Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Dutch designer creates mushroom dress

Some people like the feel of cotton against their skin. Some want to wrap themselves in silk. But how about wearing clothes made entirely from mushrooms? Dutch textile designer Aniela Hoitink has made a dress using pieces of mushroom mycelium (the root of a mushroom), which could change the way we use textiles.

Called MycoTEX, the fabric is biodegradable and easily repairable. It can also be composted when no longer in use, serving as a breeding ground for other plants when placed in the ground. Of course this isn't the first time mushroom mycelium has been used in art and design, but Aniela is quite unique in having utilized it to develop a textile.

"Aniela's inspiration comes from the observation of "soft bodies" species. Such organisms grow by replicating themselves over and over again, following some sort of modular pattern. This observation inspired Aniela to build the textile out of modules, a solution which consequently provided a number of important benefits. In fact, in such way repair and replacement of the garment are easy to perform and and do not interfere with the look of the fabric. Furthermore, the garment can be built three-dimensionally and shaped whilst being made, fitting the wearer’s wishes. Thus, it is possible to create mycelium patterns, to adjust the length of the garment or for example to add elements (e.g. sleeves). This allows growth of just the right amount of needed material, eliminating every potential leftover/waste during the making process."

The dress is currently on display at the Fungal Futures exhibit in the Netherlands.

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