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Wooden jeans could hit the high street

Dawn Ellams, who has invented a pair of 'wooden' jeans, hopes that the eco-jean could eventually hit the High Street.

"To look at an iconic product like the jeans, and as a designer think, how can I turn this on it's head, and re-invent it, and how the alternatives of design and making something better but still that is a jean, it was more challenging I think than difficult.

"They are a niche product, they are not going to replace the iconic jean, but there is a place in the market for it.

"If you are in a hotter climate they are perfect because they are light and breathable.

"It is definitely a viable option."

– Dawn Ellams

Business Development Manager of the School, Jim McVee, helped Dawn on the project.

"He said it is not just wood that material can be made from now: It is the trend to move towards regenerated fibres.

"We use anything we can now: wood, potato starch, even milk.

"There are loads of natural process which can be used to make fibre."

– Jim McVee, Business Development Manager, School of Textiles and Design

Student creates wooden jeans

A student has created a pair of eco-jeans that are made from wood.

Dawn Ellams has created the denims as part of a PHD project at the School of Textiles and Design in Galashiels.

They have been made from a sustainable material that is created by pulping wood, which does not use pesticides like cotton production.

The denim effect has been printed on digitally, a process that uses a fifth less water, energy and chemicals than it takes to dye a conventional pair of jeans.

Wood you believe it?

A student from Galashiels has invented a special pair of jeans- made from wood.

Dawn Ellams, a PHD researcher at Heriot-Watt University's School of Textiles and Design, made the jeans from sustainable wood fibres instead of cotton.

The jeans feel like ordinary cotton, but require much less water, energy and chemicals than standard jeans.

They also look like the real thing, as Dawn also deisgned a stone-washed digital effect to visually create a denim look on the textile.

Her research and development of the jeans has highlighted key areas where manufacturers can save on water and carbon emissions.

"The sustainability issues associated with the manufacturing of cotton garments are already well understood, yet the use of cotton shows no sign of diminishing.

"The research challenged the design and manufacture of denim jeans, probably the most iconic use of cotton.

"The overall aim was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water use associated with conventional manufacturing for denim jeans."

– Dawn Ellams