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Living Lace

Mar 22, 2017

Project Summary

The clothing industry is one of the largest contributors to the earth’s pollution. Fashion fads go out of style just as quickly as they start trending, resulting in tons of textile waste being dumped into landfills. The effect of fast fashion is rapidly diminishing how we value clothing, the environment and ourselves. There is an urgent need to seek eco-friendly alternative materials and methods of production that are sustainable. While many have turned to growing bacteria cultures, straining soy waste and pressing dried fungi, I have approached this issue with a living material that will continue to grow with the wearer.

Living Lace explores our symbiotic relationship with nature by integrating fauna into fabric, creating a dynamic organic lace that transforms and evolves with time. Instead of deteriorating like conventional materials, Living Lace is an example of additive aging; it grows with the wearer. How the plant embroidery changes size, shape and colour is a direct reflection of how we take care of ourselves and, in turn, our environment.


Spanish moss (tillansia usneoides) is fastened to cotton cross-stitch fabric using a herringbone stitch and crochet yarn. Concealed magnet studs are sewn into strategic locations on the base garment and plant embroidery panels to attach them to each other. This allows the Living Lace accents to be mounted onto magnetic surfaces/frames while the base garment is being washed. It also enables to wearer to choose different types of accent panels to suit their preference.

Created By

Abital Ruth Teoh

School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University