Thesis Statement:

Exploring mushrooms as a means of developing composite materials, paper, natural dyes and dyeing techniques for present and future applications.

Materials, it must be remembered – before they give form to the products we make- are also primarily products. A fungal growth that typically takes the form a domed cap on a stalk with gills on the underside of the cap is called a ‘Mushroom’. Unique in its ability to self propagate, mushroom belonging to the fungi kingdom sets itself apart from other natural blooms. It grows in abundance and does not require constant care.

A combination of plant-like characteristics having a cell wall and animal like bacterial growth. It is one of the the oldest species on earth. Materials of the new age are cultured for responsibly fashioning the products that have become an integral part of our lifestyle, by using natural ingredients. I intend to create materials and natural dyes using ‘Mushrooms’ as my key ingredient which serves as a valuable variety to the current range or products and materials. This is not a new ingredient of course, but a fresh shape, function, mood or application has been explored. As a fashion designer I was restricted to using a limited range of fabrics such as silk, cotton, synthetics and specialty materials like wool, rubber, and leather. Now, my interest is in finding unconventional, alternate materials that can be used as new, responsible products that do not pollute the environment.

The idea is to explore the properties and possibilities of mushroom based material, be like paper, dyes, or bio- plastic imitation of leather- in various forms.

This project marks the beginning of my explorations of materiality and how new, alternate sources and new configurations can help us find a way out of the labyrinth within which humanity stands lost and alienated from nature.

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