Flora Cao

Kombucha Leather Crafts

Class of: 2026

Major: Design and Technology BFA

Medium: Kombucha leather

Faculty: Jamie Kruse

Prompt: For this project we were asked conduct an exploration into creating and working with natural materials. I chose to make kombucha leather, which is a biofabricated material, sustainably produced by growing microbes known as SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) in a solution of tea, sugar and apple cider vinegar. Greenhouse gas emissions are significantly increased by the global livestock industry, and the production of animal leather requires substantial amounts of water and the use of numerous toxic chemicals. Kombucha leather, along with other microbial leathers are potential substitutes for animal leather.

I grew my SCOBY for about 6 weeks before taking it out to dry. I then made this tray and an origami dog with my dried kombucha leather.