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Mycelium used as leather alternative in hat collection

Swatches | November 1, 2023 | By:

From left to right: The Lingzhi is a flat-brim 100% straw hat with an Ecuadorian straw crown and a 1 1⁄2-inch Reishi™ band and bow and Reishi brim and full binding. The Ganoderma is a flat-brim hat made from 100% dress-weight felt with a 2-inch Reishi band with green edge finishing. The Mycelium is a bucket hat made 100% from Reishi with a black edge binding. Images: Nick Fouquet

Luxury hatmaker Nick Fouquet, headquartered in Venice, Calif., collaborated with MycoWorks, a biomaterials technology company based in San Francisco, Calif., to add three new hats to its Made with Reishi™ collection launched in July 2022.

The collection features products made from Fine Mycelium™, a leather alternative created by MycoWorks. 

Fine Mycelium is a biomaterial sheet grown from mycelium using a patent-pending tanning approach. It is intended to replace current mycelium-based materials that rely on polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride films, backings or fillers.

Rather than including mycelium as an ingredient in Reishi, MycoWorks’ sheets are grown from 100% mycelium.

“While most plant- or mycelium-based alternative materials use plastic to meet baseline performance standards, MycoWorks has spent 10 years taking no shortcut in order to achieve
the biotech innovations behind our proprietary process,” says Matt Scullin, CEO of MycoWorks. 

Fine Mycelium began production on a commercial scale in Union, S.C., in September 2023. Prototypes of the material were first unveiled in 2016.

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