Jane Fox first started fermenting Scobys about 15 years ago when making the probiotic-tea Kombucha. A Scoby is a gelatinous form comprising various beneficial microbes (symbiotic colonies of bacteria and yeasts). During the process of brewing Kombucha the Scoby thrives on sweet black tea and produces lactic acid. The ‘Mother’ Scoby culture produces microbial cellulose. The growth of this cellulose material is self-sustaining as long as the Scobys are fed and kept warm.
Fox is experimenting with Scobys and various processes to make sculptural form. To date it has been used for ‘selected’ clothing items and shoes – a form of vegan leather. Scoby material can be cut, stitched, moulded, layered, pressed to shape, dehydrated and baked. It shrinks when dried and can be coloured. In its natural state it is not water-proof, and if you get caught in the rain wearing a Scoby shirt it will fall apart. Fox is currently experimenting with different natural additions to vary surface texture, interest and information of the Scoby cellulose; in addition to the use of natural plant dyes for different colour combinations.
These bio-degradable sculptural forms can be exhibited outside and will naturally decompose over time.
Remember to drink the delicious, fizzy Kombucha bottled straight from the fridge. Enjoy it natural or flavoured.