First results growing fibers in kumbucha


I have been doing tests with growing natural fibers in kumbucha.
So far i have tested pine needles, lashing rope, the bark and the core of twigs (seperatly), and hay.

As this was my first time growing kumbucha i was very pleased with the outcome.

I tested the diffirent fibers by putting them in between 2 pieces and then let them dry.

when dry they looked like this.

For my new batch I am focusing more on natural materials, that (other than possibly giving more strength) are also good insulators. for example sheep wool, cattail (the bit at the top that is soft),…


Nice documentation! Have you compared pulling your “reinforced” sheets and pulling non-reinforced ones? To know the difference in strength.


In my thesis that I’m finishing this month, I did compare tensile strength of some ‘composites’. I used only one type of fibre and 4 types of production.

  1. grow the cellulose through the fibers ‘in-situ’, so in sterile conditions at the surface of the culture liquid (difficult to keep it there), then harvest and leave to air dry.

  2. same as (1.) but dehydrate instantaneously through a heat press.

  3. production after growing: place fibers between cellulose sheets while drying.

  4. mix the cellulose after harvesting, spread it out over fibres and air dry.
    mixed, with and without fibres:

the 4 dried samples together:

I performed tensile tests on those samples and conclusion is that the adhesion between the matrix (=cellulose) and the fibres doesn’t satisfy. Although, the cellulose does already provide more strength to the fibres! in the sheet itself, the loose fibre ‘sheet’ becomes a real sheet (some stiffness etc), and the tensile strength increases too, probably because thanks to the matrix of cellulose the different fibres work better together to resist the strength.

In a month or so I’m finished and I will share my complete thesis, with more precise data and lots of other (mainly strength-related) tests.