Kombucha and SCOBY Leather BioCouture

I started making kombucha! I ended up using one green tea bag and one black tea, but the color seemed to take on the normal black tea brown shade. I used a glass jar after reading that metal and plastic containers might interfere with the process. The SCOBY looked really strange pouring it into the tea and was very slimy. My cousins made their own kombucha once, and it exploded on them, so I read online to not put a sealed lid on the jar. I did not have any cheesecloth so instead, I used a coffee filter with tight rubber bands as recommended on the site, in case I forget to check on it and let it breathe. 

I also added flour and water to the mycelium bag and hopefully the bag will be ready by next class! Thank you so much for the lab supplies! I was so excited when the box arrived. 

In class was the first time I learned about bioCouture and using sustainable fabrics within fashion. I love the idea and really hope it becomes main stream and is able to be mass-produced, especially with the toxic fast fashion industry growing. I found some SCOBY leather art created at the University of Xaragoza, Spain. It was made through The Institution for Biocomputation and Physics of Complex Systems area Chemistry & MCB Institution. The description for their project is as followed…

“The brief was to create new products and applications on prototype format made of bacterial cellulose (vegan-friendly leather made from Kombucha scoby and green tea) with tools and machines from the Workshop Open Art (Fab Lab) on eTOPIA Center of Art & Technology”


It is hard to tell the scale of the chair, but I think it is a really neat concept. I’m curious the weight capacity of the chair and if the SCOBY leather could hold the weight of a person. I love the details on the mini wallet cardholder and how the ends fit together almost like a puzzle piece. The bracelets and sandal is beautiful as well, and I like how the artist used a zigzag pattern and cut into the leather. I wish I was able to find more research on the artwork created in this lab and see their process in detail. 

I also found this leather jacket made by artist Claud Clatworthy, inspired by Suzanne Lee’s method and BioCouture. I assume the red is dyed using beet juice and I love the color blocking she used with the leather. Additionally, I thought it was interesting to contrast the vegan leather with the plastic zipper and other black fabric. This seems to make the garment more practical, but also takes away from the environmental aspects. Overall, I’m excited to taste my kombucha in a few weeks and enjoyed researching more examples of BioCouture with SCOBY leather.