Instructables

Biocouture: grow your own clothes.

Every so often, a bit of cutting edge science makes you sit back and think; This is so simple! Why didn't they think of this earlier?

Instead of using animal parts, or plant fibres, BioCouture aims, ultimately, to grow entire garments in a vat.

Right now, they grow mats of bacteria and yeast in a bath of nutrients, which spin mats of cellulose fibres that can be shaped into garments, resulting in a material dubbed "vegetable leather".

The use of the material is limited - it cannot be worn in the rain, and it decomposes like any other vegetable matter, but the original team of artists have turned their idea over to "proper" scientists, who are working to modify the final product to be hydrophobic and longer lasting.  Until then, the garments they produce are unique, and transient, since they can end their useful lives on the compost heap.

In the mean time, this is stuff grown in bath tubs - any Maker with a spare room and a biological leaning could be producing this stuff themselves.

There's a patch for the first member to grow their own Robot t-shirt ;-)



pacwoods2 years ago
uh. What does this stuff feel like? It looks stiff and uncomfortable. Hopefully the
person wearing it doesn't sweat. Armpitless shirts, ...etc.

Kiteman (author)  pacwoods2 years ago
They call it "vegetable leather", so there's a clue to the feel...
sunshiine2 years ago
I loved this article! Thanks for sharing : )
Kiteman (author)  sunshiine2 years ago
You're welcome.
lemonie2 years ago
It makes as much sense as growing meat in a vat, but it's something new for artistic purposes, interesting.

L
That was done by KFC decades ago.
Obviously not commercially viable, but Quorn is different.

L
That's really neat. It's wearable Kombucha right? Maybe there can be a challenge for making things out of that, like plant pots, hats, and things like that. Maybe too if they used starch it would preserve it longer? I dunno though, good find. :]
Kiteman (author)  The Cartographer2 years ago
"Wearable Kombucha" - today's favourite phrase.
canucksgirl2 years ago
Cool concept. Although living on the "wet coast", I wouldn't need the bathtub, just a leisurely stroll down the street (although I may end up looking like a tray of sprouts in the end)...
Kiteman (author)  canucksgirl2 years ago
Haha - the UK west coast is like that as well (I was born twenty-some miles from the official wettest point in the UK).
Then you can relate... Our region is actually one the largest remaining temperate rainforests in the world. And a few hours drive from here, and there's a "shrub-steppe" type desert. (So much for the stereotype that it 'always' snow's here)...
Kiteman (author)  canucksgirl2 years ago
Heh, I moved from the wettest to the driest - the part of the UK I live in now has the same annual rainfall as Israel.
Then you best water your dress shirt... ;-)
Don't forget the undies......if THEY shrink and shivel up, one could be become very embarrassed....
I'm not touching that one... (literally and figuratively)...
why not? They'll (literally) grow on you ! LOL
;-)
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iceng2 years ago
Wow....  Leading ultimately to growing a suit from our body cells flaking
off and moisture leaking from our pores while we sleep !!!

A
Goodhart iceng2 years ago
Oh YUM !
Kiteman (author)  iceng2 years ago
Eeew!