Personal sized Projects

Kombucha fabric experiment: Day 1

As a kombucha hobbyist, I’ve developed a fascination with the growing MOTHER in my brew, aka the SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). It’s fueled by a mix of tea and sugar, and after a few batches is several inches thick. When I have more than I need to brew the next batch, I usually throw it outside for the worms. But not before wondering what else I could do with it.

No more! This summer, I’ve decided to grow fabric with the leftovers. I got the idea perusing google image search. I somehow came across the site of an English fashion designer, Suzanne Lee, who experiments with growing living materials for clothing. She did a great TED talk about it. She even made shoes from this stuff.

I’m starting off small, with 28 quart storage containers. I drilled holes in the lids so they can breathe, and covered the containers with towels to shield them from light.

kombucha fabric day 1
Started off with two different sizes of SCOBY. Will it matter??

Because SCOBYs grow faster in warm environments, this Instructables suggests placing the brew containers on heat pads. I’m hoping heat from that summer sun will suffice.

kombucha fabric day 1 stacked
Old towels coming in handy

If this first round goes well, I might upgrade to a kiddie pool.