Imagine a coat grown from natural materials that feels light and airy, but it shields you in extreme cold.
Or a sheet of Reishi™ grown for connectivity.
Imagine growing bulletproof leather.
“The great eras in human history are described by their material, from the Stone Age and the Bronze Age to the Iron Age. Now we’re entering the era of Biomaterials.” – Matt Scullin, MycoWorks CEO
Welcome to a new era of materials crafted from nature and refined for performance. MycoWorks is unleashing the power of Fine Mycelium™ to Grow the Future of Materials.
How did we get here?
Until now, a designer’s work has always been limited by what the market has on hand.
Imagine you’re a leatherworker or a designer with the vision to produce an object of desire, with unique requirements for drape, thickness, softness, and hand-feel. What tannery or mill can deliver these specifications to your required quantities and timeline?
Animal leather, the original performance material, is an industry that has been refined and perfected for over ten thousand years. That’s an incredible heritage—with some daunting challenges when it comes to innovation. Leather alternatives, on the other hand, have almost always presented serious creative constraints, commonly failing to meet the time-tested quality standards of animal leather—let alone the sensual and emotional connection it evokes.
As a creator, you can have the most visionary ideas imaginable, but ultimately, your creation will be constrained by something outside of your control: the material available.
At MycoWorks, we’ve set out to reverse that equation.
What if we could engineer and fine tune materials that meet any designer’s precise specifications and unique creative vision? What if it wasn’t the constraints of any existing materials that determined the act of creation—but simply the designer’s creative dream?
That is the inspiration behind Fine Mycelium™.
Welcome to Freedom of Creation.
Come with us on a journey.
Imagine that you’ve just walked in from a busy street, into a cool, quiet room.
On a large table in front of you, a dozen sheets of material in varied earth tones are loosely stacked, radiating an aura of timelessness.
You hold a sheet in your hands. It feels light and airy. It’s tan and soft, warm and springy; the textured surface responds as you pass your hand across the sheet. It has a subtle scent, like a forest, like clean resin, like timeless tranquility. It feels alive.
You lift another sheet—a rich, brown hue. This one is smooth, emitting a slight sheen under the room’s soft light. Now your curiosity has come alive. It’s so pleasurable to touch. You drape and bend the material to see it from different angles, pulling it taut. The sheet responds with grace, unphased. It feels like real leather.
This is Reishi™.
Reishi™ is made using Fine Mycelium™, MycoWorks’ patented technology. It’s the first biomaterial of its kind—the first to offer the quality and performance of the finest animal leathers, but with something new: infinite customizability. Fine Mycelium™ is a technology that makes Reishi™ tunable at every stage and dimension of the growth process.
It signals a completely new era in the history of materials: a moment of unparalleled design freedom.
“The desire to add quality animal leather alternatives to the design process is decades old and the demand from consumers is ever-growing. Why hasn’t the shift already started? Because MycoWorks’ Fine Mycelium™ technology is the first to meet their quality standards.” – Patrick Thomas, Luxury Industry Leader and MycoWorks Board Director.
This moment has been decades in the making.
From the beginning, the MycoWorks journey has been a story of biotechnology rooted in art, a relentless commitment to quality and performance.
It began with the collaborative quest of founding artists Sophia Wang and Phil Ross. For decades, Phil had wedded biotechnology and craftsmanship to create a completely new class of material with mycelium. Sophia Wang, a dancer, writer, activist and entrepreneur, understood the importance of storytelling in sharing Phil’s mycelium biotechniques with the world. She stepped forward to lead their efforts, and in 2013, MycoWorks was born.
“The genesis for Reishi™ is the radical intersection of art and science.” – Sophia Wang, MycoWorks co-founder and Chief of Culture.
Three years later, the first Fine Mycelium™ sheet was introduced to the world during the team’s participation in the biotech accelerator program, IndieBio. Compelled by the rare opportunity to bring a truly new material into the world, successful materials science entrepreneur Matt Scullin joined MycoWorks as CEO in 2017. Matt helped transform MycoWorks’ potential into a reality by introducing Fine Mycelium™ as a patented materials platform.
In 2020, when MycoWorks’ pioneer product, Reishi™, debuted at New York Fashion Week, it was the first time the public had seen or held a material made with Fine Mycelium™. The following year, Hermès introduced the first object ever made with Fine Mycelium™, the Victoria bag in Sylvania, the result of an exclusive collaboration by Hermès and MycoWorks.
Three decades of working across art, science, and technology have passed in the blink of an eye. Now, MycoWorks is the world leader in advanced mycelium materials, and is scaling up to meet rising demand—inspiring a growing movement to unleash the power of Fine Mycelium™ for an unprecedented freedom to create. Together, we’re on a journey to Grow the Future of Materials.
And we’re taking you with us.
Explore Fine Mycelium™, a breakthrough in creative freedom.
It starts with a designer’s dream. What do you want to create? What texture, drape, density and flexibility do you envision for your materials?
Mycelium is a dynamic and powerful aspect of nature. The “root-like” part of mushrooms, mycelium forms intricate, interlocking threads that create vast networks underground. Through a proprietary engineering process known as Fine Mycelium™, MycoWorks has unlocked the vast potential in mycelium’s dynamic tapestries.
Fine Mycelium™ engineers mycelium cells as they grow to create three-dimensional structures: densely entwined, inherently strong. Each sheet has a unique code that allows our Fine Mycelium™ experts to monitor and fine-tune a customer’s desired material, from inoculation to harvest.
“Growing Fine Mycelium™ sheets is a carefully choreographed ritual involving the body, the hands, and critical decisions at every step,” says Sophia Wang, MycoWorks co-founder and Chief of Culture.
Specifications like drape, softness, thickness and strength are unique in each tray. Adding an optional composite layer enhances the Fine Mycelium™ sheet for customized performance: Kevlar for strength, silk for sumptuous smoothness, gold to redefine luxury. A handbag, a luxury car seat, a designer sneaker—each dreamed-up material comes to life inside its own tray.
Within weeks, custom-made Fine Mycelium™ sheets are harvested at their peak and ready to send to our tannery partners, where they are finished in a chrome-free tanning process. A new sheet of Reishi™ is born.
A universe of endless possibilities
Now, the tools are in your hands. Using traditional leather craft and tools, you work with Reishi™, experiencing its incredible versatility and performance. You translate the uniqueness of a specific sheet of Reishi™ into a unique product: the object of a designer’s dream, made real. The material you have in your hands has the feel of the finest leather, but the imprint of something completely new.
Having witnessed firsthand the powerful effect of Fine Mycelium™’s freedom to customize, you now begin to imagine what the future of materials might actually look like.
Imagine growing bulletproof leather.
Or a high performance shoe grown into shape using Fine Mycelium™ technology.
Imagine slick wallets in a stitchless, leather-like material.
Or a jacket that changes its color in response to sunlight.
Welcome to the Future of Materials.