Are Mushrooms the Future of Alternative Leather?

MycoWorks uses mycelium, the substance in the root structure of mushrooms, to make Reishi, which has the look and feel of leather. Big-name companies are very interested.

In 2007, Philip Ross, an artist based in the Bay Area, was preparing for an exhibit. It demonstrated his work with “mycotecture,” the creation of materials from the manipulation of mycelium, which is the substance comprising the root structure of mushrooms. Mr. Ross bought mushroom spores from local farmers and coaxed them to grow into a substance he describes as akin to medium-density fiberboard. Preparing for the exhibit, he met Sophia Wang, then a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Berkeley, who

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