Raw Hide

A Veggie Leather Alternative




Igor Gorelchenkov/Shutterstock.com

Researchers from Iowa State University have developed a new form of synthetic leather using cellulose fibers taken from kombucha tea, along with vinegar and sugar, made in shallow plastic tanks. When a colony of bacteria and yeast is added, the material grows on the top of the liquid’s surface, where it can be harvested and dried.

The researchers have successfully used the material to make prototype garments, including shoes and a vest. It’s 100 percent biodegradable, so when the fabric gets wet, it softens and becomes less durable; in very low temperatures, it can become brittle.

Young-A Lee, Ph.D., associate professor of apparel, merchandising and design at Iowa State University, in Ames, says, “Fashion, to most people, is an ephemeral expression of culture, art and technology, manifesting itself in practical form. Fashion companies keep producing new materials and clothing, from season to season, year to year, to fulfill consumers’ desires and needs. Think about where these items eventually go. They will take up tremendous underground spaces of the Earth, like other trash.”

Spanish designer Carmen Hijosa has created Piñatex, another faux-leather product made from pineapple leaf fibers as a more sustainable and cruelty-free alternative. She acted after seeing how leather tanneries operate.


Source: News.iastate.edu


This article appears in the March 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Bag Ban

After 52 percent of voters gave a thumbs-up, California is banning all single-use plastic bags, which have numbered a whopping 25 million daily.

Eco-Joe

Coffee can be relished even more when it’s made with low-energy coffeemakers, is sustainably grown and equipment and accessories are recyclable.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

New Book Explains Thai Massage as a Healing Art

Findhorn Press has just released Thai Massage & Thai Healing Arts, by Bob Haddad, a registered Thai therapist and director of Thai Healing Alliance International.

Seminar to Provide Fundamentals of Adoption

Coming this fall, Sally Wildman, JD, shares both adoption fundamentals and key resources in a seminar series, The Adoption Process from A to Z.

Chicago River Day Annual Cleanup Effort

More than 4,000 volunteers will gather at 65-plus river-edge sites for the 21st annual Chicago River Day.

30 Days of Doing is Looking for Community Partners

Peterson Garden Project is seeking sponsors and partners to support 30 Days of Doing, an action campaign to be held between October 15 and November 15th.

Treat Your Pet to a Healing Holiday Massage

Julie Kasluga, owner of Melt Canine Massage, provides in-home massages to Chicago-area pets to reduce pain, speed healing and lower anxiety.

Seminar Offers Adoption Advice

Sally Wildman, J.D., an attorney in Chicago and Northbrook, will conduct a course, The Adoption Process From A to Z, from 7 to 9:15 p.m., October 19, at John Hersey High School, in Arlington Heights.