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Making Faux Leather from Kombucha!

Some of the work that citizen biohackers and biohacking makerspsaces are doing is truly impressive. In this video, the folks at the makerspace/bio lab, Scihouse, embark on a series of experiments to turn kombucha, that strange, fermented mushroom tea beloved by hippies and hipsters, into a viable faux leather material.

The process involves growing a giant SCOBY (the “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast” that grows on top of the tea as it ferments) and then stretching and curing it. And it appears to work! They even make a wallet from it by the end of the video and claim that it looks, feels, and works like leather. Cool!

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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