What: Testing the growth of Janthinobacterium lividum, a bacteria producing the purple pigment Violacein, on different fabrics as a potentially more sustainable dyeing technique for the fashion industry
Why: Saving water consumption, avoiding toxic dyeing substances, better biodegradability
How: Lab experiments on different types of fabrics, inoculation techniques, autoclaving techniques, washing methods
Where: London, UK

This project was an exploration of alternative dyeing techniques for fashion applications, which nowadays is one of the most polluting and water consuming industries, spreading toxic substances in the environment and causing a dramatic impact. Bacteria pigments can be a more sustainable, natural and biodegradable alternative which opens up a variety of creative possibilities.
Variables tested:
Fabrics: viscose, cotton calico, tyvek, wool
Inoculation methods: paint / pipette
Autoclave methods: glass petri dish / paper bag
Washing methods: cold water / 10% salt solution / 1% sodium dodecyl sulfate
Steps:
Liquid culture preparation  |  Fabrics sterilization   Agar solution preparation  |  Bacteria inoculation  |  Growth over 6 days  Autoclaving the samples  |  Washing and drying  Results evaluation and comparison, including microscopic observation
Some of the process steps, and images of bacteria growth over 6 days: 16.01.2020 - 17.01.2020 - 21.01.2020
Fabric samples after autoclaving, washing, drying
Microscopic view of a bacteria-dyed tyvek dry sample
Project conducted with Cassandra Quinn, Carolina Kyvik Ruiz, Kit Ondaatje Rolls, Marie Melcore - within MA Biodesign, CSM UAL
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