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

Fermented clothing on mannequin from
http://bioalloy.org/o/projects/micro-be.html

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.

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Author: Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

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