What Is Mushroom Leather?
Mushroom Leather is a vegan-friendly material that can be an alternative to animal leather. Mycelium is used to create mushroom leather (the vegetative part of a fungus). The novel concept of developing a leather-like substance from mushrooms dates back to 2012. According to FastCompany, the fabric is Mylo and is composed of mycelium – the mushroom’s root-like structure.
Bolt Threads developed this material, a materials solutions firm focused on natural and sustainable materials. They partnered with a company that cultivates mycelium inside on stacked trays.
How Mushroom Leather Is Made
Climate-controlled chambers replicate the circumstances in which the fungus flourishes in the forest. It thrives on sawdust, which is derived mainly from the wood industry, and when thoroughly developed, mycelium resembles a marshmallow layer inside the tray. Then it is processed via a series of private proprietary stages. Following this, the cloth is sent to a tannery, similar to how regular leather is taken.
The firm has worked with sustainable tanneries that use a process that eliminates hazardous compounds like chromium. However, since it is not genuine animal skin, it requires quite a bit of processing. The whole production process of mushroom leather adheres to the circular economy philosophy and is entirely sustainable since this natural fiber degrades entirely at the end of its life. The discharged organic waste streams, such as agricultural waste, are valorized after the process.
The Marvelous Benefits of Mushroom Leather
Mushroom leather has an excellent environmental effect that extends beyond substituting animal and synthetic leather; it also addresses the issue of plastic pollution. Mushroom leather is a lightweight and very flexible material that lends itself to a wide variety of applications. According to tests done by Zvnder, a German business specializing in mushroom leather accessories, mushroom leather had many medicinal perks for people dealing with skin conditions.
Mushroom leather accessories helped to reduce the severity of athlete’s foot, eczema, and other skin irritants. Additionally, due to its naturally porous nature, mushroom leather may absorb a significant amount of moisture. That means you can say goodbye to sweaty and smelly shoes and clothes. It also means that items manufactured of this material are exceptionally light and highly insulating.