How to make synthetic leather from mushrooms

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How to make synthetic leather from mushrooms

Many have always argued that wearing outfits made from animal skin or fur is just a sign of man's inordinate vanity. There are many garments made with gree-like materials such as eco-leather. A leather-like material can be made from mushrooms.

This was supported by a team from the University of Vienna, who created a renewable sustainable fabric. It was published in the journal Nature Sustainability. Researchers explains that the production of synthetic leather materials from plastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyurethane (PU) also depends on chemicals derived from fossil fuels.

The scientist points out that mushrooms could represent an economic, sustainable and respectful raw material. A University of Vienna experts said: "Traditional leather can be considered a co-product of meat production, obtained from animals and synthetic polymers through processes increasingly considered ethically questionable and not very respectful of the environment.

We thought that materials similar to leather can be derived from fungi, recycling low-cost agricultural and forestry by-products such as sawdust, which could represent the raw material for the growth of the fungal mycelium."

The green turning point in fashion could come from mushrooms saving many animals

According to experts, the biomass sheets are very similar to leather and show comparable tactile properties. The first biotechnological companies are already marketing materials derived from mushrooms, which represent a precious and sustainable resource.

The replacement sheets contain chitin, a completely biodegradable substance, which acts as a stabilizer in the material, and polysaccharides such as glucans. The authors had previously conducted experiments on some fungal species treated to make paper and substances that could be used for isolation.

They said: "We examined the sustainability of bovine and synthetic leathers presenting an overview of the first developments and commercialization of skin substitutes derived from mushrooms. One of the main challenges will be to obtain homogeneous and consistent sheets, which show uniformity of thickness, color and mechanical properties.

We believe and hope that in the future studies and research will ensure that this new material based on fungal biomass plays a fundamental role in the use of ethically environmentally friendly fabrics." It is an ethical choice, which has long been supported by scientists and experts, which preserves the use of animal skins and furs to be used in the manufacture of clothing.