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

Archive »This Month

The Wise Way to Yoga

An Emerging Movement
The wise way to yoga is the result of practicing yoga with awareness of how we use our body as a whole in every pose.

The Great Neighborhoods Campaign

The Great Neighborhoods campaign has momentum, but time is running out to make sure that the Legislature backs a comprehensive and balanced bill. Governor Baker has proposed a modest zoning bill.

The Evolutionary Mystic

The Conscious Flowering of Humanity
Our soul’s number one priority is to embody infinite stillness, unconditional love, fierce compassion and spontaneous joy.

Presidential Profiles Book Review in Cambridge

Join author Herb Pearce from 7 to 8 p.m., June 25, at Porter Square Books, in Cambridge, for a review of his new book.

Natural Supplementation for Warm Weather Allergies

As the weather warms up, many New Englanders begin to suffer from warm weather allergies that bring on bouts of sneezing, congestion, itching, stinging and watery eyes.

Natural Solutions for Stress

The effects of worry can be long term, as stress is related to disease, weakening of the immune system, causing high blood pressure or heart disease, and leading to unhealthy actions like overeating, smoking and alcohol overuse.