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BioCouture: Garments Made From Bacteria

Fashion research project uses nature to make sustainable clothing.

Naresh Kumar
Naresh Kumar on July 13, 2010.

UK-based designer Suzanne Lee’s BioCouture is a fashion research project that harnesses bacterial-cellulose, grown in a laboratory, to produce clothing. For making garments, all she needs is some yeast, a pinch of bacteria and cups of sweetened green tea.

Ecouterre explains the process:

From this microbial soup, fibers begin to sprout and propagate, eventually resulting in thin, wet sheets of bacterial cellulose that can be molded to a dress form. As the sheets dry out, overlapping edges “felt” together to become fused seams. When all moisture has evaporated, the fibers develop a tight-knit, papyrus-like surface that can be bleached or stained with fruit and vegetable dyes such as turmeric, indigo, and beetroot. The fibers result in thin, wet sheets of bacterial cellulose that can be molded to a dress form.

Suzanne’s BioCouture collection is currently displayed at the London’s Science Museum.

BioCouture

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