Human Microorganism Textiles Questions and Developmental Ideas.

During my research into Textile Body Suits I discovered the artist Sonja Baumel whose work is about the ‘life on the human body and its design applications,’ she is  ‘exploring the human skin and its potential.’  Her ‘on-going research and creative process. This work is part of the (In)visible membrane project which consists of following projects: crocheted membrane, oversized petri dish, bacteria texture, visible membrane I and bacteria textile’ 

Sonja Baumel. 2009. Visible Membrane . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 01 January 15].


‘What fascinates me is the human skin, the layer between the inside and the outside. a second skin can be found on our skin. It is a layer full of life, which serves as a membrane for exchange. This body membrane is made from the same substance as the world. The human body does not end with its skin, but it is invisibly expanding into space. The hidden membrane is something between our body and our environment. We enter this invisible micro level with a microscope and then enlarge it with design.’

Sonja Baumel. 2009. Visible Membrane . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 01 January 15].

‘What happens if we make the micro world of the human body perceivable? I want to confront people with the fact that our body is a large host of bacteria and that a balanced perception of the body is closely linked with a balanced perception of the self.’

Sonja Baumel. 2009. Visible Membrane . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 01 January 15].


I personally found her work fascinating and wondered about its possibilities further. Could it be a new textile in itself. Can the human body be used to create different textiles from just the mico-organisms of our skin?

Could this new form of textile then have the possibilities to turn into something else? Could it have a function?

I know that bacteria is used to make medicines so perhaps this human micro-organism textile could be developed into a medical textile with the right knowledge and study?

Also what are the other properties of this new textile? Perhaps it could be used for something else? What else can human bacteria/micro-organism be used for?

By making the micro-organisms more visible by letting them grow onto textiles it would be easier to control and handle…. therefore what could the possibilities be? what are the potentials that this could be turned into?

I would like to experiment with this myself and begin growing my own human micro-organisms onto textiles.

I will also relate this back to my lectures. Finding out what fibre types work best when growing the micro-organisms and why some work better than others. What is its functionality? Can it be constructed further? what is it’s sustainability?


Sonja Baumel. 2009. Visible Membrane . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 01 January 15].