In this hands-on workshop, you will learn both the history and the science of coloring textiles with organisms using historical techniques and new scientific developments. Explore the long tradition of dyeing cloth brilliant shades of red with cochineal insects. Then, discover new cutting-edge techniques of printing textiles with colorful microbes. We will delve into the world of sustainable natural dyes and create artful textile collages.
In this workshop, you will:
Learn about the history and chemistry of natural colorants and dyes
Follow 500-year- old recipes from the Renaissance to dye wool and silk yarns with cochineal bugs
Learn how genetic engineering and bacterial cultures can be used to replace synthetic dyes in the future
Paint with bacteria and then print your designs on cotton
At the end, combine your printed microbial designs with your hand-dyed cochineal textiles to create a decorative art piece to take home
No experience in biology, chemistry, dyeing, or colormaking is necessary and all are welcome!