Main ingredients


काई | KAAI

A carbon-negative alternative to traditional Indian block printing.

Microalgae, microorganisms that perform photosynthesis: they absorb CO2 and convert it to O2. Algae produces more than 50% of the world's oxygen. They purify waste water and have the ability to remediate its surrounding land, water and air. 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 to use natural and local dyes, today the 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 super power, could produce hand crafted textiles that would capture more carbon in the process of harvesting it than it emits.

Text submitted by the maker

Ingredient list

Spirulina, Alginate based thickener, Sunlight


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

Photo credits

Maël Hénaff

Physical samples

0052-1, 0052-2, 0052-3
Accessible to visitors of the Future Materials Lab