It’s tough. It’s thick. It’s brown. It’s a lot like leather—but in fact this new material is made in the lab using leftovers from a brew of kombucha tea.
Researchers from Iowa State University have developed the unusual new form of synthetic leather using some rather normal ingredients. It’s made in shallow plastic tanks that contain cellulose fibers taken from kombucha tea, along with vinegar and sugar. When a colony of bacteria and yeast is added, the material grows on the top of the liquid’s surface. It can then be harvested and dried and—bingo!—teather! (Actually it’s not called teather, I just made that up. They actually call it “cellulosic fiber.” Teather is more fun.)
Check out these awesome tats by Pony Reinhardt @ tenderfoot studios via Colossal.