As the researchers at the University of Guelph suggest, now it is time to ditch organic cotton for comparatively more sustainable hagfish slime if you have been looking for the most environmentally friendly fabric for your next apparels’ collection. Extracted from the deep-sea creature, the gooey material is actually a protein that transforms itself into a tough fiber when it is exposed to water.
Folks at Guelph harvested hagfish slime, dissolved it in liquid and then reassembled the structure to convert it into a usable material. The protein threads are 100 times thinner than a human hair, yet 10 times stronger than a nylon thread. Now, the researchers are seeking biomimetic ways to genetically engineer bacteria that could assist the fabrication of slime proteins.
So, while researchers find out and transplant slime-making genes into bacteria for industrial scale production of the sustainable material, you can see yourself (through your mind’s eye, obviously) donning a hagfish slime dress.
Image Credit: CNet