bio-couture :: green tea leather

ghost dress grown from a vat of green tea
ghost dress grown from a vat of green tea

Treehugger recently reported on BioCouture, a fashion research project based at Central Saint Martin’s College in London and led by Suzanna Lee, which seeks to grow textiles from a vat of liquid:

The process uses a sugary green tea recipe, to which, a bacterial culture is added. It takes about 2-4 weeks to grow a sheet that is thick enough to use. Sheets are then dried down; either shaped over a wooden dress form–like the ghost dress and ruff jacket –or sewn together conventionally. Depending on the recipe the material can either feel like paper or–more desirably–like a vegetable leather.

In testing with dyes we found no need for mordant [a substance used for dyeing fabrics] and an incredibly small amount of dye goes a long way so it’s eco-credentials go through the entire process. We also recycle a percentage of the fermentation liquid.

vegetable leather
vegetable leather grown from a vat of green tea

We look forward to more information about the project and the process. Read more about it at treehugger.

Thanks Rob for pointing this out :)

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