Bioalloy, a research endeavor at the FNAS laboratories of the University of Western Australia, has developed a program that will grow seamless garments through wine’s fermentation process.
Called Micro’be’, the ‘fermented fashion’ project investigates the “practical and cultural biosynthesis of clothing” that they expect will fracture the meaning of traditional interactions between clothing and the body. Be that as it may, their ultimate goal is to create a full seamless garment formed by bacterial fermentation without a stitch.
The project uses a colony of Acetobacter bacteria — the kind that ferment wine into vinegar. This process creates micro fibrils of cellulose (similar to cotton) that is used to fashion the garments. The Micro‘be’ material, initially fermented from red wine, has now been produced from white wine, beer and even Guinness.
Intended to create a new kind of experience with clothing, the creators of Micro’be’ are not unaware of the strangeness of their project, and appear to be actively seeking such an impact. From one of Bioalloy’s press releases:
This new fabric woven by the bacterial soft machines will confront the viewers’ sensory perceptions; sight, smell and touch. As unusual obsessions and foreign organisms are producing new fabrics, will the consumer find themselves totally repulsed? By covering the body with microbial bio-products, it will bring us closer to these organisms and remove any of the narcissistic notions of us and them!