Self Healing Vegan Leather Jacket

Science Fields

A number of tools and items we use are made of different species of fungi. In recent years, researchers have managed to produce a wide variety of novel materials from mushrooms. They believe that fungi and their mycelia can be used in a wide range of areas, from surfboards to construction materials. Among the anticipated important uses of mycelium is creating a leather-like textile material, which can be used to produce various clothes.

Mycelium is the name given to a very thin, thread-like structure produced by some types of fungus. They resemble the root systems of trees and the threads constitute a web that grows in soil substrate or places such as rotting tree trunks.

Until recently, techniques for making vegan leather from mycelium required processing the material in a way that kills chlamydospores, which are the little nodules that act like growth points on mycelium threads – they can spring back to life and grow more mycelium under the right conditions. However, a group of researchers thought that protecting these nodules could lead to the creation of self-healing fabric and began researching new techniques.

The researchers grew their own clumps of mycelium by adding active chlamydospores to an aqueous solution containing carbohydrates, protein, and other nutrients. They waited for a thick crust to form on this liquid, took that layer, and laid it out to dry. During the drying process, they applied a mixture of chemicals and the optimum heat to give the material a leather-like texture without killing the embedded chlamydospores.

Afterward, they punched holes in that leather-like material and doused it with the liquid they used for stimulating the revival of chlamydospores. The mycelium soon grew over the holes. Once healed, the punched parts were as strong as the intact parts -however, the repairs could be seen from one side of the leather.

Researchers hope that self-healing mycelium leather can be on sale within the next 10 years, but there are still things to improve. Still, instead of throwing away your damaged leather jacket and buying a new one, wouldn’t it be nice to take a short stroll in the rain and see it completely renew itself?


  • 1. https://www.sciencenews.org/article/vegan-leather-fungi-repair-mycelium
  • 2. https://phys.org/news/2023-04-mycelium-self-healing-wearable-leather-like-material.html