Can we manipulate the mycelium or the textile material to allow mycelium growing only in certain areas? Could we use specific textile yarns as a Nutrient medium and other yarns as a support material? Could the outcome become a textile replacement having insulating and moisture-absorbing properties?
MycoTEX is a project aiming to develop a new composite material consisting of the combination of textile and mycelium. By developing a contemporary lightweight piece that insulates, absorbs moisture and mutes the sound, she envisions possibilities of applying such material for the creation of more energy efficient and more comfortable buildings or temporary architectures. This is particularly attractive, as such insulation material, once discarded, could be given back to the soil, turning additional nutrients. By exploring to which extent it is possible to control the growth of mycelium, the aim of the project is to control the flexibility of the resulting composite material.
Within her process, Aniela is currently exploring and testing:
- growing mycelium on natural fibres
- growing mycelium on different kind of knitted substrates like wool, linen, cotton, silk, polymer, etc.
- growing mycelium with polymer spacer fabrics in different tightnesses
- growing mycelium in a star shaped petri-dish
Her current focus is placed on the material’s textures. She’s noticing thta the fungus prefers growing on fabrics presenting an open structure and she’s currently developing support materials, taking into account that the growth will be influenced by the choice of the fabric, implemented as a substrate.