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An Introduction to 'Organic Matter' by Rachel - What Role do Fruit, Vegetables and Bacteria Play in Material Innovation?

An Introduction to 'Organic Matter' by Rachel - What Role do Fruit, Vegetables and Bacteria Play in Material Innovation?

 RACHEL HIGGINBOTTOM  Founder of Tactile Trends

RACHEL HIGGINBOTTOM

Founder of Tactile Trends

With sustainability high on every fashion business agenda, attention has turned to a growing number of small innovators and creators that are experimenting with alternatives to synthetic fibres.

Using bio based materials, science and technology these innovators and creators are developing exciting new fibres and textiles straight from natures raw materials or inspired by them.  

This area of textile innovation really captured my design imagination and so I christened the March issue of Tactile Trends 'Organic Matter', with a view to find out what role fruit, vegetables and also bacteria play in material innovation and sustainability.

Below you can preview four areas I will be focusing on.

I cant wait to find out more and hope you will find the content inspiring!


Material Superfoods

How are fruits and vegetables being utilized as materials?

We are seeing an increasing number of yarns and textiles made from food waste streams of fruits and vegetables like mushrooms, apples, oranges, algae and even milk proteins.

These materials are good for the environment and can naturally boast benefits to our skin with anti-bacterial, moisture wicking and thermo-regulating qualities.

Ill be taking a closer look at how they made during the March issue of Tactile Trends.

Image: Kelly Clampitt

Can we grow materials instead of manufacturing them?
— Suzanne Lee

Fashioning Bacteria 

How can the growth process of pigment bacteria be controlled?

During a tradeshow trip last year I came across this fascinating work by Laura Luchtman and Ilfa Siebenhaar of Living Colour Collective who are developing dyeing with bacteria and music. 

I will be looking into the effects of bacteria dye more during the March issue of Tactile Trends.

Image: Living Colour Collective at Munich Fabric Start, taken by Rachel Higginbottom

[Bacteria is] a sustainable way to colour the world
— Living Colour Collective

Spiders Web

Do we have a fibre as strong as spider silk?

One of the biggest challenges in the fibre world has been how we can replicate the skills of a spider to produce a fibre as strong and delicate.  

Ill be looking at the current status of man made spider silk in the March issue of Tactile Trends.

Image: Jingyi Wang

 

Spiders produce silk fibers with remarkable properties including high tensile strength, elasticity, durability and softness
— Bolt Threads

Biotechnology

How are we using science to grow materials? 

In the ocean plastics issue of Tactile Trends I touched on the work of biomaterial pioneer and designer Suzanne Lee.

I will be looking at her biofabricate event in order to understand the world of biotechnology in more detail where we are growing materials out of living systems.

Image: Chuttersnap

Organisms such as yeast, bacteria, fungi, algae and mammalian cells are fermented, cultured and engineered to synthesize natures materials but with new functional and aesthetic properties
— Biofabricate

Stay Tuned

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Cultivating Bacteria to Produce Colour and Pattern on Textiles - Exploring the Biodesign Project 'Living Colour'

Cultivating Bacteria to Produce Colour and Pattern on Textiles - Exploring the Biodesign Project 'Living Colour'

Resources - Five Organisations that are Rethinking Ocean Plastic Pollution

Resources - Five Organisations that are Rethinking Ocean Plastic Pollution