Textiles Created from Cow Dung

Jalila Essaïdi considers herself an artist, but this young Dutch artist has a very scientific side, relying heavily on biotechnology to create work that often focus on nature, the environment, and sustainability. Aware that large amounts of cow dung take a toll on waterways and lead to algae blooms and other ecological issues, Essaïdi has found a way to use the cellulose in cow dung to create bioplastics, biopaper, and textiles.

Her creation is called Mestic, a name derived from the word ‘mest,’ or ‘manure’ in Dutch.

Working with several partners, she produced a fashion show featuring a variety of creations from Mestic-derived fabrics. Ecouterre, a site devoted to the future of sustainable fashion, ran an article about Essaïdi with images of the fashions created from the materials derived from cow manure.

Essaïdi hopes to make Mestic compatible with three-dimensional printing, but she told Ecouterre that the material’s melting temperature is a barrier she has yet to overcome. While she has no plans to produce the material on a large scale, she hopes to license the technology. In the meantime, she is looking to other types of dung for new sources of inspiration.