Remember MycoWorks, the company that developed leather that can be grown from mushroom roots? Now another company, Bolt Threads, has also cracked that biomaterials mystery and is bringing out its own version.
Called Mylo, the offering from Bolt–a company that got its start by developing synthetic spider silk–appears to be created using the same method as MycoWorks’, and of course offers the same environmental benefits:
Mycelium is the underground root structure of mushrooms. It grows as tiny threads that form vast networks under the forest floor. We developed Mylo™ from mycelium cells by creating optimal growing conditions for it to self-assemble into a supple, sustainable material that looks and feels remarkably like animal leather. Mylo™ can be produced in days versus years, without the material waste of using animal hides.
Bolt’s production methods were developed in collaboration with mycelium-minded Ecovative, who we last saw at the Biofabricate conference. The material they’ve come up with is strong, abrasion-resistant, can be imprinted with a variety of patterns and its overall dimensions, including thickness, can be controlled.
Mylo will first be shown to the public this Saturday, as the constituent material of a Stella-McCartney-designed bag to be shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum’s “Fashioned from Nature” exhibit in London.