fermented fashion   red wine dress made without a single stitch fermented fashion   red wine dress made without a single stitch
jun 14, 2012

fermented fashion red wine dress made without a single stitch

‘micro’be’ bioalloy’ dress photo by ray scott

gary cass (a scientific technician at the university of western australia) working together with a group of scientists and contemporary textile artist donna franklin have been investigating the practical and cultural biosynthesis of microbiology to explore alternative methods of garment making and textile technologies. their ‘micro’be’ bioalloy’ project imagines a fabric which grows and forms itself without a single stitch. their mediums? red and white wine or beer, depending on the coloration of the fabric one wants to achieve.

the idea for the cellulose clothing came about when cass noticed a skin-like layer covering a vat of wine that had been contaminated with bacteria and had gone bad. the spoilage was a result of a colony of acetobacter, transforming the wine into vinegar. the by-product of this activity is the formation of the cellulose substance that eventually ferments in sheet form which the team then removes from the liquid, fashioning it into apparel, be it a dress or a vest. during its early stages of development, the micro’be’ material smells like red wine and feels like sludge when wet, however, the cotton-like cellulose dress ultimately fits like a ‘second skin’. 

alternate views of a dress made from the ‘sludge’ of red wine photos by ray scott

the formation of a garment created through the layering of sheets of fermented cellulose photo by bewley shaylor

detail of a fermented garment photo courtesy of bioalloy via CNET

via CNET

  • Is this similar to fruit ‘leather’

    seanc says:
  • does it desolve when it gets wet?
    does it decay?
    does it look like a burn victim?

    labbie says:
  • Pff.. My cousin invented this stuff!

    Sophie says:
  • Interesting technique but kinda creepy results… yes, it looks like burnt flesh. Yikes.

    Fidel says:
  • To come back on my previous comment. Turns out my cousin\’s process is different to this. But this is still a ripp-off from http://www.biocouture.co.uk/ Suzanne Lee did this stuff like 10 years ago..

    sophie says:
  • It looks as if it will age / soften like an animal skin.

    Eamon says:
  • kind of disgusting….. what about a t-bone steak dress following Gaga’s ??? what about a ‘used toilet paper’ dress? Create something useful (and intelligent), please!

    agent smith says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

design news