Lisa: Usually, wearing red wine means you have probably just spilled rather a lot over yourself as you indulged. But in a recent project through SymbioticA horticulturalist Gary Cass and artist Donna Franklin have created Micro’be’, a wearable garment constructed from fabric created by fermenting red wine in the presence of too much oxygen (a great recipe to ruin wine and make vinegar!)
The fabric is created when the microbes fermenting the wine produce cellulose as a by-product of converting wine to vinegar. It forms a slimy membrane of cellulose over the wine. To create the garments the artists moulded this layer around inflatable mannequins.
The results are interesting to say the least, as the cellulose fibres are short and the fabric easily tears if dry, meaning it has to be kept damp. Whilst not yet a practical textile, it’s a fascinating example of a biosynthesised garment.