Cooking and Culturing Colour Part IV

It’s results day! It’s only been 48 hrs since our last workshop and our plates and fabric samples are already brimming with pigmented bacterial cultures. Our fourth workshop session takes us through the final steps of bacterial dyeing textiles, which involves printing using the stencils we prepared on Tuesday and getting all the samples ready to be autoclaved. The autoclave step is necessary to ensure all the samples can safely leave the lab. The colour often darkens significantly after the autoclaving process, so you won’t know what the final product will be until the fabric is autoclaved, gently washed, and dried.

Many bacteria dyes — as well as many food waste dyes — are UV sensitive. As a result, the colours are not stable even after the textiles have dried post-autoclave. This workshop produced dozens and dozens of food waste and bacteria-dyed samples, and as an epilogue to this workshop series, Vanessa is preparing an experiment to test just how UV sensitive these samples are. More information about this is forthcoming!

Thanks so much, Vanessa, for preparing such a generous and detailed workshop for the lab. Visit her Instagram page to keep up with her research and exhibitions.

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