Homegrown: Investigating Design Potential of Bacterial Cellulose

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2017-01-01
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Harmon, Jennifer
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International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) Annual Conference Proceedings
Iowa State University Conferences and Symposia

The first national meeting of textile and clothing professors took place in Madison, Wisconsin in June 1959. With a mission to advance excellence in education, scholarship and innovation, and their global applications, the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) is a professional and educational association of scholars, educators, and students in the textile, apparel, and merchandising disciplines in higher education.

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Cellulose is one of the most popular natural fibers in the textile and apparel industries. The cultivation of cotton can have negative impacts on the environment. For example, over 20,000 liters of water is needed to produce enough cotton for a single pair of jeans and a T-Shirt (World Wildlife Fund, 2016). Bacterial cellulose is a promising material that has experienced limited application in textiles. The purpose of this piece was to explore different growing containers, drying methods and post growth treatments to improve the tactile properties of bacterial cellulose and explore the apparel potential of this material. The bodice components were air dried and dyed with a water, glycerin, vinegar and beet powder solution. This material feels like vegetable leather to the touch. The skirt and waistband pieces remained undyed and were freeze dried. These skirt pieces are softer to the touch than the vegetable leather.

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