Biological grown material


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- story by MaterialDistrict

Studio Lionne van Deursen developed a collection of biological fabrics dyed with natural pigments. During this ongoing material research the possibilities of a biologically grown material are investigated. Microbes are used to grow this biological material which is made of bacterial cellulose. Bacterial cellulose is made using yeast and bacteria in a fermentation process. The bacteria are feed by a sweetened green tea. During this process bacteria spin nano fibers of cellulose and produce a layer on the surface. When this layer has dried, it becomes a solid material that has comparable properties to leather. The material that the living microorganisms create is biodegradable, strong and has a high flexibility.

During the growing process nuances arise in the material which influence the translucency of the dried material. The thickness of the material is variable and can be easily changed during the growing phase. The material will be stronger and thicker by longer growth in the liquid.

The colour can also easily be changed due to the high absorption of the grown material. After the growing process the studio experimented with different natural plant dyes and dyes made from fruitwaste, to see how these dyes can affect the colour and texture of the material. The experiments resulted in a collection of fabrics with different colours, translucency, applied textures and patterns. With this material the studio designed a collection of table lamps.

Material Properties