Skip to main content

Can Silk Kill the Stink of Smelly Yoga Pants?

When Proctor & Gamble creates a whole collection of Tide and Downy products around “yoga aroma”—defined as the lingering smell of sweat that stays in workout wear after it’s been washed—you know it’s a common issue.

So what’s causing the stinky situation? Synthetic fabrics, usually, which wick away sweat but leave behind dirt and odor. And—because they’re made to be hydrophobic—can sometimes be harder to clean. While some people extol the benefits of working out in merino wool, silk is another natural fiber to consider.

Hanoi-based Silky Vietnam recently announced the launch of its first yoga clothing line. Called Silky 2.0, the collection is made from 100 percent organic silk and plant-based dyes and designed to be worn from workout to the street.

More importantly, silk threads provide Silky 2.0 with natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, meaning the clothing won’t smell bad no matter how many times it’s washed. How? Thanks to 18 amino acids that break down sweat into odor particles, fibroin—a medical-grade protein that absorbs excess moisture—and sericin. Not to mention, the pieces are only dyed with natural dyes derived from avocado pits, coffee beans and green tea leaves.

Convinced silk is only suitable for lying down in savasana? Silky Vietnam used a special threading technique which allows the fabric to exhibit viscoelastic behavior—much like skin and muscles do—so each piece in the collection promotes a free range of motion. How the clothing is cut helps, too: instead of skin-tight yoga pants, Silky 2.0 bottoms are loose, with smart lines cut in the crotch and inner thigh for more space and drawstrings at the ankle to stop them sliding when legs are held in the air.

Designed in Paris by artist Truong Tan Tan and hand-tailored and embroidered by La Hang Ao Dai Art house team, Silky 2.0 pieces range in price from $55 to $105. The environmentally friendly and ethical start-up is nearly a third of the way toward meeting its $30,000 Kickstarter goal, with less than a month to go in its campaign.