Can You Grow Your Own Fabric?

So after watching a video on youtube ( of Suzanne Lee, I decided to try her innovative approach to design and literally grow my own fabric. It was a little bizarre, here’s the instructions…

Boil three green tea bags

Add 100g of sugar

Add 100ml of cider vinegar

Then add kombucha – a kind of jelly like disc that I ordered tentatively from amazon, even though I had no idea if I was ordering the correct thing.


So I boiled my tea bags for fifteen minutes….

Then added the sugar, vinegar and kombucha to a plastic container.

Here is what it looked like after a few days, it had grown a kind of skin on the top of the liquid. img_3403

After about two weeks I lifted out the layer on top of the liquid. It had a very strange feel to it, like slimy rubber. I then left it to dry out on some wooden boards for two days.

After this I painted it with green food colouring.


There are some really good points to growing fabric in this way, it takes on the shape of the container it is grown in, so in the fashion industry you could grow the fabric into the pattern pieces and therefore there would be no waste and no electricity used to cut the fabric. Also because it is a culture, the fabric can be used to grow more fabric and therefore the cycle could be never ending. There is a good chance scientists can genetically modify the culture to be say water resistant or coloured, and so it could get rid of the treatment of cloth or dying of cloth too.

Over all not a bad result!


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