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When science meets sartorial: the skirt and shoe made from kombucha

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Biocouture's biomaterial can be grown in a vat filled with a sugary green tea solution using a kombucha culture. Once the layer of microbial cellulose is sufficiently thick, it is harvested, washed and allowed to dry. After the water evaporates it resembles a vegetable leather. © Biocouture.

This might look like a pint of moldy beer, but in fact it’s the raw substance of Biocouture’s biomaterial. It’s grown in a vat filled with a sugary green tea solution using a kombucha culture. Once the layer of microbial cellulose is sufficiently thick, it is harvested, washed and allowed to dry. After the water evaporates it resembles a vegetable leather. © Biocouture.

What might our clothes look like in 50 years? When textile designer Suzanne Lee was researching her book, Fashioning the Future, she found the most interesting answers to that question when she looked beyond the traditional borders of fashion design. Beyond cut, color and cloth, our style in 50 years will be driven by new materials from the corners of science. With biologists, engineers and materials scientists, she realized, she could create an entirely new strain of fashion.

In 2003, Lee met materials scientist David Hepworth, founder…

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