Past Event

Coloring Textiles with Bugs: Old [Cochineal] and New [Bacteria]

November 30, 2019 - December 1, 2019
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
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Genspace (Suite 108), 132 32nd Street, New York

Event Description: 

In this hands-on workshop, 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. This course will delve into the world of sustainable natural dyes and create artful textile collages.

In this workshop:

  • 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 with pre-prepared bacterial designs on cotton fabric
  • 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!

Event Speakers:

Event Information: 

Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite. Hosted by Genspace.

Event is a continuation of the Center for Science and Society Public Outreach Grants