In our project we look into a new possibility that could bring dyeing of textile back to coming from alive organisms: bacterial pigments for dyeing. What we call biodyeing! We take advantage of harmless bacteria that naturally produce pigments and we make them grow directly on the fabrics. This is the core concept of “Living Colors”, to use organisms to directly stain our textiles. Moreover, we can use natural growth properties of bacteria to generate patterns that remind us where this colours come from, alive organisms.
Much is yet to be known from this process. What textiles are better? How should we grow the bacteria? What colours are available? How can we create living patterns? How sustainable is it? How interesting for the current industry? Who wants to investigate further? What are the main drivers for this technological change? To answer these questions we took onto a hybrid method, using our scientific skills to research and experiment and interviewing relevant stakeholders involved in the world of bacterial pigments and their technologies. Our objective is to assess the possibilities of this technology, both in technical terms and within the economic and social environment in which biodyeing is to be developed.
The textile industry is far from sustainable. One of the issues concerns a tradition that has been practiced through millennia: dyeing of textiles. Traditional dyes from natural origins are substituted by synthetic dyes that have a broader colour range and better qualities. But this change also implied the use of toxic chemicals, production of these dyes through wasteful processes, etc. In this ACT project we search for new, more sustainable ways of dyeing textile, by using bacterial pigments.
This project is in collaboration with ArtEZ, Arnhem and part of 100yearWUR