Recipe for Orange Peel Leather



  • 20g wool fiber
  • 5L water
  • 120g orange peel
  • Some Calcium Chloride
  • 125g sodium alginate
  • 421g glycerin
  • 56g coconut oil



  • Strainer
  • Scale
  • Spatula
  • Shredder
  • Scissors
  • Frame
  • Cooking pot
  • Funnel



  • Dehydrate the Orange Peel in an oven, dehydrator or just in the air
  • Crush the orange peel into small pieces
  • Sieve the pieces to get only the smallest pieces
  • Mix the alginate, glycerin, coconut oil and the orange pieces in the water
  • Store in a cool place for 24 hours to let it become a paste
  • add the wool fibers to the paste
  • Pour the mix into a frame
  • Put calcium cloride on both sides
  • Let it dry for a few days
  • Remove from the frame gently




Remix El Barrio, Fablab Barcelona, 2021, Link

Squeeze the Orange on Wikifactory, 2022, Link

Recipe for Growing crystals


Crystals  are the result of a chemical process by which some atoms or molecules in a solution get organized in a structurally repeating pattern.
Alum (potassium aluminium sulfate dodecahydrate) forms crystals that have triangular facets and can be grown on many substrates, such as silk, velvet, felt, cardboard, wood, wool etc.

INGREDIENTS FOR 400mL of Alum Solution

  • Alum powder 125 g
    • plus some more just in case we will try to reorganize these molecules into crystals.
  • Water – 400 ml/gr
    • To dissolve the alum powder and reorganize it into a crystal
  • Silk
    • Or another substrate for the alum crystals to attach to



  • Cooker or kettle
  • A glass container
    • big enough to fit your piece of the substrate without touching the sides or having to fold or crease it. Make sure this is totally clean.
  • a water bath
  • Spoon
  • Optional: Food coloring



  • Put the glass container in the water bath without making the glass jar float. This will keep your crystal solution warm for longer and help it cool down very very slowly (resulting in bigger crystals).
  • Put this in a (warm) place where you can leave it for 8-16 hours without anyone moving or touching it.


Dissolving the alum

  • Measure 400 ml and put it in the glass jar (which is already inside the bain-marie to keep it warm).
  • Spoon by spoon, add the alum while stirring. When no more alum dissolves and just sinks to the bottom, your solution is saturated. If there are grains on the bottom, pour off the liquid and clean the jar before continuing. You don’t want anything on the bottom of the jar.
  • Suspend the substrate inside the glass jar without it touching the bottom or the walls of the jar


Let the crystals form

  • Now leave the crystal to grow. The less you touch it, the easier it is for the molecules to find each other on the silk and form big beautiful crystals.
  • If you have the patience, give it 16 hours. But pretty decent-sized crystals will have formed as soon as 6-8 hours later.
  • Rinse them under cold tap water and let them dry.



  • Add a colorant such as black soot ink (other natural dyes are still experimental!)
  • Turn your crystals opaque white by putting them in the oven for 10 minutes at 100 degrees Celsius.
  • Use different textiles (e.g. velvet attracts many small crystals)
  • Lay your silk flat in a bowl to cover the entire surface with smaller crystals
  • Glue a piece of silk on an LED with hot glue to grow a crystal that you can use in electronics projects instead of plastic casings (see video below).
  • The same technique can be used with epsom salt, sugar and borax.
  • Adding conductive paint to the solution creates crystals that can be used as capacitive sensors.



  • Growing Crystals Lab Pastoe by Shirley Niemans, 2021, Link
  • Alum Crystals on Silk by Loes Bogers, 2020, Link

Recipe for Mango Leather (starch based)


The biopolymers in fruit waste can be used to create flexible, translucent, leather-like materials.


  • 1 Overripe mango
    • With skin get these as waste from the market, they can have dents and bruises it doesn’t matter. We will dehydrate the mango until it becomes leather-like.
  • Potato starch 10 g
    • Functions as the polymer to make the mango puree harder)
  • White vinegar 8 g
    • vinegar is almost always added to starch-based biopolymers to change the molecular structure of the starch, making it stronger and more workable
  • Salt 5 g
    • a preservative and stabilizer.
  • Vegetable oil 1 tbsp
    • as a release agent for the mould.


  • Pan
  • Cooking plate
  • Knife
  • Blender or mixer
  • Optional: Mould
  • Oven or dehydrator



  • Cut the mango into smaller pieces and puree it in a blender or with a mixer.
  • Optional: Prepare the mould by applying some oil
  • Dissolve the starch in a dash of water until liquid


2. Mixing the ingredients and activating the starch

  • Put the mango puree in the pot with the salt and vinegar
  • Heat it at a low heat while stirring, you don’t want it to boil and stick to the pot, but you want to kill any bacteria in there and dissipate some water.
  • Dissipate some of the excess water if it is very liquid but keep a low heat and stir.
  • Add the starch mixture and continue to stir for at least a minute until it transforms into a thick paste. If the paste is too liquid it will shrink a lot during the dehydration process and your leather sheet will tear.


3. Casting and dehydrating in the oven

  • Pour the paste onto the surface or mould and spread it out evenly, knock it on a hard surface gently to even it out more.
  • Heat the oven to 50 degrees Celcius on the fan setting and put the paste into the oven for at least 16 hours (you can spread it out over a few days with airdrying in between). If your oven allows it without turning itself off: keep the door slightly open with a cloth to let the moisture escape).
  • Carefully peel thea leather off the tray, flip it, and check if the bottom has fully dried. If not, put back in the oven with the moist side up for another few hours.
  • Optional: you can airdry the leather as well, but there is some more risk of contamination. Don’t dry it in direct sunlight.


4. Air drying

  • When the leather is dry to the touch (it will be a bit darker of color now), let it airdry in a well-ventilated space for another 5-7 days.
  • Alternate drying and pressing under a stack of heavy books or dry on a roster with weight on top for further drying while keeping it flat.



  • Mango Leather Recipe Lab Pastoe by Shirley Niemans, 2021, Link
  • Ephemeral Fashion Lab by Beatriz Sandini, 2020, Link
  • Mango Leather by Loes Bogers, 2020, Link

Recipe for Gelatine Bioplastics


Gelatine is made from collagen present in animal parts and comes in jelly, sheet or powder. It is a waste product from the meat industry, being repurposed for uses outside of the food industry.



  • Gelatin 100g
    • the polymer to make the structure
  • Glycerine 25g
    • The plasticizer to make it flexible
  • Water 500 mL
    • The solvent to dissolve the materials
  • Essential oil 4 drops
    • Anti-bacterial to keep it from contaminating
  • Optional: embroidery hoop, textiles, meshes, moulds or other casting surfaces (surface transfers texture to your bioplastic)
  • Optional: Pigments, food colorants or natural dyes
  • Optional: Fillers: eggshell powder, coffee debris, chalk, fibers, etc.
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon of Dishwasher liquid


  • Pan (non-reactive)
  • Cooking plate
  • Scale (1g precision)
  • Thermometer
  • Spoon
  • Whisk




  • Mix the gelatine with the cold water in your pot, and stir until dissolved. Warm up the mixture on your stove to a max of 80C.
  • Add the Glycerin and four drops of essential oil.
    • The general rule is the more glycerine, the more flexible the material, but too much will make it sticky
  • Simmer for 15 minutes while stirring regularly, then let the liquid cool for a couple of minutes while stirring, until it gels a little but is still liquid.
    • The mixture should be at least honey-like before casting.
    • Tip: Remove any froth with a spoon, or absorb it using a coffee filter or kitchen paper.
  • Optional: Longer cooking time (up to an hour) allows more water to evaporate and will dramatically reduce the shrinkage of your casted object. You will get a thicker liquid.
    • To cast larger volumes and solids with this recipe, evaporate a lot of water, until it’s very very thick.
    • Tip: Melting scraps can result in nice castings because they’ve already dissipated a lot of water.
  • Optional: Add a filler and mix gently until it is evenly distributed throughout the liquid.
  • Optional: Add a tablespoon of dishwasher and whisk until finely foamed to create a biofoam
  • Pour the desired mixture into your mould or on your chosen surface.
    • Pour slowly to avoid air bubbles
    • Tip: Don’t cast hot bioplastic on the acrylic that is thinner than 7mm, it will bend.
  • Let the material dry in a ventilated and dry room for a few days.
  • De-mould when your plastic feels solid – often after 24-48 hours.
  • Tip: regularly turn your piece over until it is dry, so as to avoid mold formation with long drying times.




Textile Academy by Waag, 2020-2021, Link

Biofoil Gelatin by Loes Bogers, 2020, Link

Agar Wikipedia, 2023, Link

Gelatin Bioplastics Lab Pastoe by Shirley Niemans, 2021, Link

Bioplastic Cookbook by Anastasia Pistofidou, n.b., Link


Recipe for Agar Bioplastics


Agar (also called agar-agar) is a polymer of agarose (a kind of sugar). It is a substance obtained from red algae. Agar has been used as a gelling and thickening agent in desserts throughout Asia and also in microbiology to obtain a solid medium. Agar can also be used as a vegan substitute for gelatin (made from animals). Agar bioplastic is made by mixing water, glycerine and agar powder. Together they form a foil-like plastic substitute that is flexible, but not elastic.


  • Agar agar 10g
    • the polymer to make the structure
  • Glycerine 30g
    • The plasticizer to make it flexible
  • Water 500 mL
    • The solvent to dissolve the materials
  • Essential oil 2 drops
    • Anti-bacterial to keep it from contaminating



  • Pan (non-reactive)
  • Cooking plate
  • Scale with 1g precision
  • Thermometer
  • Spoon
  • Whisk
  • Optional: Textiles, molds or casting surfaces
  • Optional: Pigments, food colorants or natural dyes
  • Optional: Fillers of your choice (eggshell powder, coffee debris, chalk, fibers, …)



  • Warm up the water in the pan on the cooking plate to a max of 80ºC (hot, but not boiling).
    • Optional: If you want to dye your material in one colour, supplement part of the water with natural dye (if concentrated only a few drops).
  • Add the glycerin and a few drops of essential oil to the water.
    • The general rule is the more glycerine, the more flexible the material.
    • Too much glycerine will make the material too sticky.
  • Add the agar to the mixture.
    • Add slowly and evenly, while stirring gently will help it dissolve better.
  • Whisk gently until the ingredients form a smooth mix.
    • Don’t over-whisk it to avoid the creation of bubbles.
  • Simmer for about 30 minutes while stirring regularly.
    • The mixture should be syrupy rather than watery before casting.
  • Optional #1: Add a filler and mix gently until it is evenly distributed throughout the liquid.
  • Optional #2: If you are planning to make a batch of different colours, prepare your colours in a small container, to which you will add the liquid when it is ready to cast.
  • Pour the mixture into your mold or on your chosen surface.
    • Pour slowly to avoid air bubbles
  • Let dry for about a week.
    • the temperature and humidity will influence the drying time and shrinking



  • Fabricademy by Loes Bogers, 2020, Link
  • Agar Bioplastics Lab Pastoe by Shirley Niemans, 2021, Link
  • Agar on Wikipedia: link
  • Margarita Talep Algae Bioplastic Packaging Design by Natashah Hitti for Dezeen, 2019: link

Recipe for 3D Mycelium


Mycelium makes up the roots and branches of the fungi. It is formed of a very fine filamentous network of hyphae that branches out underground. They form connections with other hyphae in search for nutrients and moisture from its surroundings. We typically only see the mushrooms of the fungi which most closely resemble the fruit or flowers of plants.

Mushrooms have long been used by humans for their medicinal, practical and mind altering properties. More recently they have also been used as a way to clean pollution.

While the individual hyphae are very thin and weak, the thousands of them together make quite a strong felt like material. It can be combined with stronger cellulose based natural fibers to bind them together into a much stronger material. This material is light, fireproof and biodegradable. It has been used as packaging material and heat isolation.



  • Cellulose fiber based substrate
    • (straw, wood, hemp, coffee grounds etc.)
    • Tip: untreated waste products can be used very well!
  • Ethanol 70%
  • Sporeless Oyster- or Reishi Mushroom starter
  • Plastic wrap
  • Autoclave bag
  • A 3D mould
    • to grow your mycelium in a desired shape
  • Optional: Malt Extract



  • Pressure cooker (autoclave)
  • BioSafety Cabinet
    • or other way to create a sterile environment
  • Latex or rubber gloves
  • Incubator or heating mat
  • Oven or dehydrator
  • Thermometer



1. Prepare the substrate mixture


  • Soak your fibers in water overnight
    • Optional: add 30g of malt extract to the water, this will increase the growth but also the chance of contamination
  • Drain the fibers of excess water
  • Optional: mix with a bit of coffee grounds (10% weight coffee grounds)
  • Put the mixture in an autoclave bag
    • maximum half full
  • Close the bag with cotton and elastic band
    • This to let the air move in and out without contamination


2. Sterilize the substrate


  • Place the bag in the pressure cooker
  • After the pressure cooker is pressurized, leave it to sterilize for 20-40 minutes before switching it off
  • Leave to cool until maximum of 30 degrees Celsius
    • Do not try to open the pressure cooker until the temperature is well below 100 degrees, this can lead to sudden boiling!
    • Above 30 degrees will kill the mycelium
    • Optional: You can speed the cooling down of the bag under running cold water but make sure nothing gets in the bag!


3. Inoculate the substrate


  • Break down the mycelium starter into small pieces without taking it out of the bag.
  • Organize your sterile environment, get the bag with the substrate, ethanol and the mycelium starter.
  • When cooled down below 30 degrees, put on the gloves and disinfect them with ethanol.
    • The inside of the substrate bag is sterile so try to keep it that way. We inoculate with the mycelium starter.
  • Carefully open the bag with the substrate with as little as possible movements all within the sterile environment
  • Open the bag with the mycelium starter and scoop some material with your disinfected gloves into the substrate bag
    • Minimum of 10-20% of the total volume should be mycelium starter, in order to decrease the possibility of contamination
  • Close the bag with the cotton and the rubber band again
    • Leave enough room for air in the bag to mix
  • Gently but thoroughly mix the starter and the substrate for 5-10 minutes so there is a nice even mix
  • Leave the bag at 25 degrees to grow for a few days until whitish and well inoculated
    • how long will depend on many factors like substrate, type and amount of mycelium starter and mainly temperature


4. Growing the mycelium in the mould


  • Gently break the substrate again into smaller pieces
  • Sterilize the mould with 70% ethanol
  • Use gloves again to take the inoculated substrate out of the bag and press well into the mould
    • no sterile environment is needed if the substrate is well inoculated but you can to incease the chance of success
  • Cover the mould well with plastic wrap
  • Leave for a few days to grow strong and the mould is covered in whitish fluff


5. Growing outside of the mould


  • take the mycelium gently out of the mould and put it in a plastic bag to continue to grow for a few days
    • This will increase the strength and also evalorate some of the water
    • you will notice the outside will become more covered in soft white mycelium


6. Drying the mycelium


  • When the whole outside is covered in mycelium and the shape is quite sturdy we can stop the mycelium to keep it from growing
    • you can continue to grow the mycelium the outside will become a more yellow/brownish colour in irregular shapes
  • Put the object in a dehydrator or oven at 80 degrees Celcius for about 2 hours depending on the thickness
    • some thin objects can be dried in the sun or on the radiator
    • some heavy and thick objects need to be dried for 12 hours or more
    • too long is not a problem, too short can lead to contamination
  • turn the object every hour to let the moisture evaporate from all sides
  • Your object is done!


REFERENCES, n.d., link by Elise Elsacker, Kristel Peters and Winnie Poncelet, 2018, link

Textile Academy by Waag, 2020, link

Mycoworks, 2023, link


Recipe for Bacterial Dyeing


Dyeing and processing of textiles is one of the most polluting steps of the fashion industry. At every step of the process, the massive amounts of polluted waste water is released in the environment. Before the discovery of synthetic dyes, textiles were dyed with natural dyes: plants, flowers, roots, insects and minerals. Synthetic dyes brought color stability, durability and fastness, but at a dramatic environmental cost.

Recently there has been a renewed interest in less polluting ways to dye, both ancient and very new. Bacterial dyes come in two variations, extracted colors and growing colors. In the extraction method the dye is harvested and used in a more traditional way to produce pigments.

A novel and more organic method is to let the bacteria dye the material on the spot. This method has a collaborative character: the designer determines the framework for the design, which interacts with the natural growth of the bacteria. This procedure creates patterns on textiles as a collaboration between the bacteria and us.

The bacterium that we are using is Janthino Bacterium Lividum which produces a dark blue/purple pigment called Violacein which is also anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.


Materials for Dyeing many small pieces of cloth

  • 25g of powdered LB broth (check the required amount on the package, normally 20-25g/L)
    • this is liquid laboratory grade food/substrate for bacteria growth
  • 1L Water (the amount you need depends on the material and the amount of material you want to Dye)
  • Cotton
    • to seal the autoclave bag
  • Rubber bands
    • to close the autoclave bag
  • Glass Petri dishes and/or autoclave bags
    • a container to sterilize the material and grow the bacteria
  • Parafilm tape
    • to seal off the Petri dish
  • 70% Ethanol
    • for sterilization


  • A pan
    • to make the LB broth
  • Inoculation loop
    • to sterilely add the bacteria to the fabric
  • Tweezers
    • to sterilely handle the fabric
  • Pressure cooker
    • to sterilize the fabric and LB Broth
  • Electronic Scales
    • to measure the LB broth powder
  • Measuring Cup
    • to measure the water
  • Optional: Needle & thread
  • Natural fabric
    • Animal fibers will dye brighter and more vivid colours, vegetable fibers will have to be mordanted for vibrant colours
  • Synthetic fabric
    • Nylon, acrylic and plastic have all been tested with bacterial dyes


1. The Textile

  • Prepare the textiles in the desired style
    • use Shibori or Tie-Dye techniques for example but using a shape to press against the fabric will also work
  • place them inside a plastic disposable autoclave bag or glass petri dish


2. The LB Broth

  • Fill the pan with a little over 1L
    • In the pan, you will lose some water due to steam
  • Measure the exact amount of LB broth
    • dosage is 20-25gr / liter, check your LB broth powder container and measure out accordingly
  • Add the LB broth to the water in the pan and slowly heat the water to completely dissolve the LB broth


3. sterilizing the samples and the LB broth

  • put the fabric sample in the container
    • small samples in a petri dish and large samples in an autoclave bag
  • Add LB broth to the Petri dishes and the autoclave bags
    • enough to fully soak the fabric but not so much that it is swimming in broth
  • Tip: write your information on the Petri dishes and autoclave bags before putting things in there (name/date/bacterium/material/medium)
  • Close the bags with the cotton and the rubber bands
    • the air can move in and out through the cotton but very few bacteria will do so keeping the inside of the bag sterile
  • Place all the bags and Petri dishes in the pressure cooker
  • After the pressure cooker is pressurized, leave it to sterilize for 20 minutes before switching it off
  • Leave to cool until a maximum of 30 degrees Celsius
    • do not try to open the pressure cooker until the temperature is well below 100 degrees, this can lead to a sudden boil of the broth
    • you can speed the cooling down of the bag under running cold water but make sure nothing gets in the bag


4. The inoculation

The insides of the bag are sterile now! You want to keep it that way and only inoculate it with the Janthinobacterium which gives the colour!

Petri Dishes

  • Prepare the biosafety cabinet with ethanol, inoculation loop, the Janthinobacterium Lividum and the Petri dish with fabric
  • Sterilize the inoculation loop with some ethanol or a flame (metal loop) if it is not from a sterile bag
  • Carefully open the Janthinobacterium Lividum
  • Use the inoculation loop to scoop a little lump of bacteria
  • Carefully open the Petri dish with fabric and spread the lump of bacteria over the fabric
    • repeat this 3x to have some points from where the bacteria can grow
    • Tip: don’t move your hands over the opened Petri dish to avoid contamination
  • Seal the Petri dish with Parafilm

Autoclave Bags

  • Prepare the biosafety cabinet with ethanol, inoculation loop, the Janthinobacterium Lividum and the autoclave bags with fabric
  • Sterilize the inoculation loop with some ethanol or a flame (metal loop) if it is not from a sterile bag
  • Carefully open the Janthinobacterium Lividum
  • Use the inoculation loop to scoop a little lump of bacteria
  • Carefully remove the cotton ball and open the autoclave bag with fabric a little bit
  • Spread the lump of bacteria over the fabric
    • repeat this 3x to have some points from where the bacteria can grow
    • Tip: don’t move your hands over the opened petri dish to avoid contamination
  • Put the Cotton with rubber bands back to seal the bags



  • Now that Petri dishes have been inoculated they need to be stored at around 25 degrees celsius in an incubator for optimal growth.
    • Slower growth is achieved at lower temperatures but it will still work



  • Bioshades by Waag, 2019, link
  •, 2019, link
  • BACTERIAL PIGMENTS Master Thesis by Evelina Juuri, 2020, link
  • wikipedia Janthinobacterium Lividum, 2023, link
  • Living Colour by Laura Luchtman & Ilfa Siebenhaar, 2016, link


Recipe for Kombucha SCOBY

A SCOBY is a Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast which is used as a culinary symbiotic fermentation culture (starter) consisting of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), acetic acid bacteria (AAB) and yeast which arises in the preparation of sour foods and beverages such as kombucha. In its most common form, SCOBY is a gelatinous, cellulose-based biofilm or microbial mat found floating at the container’s air-liquid interface.

When dried, the SCOBY can be used as leather alternatives and paper-like thin materials. Following this procedure, you can grow a SCOBY to use it as a material.

A SCOBY is a living thing, therefore it will react to differences in environment, temperature and small differences in water quality. Because it is living it will therefore also adapt to these environmental changes and you will have a slightly different outcome each time. There are many ways to get your SCOBY to grow thick enough to use as a material. This recipe will teach you a basic growing procedure with a provided SCOBY to start your own culture but you will have to experiment to find what works best for you!

Note: this recipe is meant to provide tips on how to grow a SCOBY for material use. Whereas the process is safe to do, it does not cover a process for human consumption per se, and cannot guarantee safe food practices. 

Ingredients for 500 mL Kombucha

Tip: Try to work as clean/sterile as possible throughout!

  • A (piece of) living SCOBY
  • 50mL Kombucha liquid “mother”
  • Alcohol 70% or a good cleaning with soap and hot water
    • to desinfect all your tools and pots
  • Water – 500 ml
    • to make tea
  • 1.5 g (1 bag) black or green tea
    • organic teas work best
  • sugar – 50 g
    • white sugar or cane sugar
  • Vinegar (if the “mother” culture has not been refreshed for long, and is therefore not very active)



  • A glass or plastic jar of 0.5/1L
    • try to get a wide one, min 10 cm diameter, with a lid or cheesecloth
  • A water cooker or anything to boil water
  • Kitchen paper, clean towel
  • Soap
    • to wash your hands, anti-bacterial
  • A scale
  • A spoon
  • A thermometer
  • PH paper (optional)


Create a sterile environment

  • Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds
  • Sterilize all your tools and Jars with 70% denatured alcohol
    • If you don’t have alcohol: sterilize with boiling hot water.
    • Tip: Be careful with boiling water in a glass container, not all containers can handle the sudden change in heat and can break!

Prepare the sugary tea

  • Boil the water
  • Add the teabag and turn off the heat.
    • Let the tea brew for 5 minutes (for black tea, or 3 minutes for green tea)
  • Take out the teabags with a sterile/clean tool
  • Let it cool all the way down to 30 degrees Celcius (so you don’t kill the bacteria of the SCOBY by heat).

Making the Kombucha

  • Pour the tea into the jar
    • depending on the size of the jar but it needs to be at least 5-6cm deep
  • Add the Kombucha liquid “mother”
  • Eventually, measure the pH (acidity) of the mixture
    • it should be around pH 4
    • optionally: add some vinegar to decrease the pH to 4
  • Add the SCOBY and close the lid
    • the SCOBY needs air but you don’t want fruit flies so either seal it with cheesecloth or open and close the jar once a day

Growing the SCOBY

  • Put it in a warm place but away from direct sunlight (preferably in the dark, like a cupboard), and leave it for 2-3 weeks, or until it has grown 5-8 mm thick (to create paper-like SCOBY) or closer to 10-15 mm thick, to grow for leather-like SCOBY.
    • Tip: Do NOT move the jars too much, the SCOBY will sink and you will have to start over
  • Check regularly for unusual growth. Ideally, your SCOBY becomes a thick whiteish film skin-like floating on top of the liquid. It takes experience to learn what unusual growth looks like, use the resources for reference material
  • Use your SCOBY

Next steps

  • If it has grown to a good thickness, you can use your SCOBY to make paper (about 5 mm) or leather (as thick as possible) or kombucha tea to drink (if all is food safe).
  • Take it out with clean hands (or a tool)!
  • Re-use the liquid to grow more SCOBY, it now has more living culture in it.
    Make some more sugary tea as described above and add it to the liquid from the previous brew. Use more sour liquid from a previous brew to have faster SCOBY growth.


Instead of adding tea, you can also continue brewing by adding just sugar, or sugar with beer or wine. Adding natural food dyes will change the color of your SCOBY! Experiment with it to see what you can achieve!



  • KOMBUCHA SCOBY by Loes Bogers (Fabricademy, Waag), 2020: link
  • How to Make Your Own Kombucha SCOBY by Emma Christensen for Cooking Lessons From the Kitchn, 5 june 2019: link
  • How to Start Brewing Kombucha Without a SCOBY by Kathleen Quiring, for Becoming Peculiar, 6 November 2013: link
  • How to Grow a Kombucha SCOBY from Bottled Komucha by Carol Lovett, for Ditch the Wheat, n.d. link
  • How to Grow a Kombucha SCOBY Kristen Michaelis, 2 February 2018: link
  • Kombucha Mold Information and Pictures by Kombucha CAmp, n.d. link
  • SCOBY hotel video quick tip by Kombucha Camp, n.d. link
  • SCOBY hotel maintenance by Kombucha Camp, n.d. link
  • How to Trim SCOBYS: Kombucha Care by Kombucha Camp, n.d. link
  • The NOMA guide to Fermentation by René Redzepi and David Zilber, Foundations of Flavour 2018.
  • Kombucha by Cecilia Raspanti (Textile Lab, Waag), Fabricademy Class “Biofabricating”, 2019, link.
  • How to Grow a Kombucha SCOBY in just 10-12 days by Brod and Taylor, n.d. link
  • A Review on Kombucha Tea—Microbiology, Composition, Fermentation, Beneficial Effects, Toxicity, and Tea Fungus by Rasu Jayabalan, Radomir V. Malbaša, Eva S. Lončar, Jasmina S. Vitas, Muthuswamy Sathishkumar, in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 21 June 2014: link
    • Open Source Kombucha, by thr34d5. n.d., link
  • Biofabricating Materials by Cecilia Raspanti for Fabricademy 2019-2020: link
  • Grow your own clothes TED talk by Suzanne Lee, 2011: link
  • Kombucha Fashion by Cameron Wilson, Peter Musk and Jimmy Eng for the The Edge, State Library of Queensland, n.d. link
  • QUT reveals how you can make your own leather at home by The Conversation, republished by SmartCompany, 24 November, 2016: link
  • Kombucha 101: Demystifying the Past Present and Future of the Fermented Tea Drink by Christina Troitino for Forbes, 1 Feb 2017:link
  • Why is PH important for brewing kombucha? by Fermentaholics, n.d.: link
  • Kombucha: the balancing act by Len Porzio, n.d. link
  • What’s in my kombucha? by Cultures for Health, n.d. link

Recipe for Alginate


An alginate based, heat-resistant and waterproof semi-transparent, matte foil. The foil has a feel that can be compared with a window foil (to blind windows but let the light through). It’s matte but very translucent. It doesn’t crackle or jump back like a lot of other foils.

This entry is based on the work of Loes Bogers for the 2020 Textile Academy at the Waag



Ingredients for 400ml alginate

  • Sodium alginate powder – 12 gr
    • the polymer (so it becomes a solid)
  • Glycerine – 20 gr
    • the plasticizer that bonds with the alginate (makes it flexible).
  • Water – 400 ml
    • to dissolve and mix the polymer and plasticizer
    • optional: use a (diluted) natural dye instead for a colored plastic
  • Sunflower oil – 10 gr
    • filler to reduce shrinkage
  • Calcium chloride solution 10% (10 gr/100 ml water to spray onto the alginate)
    • is the curing agent: calcium chloride attracts moisture very strongly. Spraying it onto the alginate plastic starts the curing process.


  1. Scale
  2. Spoon
  3. Blender
  4. Glass jar with lid
  5. Spray bottle (150 ml contents, for the calcium chloride solution)
  6. Acrylic sheet smooth surface to cast the foil onto. A smooth surface will create a smooth matte foil.
  7. A strip of acrylic or squeeguee to push the alginate mixture into place and form an even and flat rectangle
  8. Painting tape to tape down if the edges of the sheet start to come off of the surface
  9. Kitchen paper to soak up the water that will be released from the alginate mixture



  1. Preparation
    • Weigh your ingredients for the alginate plastic (alginate, glycerine, water, sunflower oil). Optional: use a diluted natural dye instead of water in the same amount for a colored plastic.
    • Put the oil, alginate and glycerine in a blender and add a dash of water. Blend into a thick and homogenous paste. Then add the rest of the water and blend again (this is to avoid lumps).
    • Leave the mixture overnight to allow the bubbles to come to the surface and pop.
    • Make the calcium chloride solution by dissolving 10 gr in 100 gr hot water. Put it in a spray bottle.
  2. Casting
    • Prepare some space on an acrylic or glass surface
    • Pour the alginate onto the acrylic sheet and use the acrylic strip to mold the liquid into a rectangular shape of about 3mm high
    • Spray the sheet with the calcium chloride solution (use quite a lot)
    • Let it sit for a few minutes, then spray again if you see the liquid is starting to ooze out from the sides. The film that is created in the curing process can break from the weight of the liquid bubble. By respraying, you can close these until the sheet is cured enough and stable to dry further.
    • The alginate can release quite a lot of water at this stage, so it’s wise to place some kitchen paper around it to absorb excess water.

Shrinkage and deformation control

Keep an eye on the sheet every few hours, especially on the first day. The thinner edges of the sheet might curl up when drying and pulling off parts of the sheet. When it comes off it will start to warp. Taping it down onto the acrylic helps to keep it in place a dry in shape. Let it dry for up to seven days to get to the final form. When it no longer feels cool to the touch it is dry enough to take off. If you want to trim the edges do it while the foil is still a bit softer for a clean cut.



  • Flexible Bio-plastic Alginate Recipe by Cecilia Raspanti (TextileLab, Waag), Fabricademy Class “Biofabricating Materials”, 2019, link.
  • Alginate Recipe by Catherine Euale, Fabricademy 2018-19 link
  • The Science Of Spherification: Theoreticians examine the atomic details of an avant-garde culinary technique”, by Bethany Halford, Chemical and Engineering News, Volume 92 Issue 42, pp. 35-36, October 2014: link
  • Alginic Acid on Wikipedia: link
  • Development of bio-plastic from production technologies from microalgae by AlgaePARC for Wageningen University & Research, 2012-2016: link
  • Recipes for Material Activism by Miriam Ribul, 2014, via issuu link
  • Research Book Bioplastics by Juliette Pepin, 2014, via issuu link



4-11-22 Theater Rotterdam: The Unknown Sessions

The Unknown Sessions


Buried in forest litter or sprouting from trees, fungi might give the impression of being silent and relatively self-contained organisms. During these sessions with the overarching theme The Unknowns: An exploration beyond the mysteries of the fungi world, with invited artists, scientists, designers and activists, we dive into a collective process of examining the natural phenomenon fungi and it’s mysterious eco-social life to tell us about learning, problem-solving, inter-dependency, creativity, wisdom and intimacy. What is the function of the wood-wide web? Why do fungi help trees and plants communicate to each other? Or share resources? Are fungi-based new technology and artificial intelligence the future? Feel welcome and let’s discover the unknowns together!


12:30 –
Doors open
13:00 –
Start The Unknown Sessions
13:10 –
Lecture by Chris Julien – Outside the modern garden
14:00 –
A talk between Noor Stenfert Kroese and Prof. Andrew Adamatzky 
14:50 –
A mushroom buffet and thee break
15:15 –
A conversation on Thinking – Feeling with a Living Territory, Art as Reciprocity by Weaving Realities
– An artist talk Cloud Gazing and Offensive Sceneries by Amir Bastani


Place: TR – 8 location : Willam Bootlhlaan 8, Rotterdam.

Date : 4th of Nov 2022

Time: 12:30 – 17:00


More info and tickets, please do check the link.