Past Event

Making and Knowing Project “Coloring Textiles with Bugs” Workshop

May 12, 2018 - May 13, 2018
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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Genspace, 140 32nd Street, Suite 108, New York

May 12, 2018: 10AM - 1:30PM
May 13, 2018: 1 - 5PM

The Making and Knowing Research Cluster at the Center for Science and Society is partnering with GenSpace to offer the “Coloring Textiles with Bugs: Old [Cochineal] and New [Bacteria]” workshop. The two-part class will be led by Project Manager Naomi Rosenkranz and former Making and Knowing student Sumeyye Yar.

In this hands-on workshop, participants 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:

  • 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 printed microbial designs with 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!

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the workshop’s Eventbrite page.