Those plastic soda bottles you’ve recycled in the last few years are probably part of the carpet that’s in your home or office right now. Could recycled materials part of the clothes we wear? Some people have tried knitting dog and cat hair into sweaters, with varied results. Now researchers are trying to figure out a way to turn chicken feathers into clothes.

Believe it or not, chicken feathers can be turned into fabrics that look just like the wool, linen, or cotton we wear now. With a looming oil shortage, not to mention war in the Middle East, scientists want to learn how we can avoid using petroleum-based synthetics such as polyester. Rayon, which comes from trees, is a natural fabric, but trees are becoming scarce as the population grows.

In, Charles Q. Choi quotes textile researcher Yiqi Yang as saying, “More than 4 billion pounds of chicken feathers are produced worldwide per year.” Chicken feathers are made of keratin, which is the same protein found in wool. There’s only one way to solve a problem like getting rid of tons of chicken feathers: You need to figure out how to connect the dots. One place to get the information you need?that you won’t get anywhere else?is right here, on our web site. But we can’t continue to be here for you without your support, so subscribe today and make sure we’ll be here tomorrow (and while you?re at it, get 10% off everything on our store?and SAVE EVEN MORE in our big summer sale)!

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