Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fashion Technology: BioCouture

When we go to the store to look for a new dress, a pair of shoes or some other fashionable items, technology is in general not what springs to mind. But in fact, Technology and Fashion are not as far apart as you might think.

Ok, now you think this blog is going to be about the development of Looms, or CAD / CAM like production streets. No, that IS a reality, and maybe one day food for another blog, but this a little bit more laboratory-like. This one is about  biotech, yes, about growing your own garments.

Enter Suzanne Lee. London based Lee is founder of BioCouture, and a research Fellow on Central St. Martins College of Arts and Design.

She explains the process:

"The process uses a sugary green tea recipe, to which, a bacterial culture is added. It takes about 2-4 weeks to grow a sheet that is thick enough to use. Sheets are then dried down; either shaped over a wooden dress form--like the ghost dress and ruff jacket [images, below]--or sewn together conventionally. Depending on the recipe the material can either feel like paper or--more desirably--like a vegetable leather.
In testing with dyes we found no need for mordant [a substance used for dyeing fabrics] and an incredibly small amount of dye goes a long way so it's eco-credentials go through the entire process. We also recycle a percentage of the fermentation liquid."
The result is a seamless piece of clothing, and I must admit, it has definately got some sort of Eco-Look-and-Feel to it, but in the positive sense.
Right now its not yet commercially available, but I guess its a matter of time before you will be able to buy it prĂȘt a porter or even made to measure!
[All pictures: courtesy of Suzanne Lee]

No comments:

Post a Comment