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Fashioning Fungi: The Threads that Connect Us

Our practice is rooted in interdisciplinary collaborations with farmers, artists, designers, fiber folks, technologists, and scientists. By merging many disciplines, we are able to have a broader impact. Fiberhouse Collective facilitates hands-on workshops and learning experiences for people of all ages and backgrounds, enabling participants to explore their inherent creativity through handcrafted textiles. We aim to educate, share, expose, and re-imagine together by exploring the threads that connect us. We are proposing the speculative use of mushrooms as a closed-loop solution to textile waste and food scarcity.

Mushrooms are nature’s decomposer, breaking down not just trees, but also other cellulose-based materials, including cotton and linen. Through a partnership with the fungal queendom, we can turn our unwanted clothes into a food source by training edible mushrooms to decompose cellulose-based fabrics. As the garment we will create changes color, myceliates, and fruits, spectators will have a chance to view bioart in action. In order to grow, mushrooms need a controlled environment. We use this to our advantage, constructing a sealed yet transparent “closet” that viewers can observe over time. Everyone eats and everyone wears clothes, but not everyone connects food and fashion to where it all begins: the farm. With the increasing ecological challenges our world is facing, now more than ever, it is vital to understand, cultivate, and forage fungi. By taking biodesign out of the lab, we want to share some of the ways mushrooms can save the world, both underground and on our bodies.

Fiberhouse Collective

Nica, xiili, and Justin represent the Fiberhouse Collective. Nica Rabinowitz is founder and director of Fiberhouse Collective. She is an artist, designer, and educator working at the intersection of biological design, social justice, farming, and textile creation—exploring handcraft from farm to fabric and from soil to soil. Her practice is rooted in the restorative properties […]