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WORTH Partnership Project

Skin II

A probiotic textile technology created by embedding healthy bacteria in clothing fibres

Skin II

The message of the project

'Skin II' is a probiotic textile technology developed by encapsulating healthy bacteria into the fibres of clothing. It emphasises circular design from the start. To stimulate growth, skin commensal bacteria that are healthy on the skin are put into a textile fibre. This fabric finish, which has skin-enhancing characteristics and aids in the reduction of body and textile odour, is not only bio, but will also biodegrade in its native habitat. Natural odour control characteristics will extend the life of the finished product due to less laundry.

Skin II

The idea behind the project

Rosie Broadhead, a textile researcher and designer, and Dr. Chris Callewaert, a microbiologist, collaborated on this project. The moisture on the skin activates the technology when people rub the probiotic clothes, letting the good bacteria grow on the skin. The encapsulated bacteria have been linked to a lower body mass index, increased cell regeneration, and improved skin immunity.

Chemicals, heavy metals, and antimicrobials in fabric treatments have been shown to alter the flora on their skin. This breakthrough eliminates the need for chemical fabric treatments, such as antibacterial chemicals, which frequently include heavy metals like silver. Silver, the most often used antimicrobial finished textile, is known to release nanosilver into discharge water; this increase in antibacterial into the environment poses a health risk to aquatic species.

There is currently no commercial answer for textiles and apparel that use healthy skin commensal strains of bacteria. This method not only eliminates the need for hazardous chemical fabric treatments, but it also minimises the frequency with which people must wash their garments.

This project is a collaborative effort between humans and nonhumans to explore new methods of designing and engineering clothing that works for the body.

The diversity of bacterial species that dwell in close proximity and in connection with one another is essential for healthy skin. However, the urban environment, as well as contemporary fabrications and technology, has made it impossible to re-establish or sustain good bacteria that the body would be exposed to on a daily basis in a more natural setting.

This contemporary chemistry and shift in living patterns has weakened this ecosystem, making it less diversified and leaving the skin more vulnerable to skin disorders.

Skin II



Rosie Broadhead

United Kingdom

Dr Chris Callewaert