A 100 per cent biodegradable fungi dress

Neffa’s latest creation, MycoTEX explores the future of fashion with living materials.

From the Series

As its Dutch name suggests, Netherlands-based design studio Neffa is about textile innovation, but just a little bit different. Its founder Aniela Hoitink uses technology and microbiology to investigate how we can and will use textiles in the future. Her latest project, MycoTEX looks at the sustainability of textiles using a garment made out of the living material, mycelium.

According to the studio’s project page, the aim of MycoTEX was to learn how to create a real garment out of mycelium - the root of a mushroom. To do this, Hoitink combined mycelium with textiles, creating flexible composite products. Her project later evolved into the development of textiles made of pure mycelium.

She developed a method to retain flexibility without using traditional textile materials. Hoitink found that she could create a textile out of modules, making the repair of garments easy.

“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,” reads the project’s web page.

The result is a fungi dress that can be adapted and adjusted, and repaired when needed. Once the garment is not in use anymore, it can easily be composted. This fabric is not only 100 per cent biodegradable, but can also serve as a breeding ground for other plants after it is discarded.

This dress is currently on display as part of the exhibition Fungal Futures.

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