Material

Spirulina

By

Made in

Biodegradable 242 Dye 48 Pigment 50 Alginate 10 Spirulina 4

Spirulina
Spirulina
Spirulina
Spirulina
Spirulina
Spirulina
Spirulina
Spirulina
Spirulina
Spirulina
Spirulina
Spirulina
Spirulina
Spirulina
Spirulina
Spirulina

Photos: Maël Hénaff

काई | KAAI

A carbon-negative alternative to traditional Indian block printing.

Microalgae, are microorganisms that perform photosynthesis: they absorb carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen. Algae produce more than 50% of the world's oxygen. They purify wastewater and have the ability to remediate the surrounding land, water and atmosphere. Spirulina is one such cyanobacteria commonly found in Jaipur. A city known for its rich textile heritage.

Hand Block Printing is synonymous with Indian culture and Jaipur is the city most associated with this craft and in particular, hand block printing. Block printing plays a major role in the local community of this city supporting thousands of skilled craftspeople.
Although historically the industry used natural and local dyes, today this industry uses almost entirely synthetic and artificial dyes that contribute to the harmful effects of global warming and pollute the local waterways, lakes and land with their toxic chemical composition.

This project explores how microalgae, a prolific, cheap and carbon-absorbing superpower, could produce hand-crafted textiles that would capture more carbon in the process of harvesting it than it emits.

Text submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank. For information about reproducing (a part of) this text, please contact the maker.

Future Materials Encounter

Future Materials Encounters are a series of workshops and conversations around the materials of the Future Materials Bank. Each event in the series focuses on a specific material, staging a conversation between the maker and the audience.

Ingredients

Spirulina, alginate based thickener, sunlight

Credits

Raju, Wood Block Craftsperson, Bagru, Jaipur Sachin, Block Printer/Dye Maker, Sachin Block Prints Pigment Kriti Gupta, Natural Dye and Block Printing Expert, Wabisabi Project Felix LewisOscar, Microbiologist Florence Hawkins & Tansy Hamley, Specialist Technicians, Print and Dye, Central Saint Martins

Physical samples

  • 0052-1

  • 0052-2

  • 0052-3

Accessible to participants at the Jan van Eyck Academie and during Open Studios.