The Micro'be' project by contemporary textile artist and lecturer Donna Franklin, and scientist Gary Cass, explores fashion and technology's newest frontier: garments made from the bacterial fermentation of wine and beer.
The project's eureka moment came about through a vat of Australian red wine that had become contaminated with microbes and, essentially, spoiled. "At my friend's winery, in Western Australia, I noticed a skin-like layer on the surface of the wine in the vat; it was micro-fibre cellulose - chemically similar to cotton. Assuming that the skin-like material was microbial cotton and cotton is used for clothing, [we thought] we could easily start producing garments from it!" Cass exclaims.