Our second test of material was Kombucha fabric.
Boil the water, the let cool to below 30° celcius. Add the tea and sugar, and infuse for 5 min. Do not use hot tea in the preparation (above 35 ° C), as it can kill the bacterial culture.
When the tea mixture is below 30 degrees celcius in temperature, pour into a sterilized canning jar (do not use a ceramic or metalic container), and cover with cloth. Leave to ferment at a temperature of 25 – 28 degrees celcius. The container should be open, but covered with some cloth or paper towel to avoid contamination.
Kombucha (also known as Manchurian fungus, tea fungus or Chinese fungus) is a fermented beverage with a slight acid taste obtained from sweetened tea fermented by a gelatinous microorganism colony. Organisms present are: Bacterium xylinum, Gluconobulario oxydans and fungi similar to yeasts, of Ascomycetes genus, such as Saccharomycodes ludwigii, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Pichia fermentans and Zygosaccharomyces bailii.
The growth of the kombucha culture, or ‘scoby’, is a process of growth in a span of eight to fourteen days depending on environmental conditions, reaching a thickness of seven to twelve millimeters.
Take out the Scoby culture from the jar and put it on a piece of wood or other type of base where it will dry. Spread baking soda on it with a spoon. The soda has to cover the entire surface. By hand, spread the baking soda to help the Scoby absorb it. Turn the scoby, repeat the previous process and let it dry. You can take out the excess bicarbonate with a paper towel. After it dries, you will have a sample of fabric that you can sew, cut, and print on.