Followers of our Facebook page and Instagram will probably be aware that roses are rather popular at Beersheba Farm. (Over 100 bushes and we aren’t counting!) So, a few years ago when a product called “Rose Fiber” came on the market we were very excited. Wool and roses! Our world was complete!
However, initial research yielded very little information on what this glorious fibre was made of and how. Basically all that could be found was marketing sales pitch from one or two large fibre-selling companies that it was “made from rose bushes”.
This didn’t bode well for the marketing pitch to be accurate.
It would be generally thought among the fibrecraft community from the marketing that “rose fiber” is made as a bast fibre (where the actual fibre structures of the plant are used to produce the yarn, like Hemp, Linen/Flax, Raimie/Nettle or Jute).
This is not the case.
“Rose fiber” is a Viscose. Viscose being a regenerated cellulose product and common sources of cellulose being wood pulp, soy, bamboo, and sugar cane. The environmental concerns with viscose/rayon production are well known.
….the term “rose fiber” refers to a protein-enriched cellulose fiber, particularly a blend of cellulose and rice protein. Synonyms for “rose fiber” are “rousi fiber” and “rose fiber viscose”. The raw material of rose fiber is derived from plants. […] In particular, the protein is rice protein. [….] The handfeel is fairly soft like the surface of the rose leaf, so it called rose fiber. However, rose fiber does not necessarily have to be derived from rose bushes. Rose fiber is produced by viscose spinning.patents.google.com/patent/WO2018158391A1/en
One website also lists it as being: Protein “Rose” Fiber derived from “mixed cereals”. (Cereal crops are things like rice, wheat, oats. Rose bushes aren’t a cereal crop)
The suspicion felt about the source of the cellulose in “rose fiber” would appear to be justified. There aren’t too many places in the world with large tracts of rose bushes grown for their wood…..
Now, when you google for “rose fiber” there is an absolute plethora of websites eagerly selling this fibre “made from rose bushes”. It is quite disheartening to see people taken in by this without proper investigation into the truth of the claims.
New products coming out include yarn that is a pretty rose pink as its “natural” colour. The manufacturer claims (along with a whole bunch of large, scientific words that may or may not be used accurately) that rose flowers are turned into powder and then added to the viscose solution prior to spinning (like “pearl fibre”) and so it is natural (!) and lists a bunch of supposed health benefits. Am looking forward to some proof in the way of scientific analysis on that?! How many natural “health benefits” are going to survive the highly chemical viscose process?
Bottom line is: this product is highly unlikely to be made from ACTUAL rose bushes.
The “rose fiber” feels lovely and is a novelty to spin and use but let’s try stop the misinformation that it is anything but viscose rayon from undefined sources.