A team from the University of Western Australia have added a bacteria to red wine and managed to create a cotton-like fabric that can be used to make anything from dresses to t-shirts and swimwear.
Although still in the early stages of development, this technique of making clothes from wine could one day become mainstream, at least according to the people who came up with the idea. ‘This project redefines the production of woven materials. ‘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,’ lead researcher Gary Cass said. Still, the technology is far from perfect, and there will probably be a long time before people will be wearing casual clothes made from Pinot Noir or Merlot.
The process of creating wearable fabric from wine starts by adding a bacteria called acetobacter to batches of red wine, to convert it into vinegar. A scum-like layer forms on the surface of the wine, in the process, which is harvested and dried on an inflatable mannequin to get the desired shape. After it has dried, the mannequin is deflated, but the fabric retains its shape. Sounds pretty simple so far, but there is one major downside to this wine-made clothing. When it dries, the fabric becomes as fragile as tissue paper and tears very easily, so the clothes have to be kept damp when worn. That’s not going to be a problem on hot summer days, but during the winter…
Scientists behind the project hope to team up with other experts, in order to make their red wine fabric tougher. Although they look pretty cool, wine clothes are nowhere near as advanced as Anke Domaske’s milk garments. Those look like actual clothes and have already went into mainstream production. Still, with time, we might just see people wearing wine on the streets some day.