Orylag® the truly exceptional new natural fiber.
A brand-new natural fiber of animal origin was discreetly introduced to the market a few months ago: orylag®. This ultra-fine fiber is the product of fur meticulously collected from a very specific rabbit knowns as the Rex du Poitou® (a brand trademarked for the sale of meat). It was a great fan of this animal, Jean Boutteaud, now President of the Orylag company, who came up with the idea nearly fifteen years ago of focusing on the soft underfur of these rabbits. Extremely fragile, the Rex du Poitou was first a focus of major research and natural cross-breeding to improve their stamina. Today, only around ten breeders
in France, located between La Rochelle and Cognac, raise, pamper, and play classical music for 60 000 animals each year. “This animal requires such strict conditions to thrive, growing slowly, free from stress, that it seemed to me essential to make use of their underfur by offering new opportunities for what is actually a by-product”, explains Jean Boutteaud.
Initial tests on this material began around three years ago with GTI, an Italian partner that was just as motivated as he was. The issues related to the cling of a fiber that is so fine and features very few scales called into question the first trial development of fabrics made from 100% orylag®. “This fiber is so exceptional that we rapidly understood that 20 or 30% orylag® was enough to give a remarkable hand to fabrics. We
therefore turned to intimate blends with silk, wool, or cashmere, and managed to offer around fifteen different fabrics”, explains Jean Boutteaud. Today, he’s looking to knitwear, with even more promising developments that are enchanting luxury fashion houses that are already on board with the wovens.
Though Orylag, which is developing its own brands with a range of products, throws, stoles, and accessories, retains the exclusive production of yarns, today, the company is turning to competent, enthusiastic partners. “We have resolved issues with durability and peeling of the fiber, which does not pill.
Its uses are now multifaceted for those with a certain level of expertise and who are looking for an exceptional product that is traceable, certified, and Made in France”, Jean Boutteaud maintains. He’s giving himself two or three more years to establish the development of this orylag® yarn. Conclusive tests have even been carried out for the sportswear market, with only 5% orylag® for knitwear garments. The price of this exceptional fiber lies somewhere between that of cashmere and vicuña. It is important to keep in mind that one pelt produces only 40 g of fur