June 19, 2012

Fermented Fashion: A New Dress Made of Microbes from Wine.

Image by Ray Scott.

We all want more sustainable clothing, but how about a dress made from billions of microscopic creatures?

Using Acetobacter bacteria—the kind that ferments vinegar into wine—a group of scientists from the University of Western Australia have created a dress that is literally grown instead of sewn.

Back of dress. Image by Bewley Shaylor.

Called Micro’be’, the “fermented fashion” project is described by the team as such:

“Micro’be’ fermented fashion investigates the practical and cultural biosynthesis of clothing—to explore the possible forms and cultural implications of futuristic dress-making and textile technologies.

Instead of lifeless weaving machines producing the textile, living microbes will ferment a garment.

A fermented garment will not only rupture the meaning of traditional interactions with body and clothing; but also raise questions around the contentious nature of the living materials themselves.

This project redefines the production of woven materials.

By combining art and science knowledge and with a little inventiveness, the ultimate goal will be to produce a bacterial fermented seamless garment that forms without a single stitch.”

Front detail. Image by Bewley Taylor.

Seriously, this is one of the coolest things I have ever seen. And since it’s just made from microbes, it is naturally biodegradable. Would you wear a dress made from microbes?

Image by Ray Scott.


Editor: Kate Bartolotta

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