WEARABLE BACTERIA? By Alex Bell

Hello to all you science and fashion enthusiasts out there – my name is Alex and I want to share with you my eagerness towards a slimy, smelly, but revolutionary textile.

This textile is Kombucha scoby; a floating mat of yeast, bacteria and their byproducts created when Kombucha tea ferments. Ring a bell? Kombucha tea is a popular health drink renowned for its claimed health benefits. The tea’s bitter, fizzy taste is said to be evident in the scoby as well – yes, that means some people eat it!

Could you imagine eating something that looks like a Doctor Who villain? Now could you imagine wearing it? Hold on, don’t go draping pieces of soaking wet scoby on yourself just yet! Experimentation at The Edge has revealed that when dried and moisturised, the scoby adopts leather-like qualities.

It is strong and supple, and less smelly with the use of particular oils – pretty cool stuff. Through experimentation so far with the material, I have collaborated with other QUT fashion students in creating Kombucha shoes and individually created an outfit of kombucha and tulle.

The outfit sashayed down the catwalk in the Ipswich Fashion Gala and took out first place in the Wearable Art Student Awards. You can follow the creation process and runway show on video or check out the outfit and shoes on display at The Edge. Stay tuned for part 2 of my blog post about the amazing applications of Kombucha in the fashion industry. Also if you enjoyed reading this, definitely check out my page and give this link a big ol’ click!
Until next time,
Alex.

ABOUT ME:
Alexandra Bell, age 17, 1st-year fashion student at QUT taking the Bachelor of Design (Fashion) (Honours) course.

Image captions and links:
Kombucha scoby
SOURCE: http://inhabitat.com/diy-how-to-brew-kombucha-at-home/kombucha-scoby-mother/

Kombucha Mushroom Jerky
SOURCE: http://www.pennilessparenting.com/2013/07/making-kombucha-mushroom-jerky-recipe.html

Dyed Kombucha
Pieces of indigo-dyed and dried kombucha, moisturised with coconut butter to create Kombucha leather. Pieces are layered over tulle to create a tassel effect.
SOURCE: https://www.facebook.com/xandrabellthelabel/

Runway Show
The outfit reflects hard lines and square shapes you can see in city sky scrapers (my inspiration) and involves a layered tulle skeleton embellished with Kombucha paint (blended scobi, coconut butter, dye and glitter) across the shirt and side of skirt, and kombucha leather (dyed, dried and hole-punched) on décolletage and waistband.
SOURCE: http://websta.me/p/1106978987188607228_2046138253

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