Mushroom Skin Best combo


Hi guys :slight_smile:

Your forum has been really valuable so far, thankyou for sharing :blush: . I hope I can contribute with a project I want to start soon.
I’m about to do a couple of mycelium material grows and wanted to run my plan by you for any expert tips!
I hope to make as best a “mushroom skin” as I can, using the little equipment/materials I have access to.

So here it goes:

  • Two species in mind: a pleurotus sp. and G.Lucidum (I have the option to also test trametes versicolour, but I have read that it is very hard and tough…) - preferably just 1 species, which would be reishi
  • Substrate: hardwood sawdust in bags
    -> Once bags are colonised, I crumble (or blend?? - maybe to risky?) the mycelium into thin trays and cover for recolonisation. I assume this is a crucial part to improve “skin-like” properties via additives. Preferably 5 trays (same species/substrate), one control, 4 different additives. Thickness of tray ~1cm (as I hope to heat press end results to ~1-2mm).
    ==> Additives to the tray (at what stage(s)?): PEG equivalent (eg natural emolients shea/cocoa butter) and/or glucose sprayed on with water mix (light spray every day for a thin layer of moisture??), boiled used latex gloves or plastic bags (chopping up etc…)
    ==> Any other ideas for accessible additives that I should try to increase elasticity? Waste cotton from local elastic textiles is also an option, such as used stockings or underwear lining.
  • Once the tray is colonised into a thin mycelium layer, I will try a a couple of post-treatments such as: 1) a 48hour soak in glycerin then a low temp bake 2) a heat press
  • If there are noticeable leather/skin-like properties at this stage I’d be happy :smiley: , and if so, I would like to try some further coatings, such as oils, and also flexural and tensile tests to get as thin and skin-like as possible and get results.

Any advice would be so helpful!

Peace out mushies,

Hello, I'm Lovis

Hi @MycoPete. Your protocol looks promising and I see a lot of knowledge I’ve read elsewhere on the forum come back. I’ve got to add that it goes beyond my own knowledge though. It seems right up the alley of @Gammarra and Simon, a colleague of @Elise

I also remember that Kristel Peeters did some experiments with a range of coatings at some point. She’s not on the forum (yet). I’ll refer this thread to her, let’s hope she wants to share some of her experiences :slight_smile:


well I do wonder if any source of gelatin in the substrate would improve the overall protein content, shrimp skins adn the like should increase your protein ration and elasticity


Hmmm. Gelatin would be interesting - maybe some micro-additions/droplets during the tray recolonisation rather than before the initial bag colonisation?

I am very interested in the shrimp skin additions! @Gammarra, you mentioned they increase elasticity - is there research behind this or is it chemically true? If so, what about other waste meat skeletal products like chicken leg cartilage :smiley:


well the whole idea is that most of this mushrooms are also producen chitosan much like the shrimps so having it already available, might help.

I checked sci-hub and google scholar, and the research is undecided, seem slike chitosan solutions inhibit fungal growth in undesrided mushrooms so no idea, which way it will go


Hi @MycoPete and @Gammarra,

I also want to experiment with adding chitosan. Did you do the test yet?
And is it possible to use chitin too? Or does it have to be chitosan?


Chitosan is made by treating the Chitin shells of shrimp and other crustaceans with an alkaline substance, like sodium hydroxide. It is the deacetylated Chitin derivative, so the ease with which is digested should be the only difference.


@Gammarra Thanks for your information.