Thursday, June 28, 2012

Most unusual use of #microbes of the week: fermented fashion

Fermented clothing on mannequin from
Well, this is certainly unusual: The Genteel | Fermented Fashion.  I found out about this from a Tweet from Irene Kim

Anyway the article describes the "Micro'be'" project for which more details are available here.  Some interesting details at that site include a description

Imagine a fabric that grows...a garment that forms itself without a single stitch!
The fashion that starts with a bottle of wine...
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. 
So - in essence they are trying to grow clothing as a side product of wine fermentation.  Not sure what it is like to wear such clothing - or to be around someone wearing it - but it is a fun idea.


  1. One clarification: they are trying to grow clothing as a side product of wine fermentation into vinegar (as opposed to grape juice fermentation into wine). The fabric is derived from what is commonly called "Mother of Vinegar" (, aka "that stuff in my college roommate's vinegar."

  2. So basically, their clothing would go well with a little olive oil and some crusty bread??