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Scientists have unveiled a collection of skin-tight garments fashioned from red wine. A team from the University of Western Australia added a bacteria to the alcoholic beverage to create a cotton-like substance. To date they have made dresses, T-shirts and swimwear and are now looking at ways to improve the fabric tear strength.
'By combining art and science knowledge and with a little inventiveness, the ultimate goal will be to produce a bacterial fermented seamless garment that forms without a single stitch.' To create the fabric, a bacteria called acetobacter is added to vats of wine to convert it into vinegar and a scum-like surface gradually forms. This layer is then harvested and dried on an inflatable mannequin to get the desired shape.
When the dummy is deflated the clothing remains, however when the ensemble dries the fibres become like tissue paper, tearing easily and needs to be kept damp when worn. The Bioalloy team are now hoping to partner up with other experts to find a way to strengthen the material, which they have named 'Micro be'.
This is not textile artist Franklin's first foray into the world of fermenting fashion and in 2007 she presented a living fungus dress feeding it special nutrients to promote its colour-changing properties. 'We hope that it will inspire others to come up with more creative pieces that will direct and/or redirect our future society,' Cass told Wired.co.uk.