Normality” post Covid19 context.
New Normality of Fashion Garments and Accesories
According to WGSN Future Consumer 2022 Report, the COVID19 pandemic is the biggest global driver of change seen for a long time, resulting in the evolution of numerous consumer attitudes. Therefore, most sectors are being pushed to adapt, as we are faced with a reality that demands from people and businesses alike flexibility, resilience and mostly creativity.
Another market research institution Opinno revealed, that if any business aims to adapt to the new “normality”, then they must become agile sustainable innovators and continuously co-create with clients. One of the 10 trends that has been mentioned is Social Hypochondria: Wellness, Health and Hygiene. For this reason future technologic revolutions like quantified people, assisted diagnosis, personalized treatments, telemedicine and wearables are getting more relevance.
There are many advances applied into the fashion industry looking for delivering clothing with enhanced skin functions, such as shielding towards different external hazards, sensation, thermal regulation and absorption of vitamin D. For instance, textiles made with bioplastics, bioluminescence bacteria, nanofibers and biosensors, complemented with coded sensors have set the minimum base for the future smart clothing.
Therefore, since there is a growing need for fashion garments and accessories, that work with nature to create a regenerative ecosystem at all levels, then designers must become more loving, aware, respectful with nature for a more sustainable future.
Post Pandemic Covid19 new normality allowed us to feel a sense of urgency to fully protect our health, safety, and value our freedom and lives, and hopefully we had learned to respect our planet. The main characteristics that we are looking for in our clothing are: durability, easy-to-wear items to help us navigate a cyclical chain of events, as we are no longer willing to waste time and money on clothing that offers otherwise. Now, we have been forced to admit it.
The economic crisis that has been imposed on us after Pandemic Covid19 has left us without disposable income to accumulate fast fashion trends. Therefore, we will have to invest into more essential products and be more creative with what we already have.
The return to arts and crafts at home:
According to Luxiders Magazine, all above means the return to sewing skills, products made to last rather than made to wear for a minute, creative concepts of reinvention, and the art of costume swaps. Also, core values such as respect for craftsmanship, the need for collaboration, and the antidote for connection will be challenging, since conventional fashion is designed to favor the few beyond immeasurable influence, while subduing the hands behind garments and accessories.
Some examples of these new market trends are the several online tutorials and masterclasses that are being offered through different Social Media platforms in regards of recycling, upcycling, DYI facemasks, face shields, diet planning and recipes, physical trainings among others.
The redesign of User Experience at private and public areas:
Finally, Hypochondria will be joined by Agoraphobia and Social Claustrophobia, due to current sanitary protocols that have been implemented worldwide. This New Normality may force us to avoid crowds, crowded spaces or those lacking adequate ventilation, which implies a comprehensive redesign of the customer experience in shopping centers, gyms, cinemas, airplanes, cruise ships, beauty salons, schools; etc. Mobility will be a sector widely affected by this trend and consequently the energy sector, due to the consumption of oil generated by this sector. Fashion accessories like foulards, face masks, hoods, vests, and other multifunctional, timeless, minimalist, and durable garments will be around for the years to come.
The collective challenge:
So, what’s next? It’s time to rewrite the narrative. Everyone in the fashion design industry needs to go beyond divisive and individualistic motives; that they take sustainability not as a trend, but as the solution; and that it has come to stay.
Every 1st of August, the “National Alpaca Day” is celebrated in Perú, a great opportunity to recognize the mystical work that Alpaca’s breeders carry out daily in the 17 producing regions of Perú. The main Alpaca wool´s producers are in Perú and Bolivia.
There are more than 3.7 million Alpacas worldwide, which represents 87% of the world population, with the Huacaya and Suri breeds predominating.
Alpaca’s wool is a natural fabric that belongs to the so-called noble fibers, such as Mohair, Cashmere or Angora. It has a wide range of natural colors (20 or more) ranging from white to black, through light brown, dark brown or gray.
Alpacas live in large herds at 3.000-4.000 meters above sea level. Their natural ecosystems present extreme weather conditions, with sudden temperature changes, strong winds, very high solar radiation and low concentration of oxygen, which have led them to develop a very resistant and high-quality fur.
Types of Alpaca’s wool
There are three types of Alpaca’s wool: 1. Alpaca Fleeze, 2. Baby Alpaca, which is the fiber that comes from the first shearing done in the life of an alpaca when they are 3 years old, this fiber has an enormous and extremely soft quality and 3. Royal Alpaca, which is a selection of the best Baby Alpaca fibers and only 1% of the world production of alpaca fiber corresponds to this variety.
Other types are Huarizo, used to make knitted fabrics and Gruesa with which rugs, tapestries and linings are made.
Alpaca’s Wool Production Process: Quality Assurance Certification
The best way to check if the Alpaca garment or accessory you are getting complies with the quality standards is by looking into the Alpaca Mark tag that is provided by IAA International Alpaca Association based in Arequipa, Perú, ISO 9001 certification among other type of certifications.
Alpaca’s Wool: Product’s certifications
Fashion is the second most contaminating industry that not only affects ecosystems, but has been associated with complex social compliance issues such as child labor, workers’ wages, and benefits, as well as health and safety issues. Due to this, the demand for certified sustainable products is growing. Certifications such as ISO45001 Health and Safety Management System, GOTS global Organic Textile Standard that aims to ensure the organic condition of textile products, from the manufacture of the raw material, RWS standard for responsible wool, OCS organic content standard, IVN Nature Standards among others are currently available, but there is still opportunities of improvement in regards of the supervision and control of its compliance.
Alpaca’s Wool Main Benefits
Here are the main advantages and benefits of Alpaca’s wool:
a) It is warmer and stronger than sheep wool.
b) It is hypoallergenic, unlike sheep wool, it does not contain lanolin.
c) Offers thermal insulation.
d) Its level of comfort is extremely high.
e) It has a wide palette of natural colors (20 or more).
f) It is silky and shiny, it does not lose its shine after dyeing and washing.
g) It is light and comfortable, despite being a very warm fiber.
h) It’s elastic and resistant.
i) It’s fire resistant.
j) It is durable, garments last for many years, they do not break, deform, or wear through use.
k) It is also not affected by fungi and other microorganisms.
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