MA biodesign

bacterial dyes

Bacteria dyeing is an ecofriendly dyeing technique for textiles that avoids toxic chemicals and water waste. Bacteria can be cultured anywhere in the world in sterile laboratories.

For this project we cultured Janthinobacterium lividum, regularly found in soil. By metabolizing carbon sources such as glycerol and glucose, this bacteria produces violacein, giving rise to a distinctive violet colour. We experimented with the dye on various textiles. Each fabric was first dipped into hot agar +1% glycerol solution and then autoclaved. Later, the bacteria was inoculated on the fabric alternating two different techniques: 500µl drop of liquid culture and plate culture directly on the sample. The fabric was then put in an incubator at 25°C in the dark. Results shown are after 1 week.

project details
  • done at Central Saint Martins, MA biodesign
  • date January 2020
  • project by Cinzia Ferrari, Paula Camiña, Emily Roscoe, Moisés Hernandez, Meiqi Peng.