Called Micro’be’, the “fermented fashion project” investigates the “practical and cultural biosynthesis of clothing” that the scientists expect will change traditional interactions between clothing and the body. Their eventual goal is to create a full seamless clothing 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 strands 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 completely new kind of clothing experience, the creators are not unaware of the “uniqueness” of the project. 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!
A cool concept, no doubt; but it smells like the material it’s made from?
People already think that all I do is drink all day for a living. The last thing I need is clothing that makes me smell like I’m an alcoholic!