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ThirtyFifty - Hens

Wine News

Little red dress!

A dress that is made of red wine has been created by Australian scientists. The fabric is actually the mould that forms on the top of wine vats when oxygen gets in. The bacteria weave the fibres together, creating a slimy, flexible cellulose mat. This is laid over an inflatable doll and allowed to dry to form a cotton-like dress.

So far, however, there are a few snags in the dress. One is that it has a wine-vinegary smell. Another is that it has to be kept damp because it becomes very brittle when it dries out, which is why the doll has to be deflated to get the dress off. But researcher Gary Cass, Scientific Technician at the Institute of Agriculture, University of Western Australia, told ThirtyFifty that the next phase of the project will look at solving all these problems.

In fact, already the team have started new trials on the flexibility of the material with promising results, which they hope will make having to keep the garment moist a thing of the past. The project, called Micro’be’, is still a long way from producing a commercially useful fabric, but Gary said, ‘I believe that we will be able to achieve a wearable fermented dress.’