DIY or DYE - BadLab project

From Hackteria Wiki
Revision as of 18:52, 25 June 2019 by Dusjagr (talk | contribs) (Lab Equipment:)
Jump to: navigation, search


BAD LAB is a collective laboratory of ideas and practices around plants. It consists in installations, library, screenings, workshops, cooking, sound and movement. Starting from Lisa Biedligmeier's healing explorations, Maya Minder's fermentation practices and the expression "mauvaises herbes" in French, as developed by Anne-Laure Franchette in her research and installations, we wondered what could be a bad plant and how we could collectively explore this notion. We realised that watching a small part of the planetary garden could give us a better insight into the structures of a larger system. What is a "Bad Lab" compared to a scientific laboratory? It focuses on explorations rather than on delivering results. We are as interested in chemical reactions than in the complex relationships between society and our environment. Think globally, act locally.

Link to BAD LAB:


DIY or DIE Is an transdisciplinary workshop led by Corinna Mattner and Maya Minder on the topic of coloring fabrics with wild herbs and bacteria, which takes place in the context of the exhibition UNFINISHED BUSINESS at Sattelkammer, Bern.

We will approach the art of dyeing by means of DIYbio methods and old knowledge about plantdye and natural coloring. We use plants, bacteria and ferments directly to dye fabrics and create uncontrolled design and patterns. In the framework of the theme of the exhibition „unfinished business“ the aspect of empowerment by DIY is celebrated threw the moment of liberation - Just do it! Embroidery hoops stand as a symbol of the time we save, which we take as free time by growing beyond the collective stick tradition of manual work, no longer embroidering the fabric with rules and slogans, but use nature itself, its signs leaves to create traces of stories.

This workshop is a lot about the playful approach of learning and unlearning threw female and sensory and experimental perception. We try not to follow strict protocols and fix applied methods, but rather dig into the diversity that nature offers of untoxic plants and microbes, rewriting strings of (His)stories in search for new practice in old hidden eastern and western history, when human capability of understanding and perceiving the world threw science were closer linked together.

Lab Equipment:

List of Lab Equipment needed made by fabricademy (

Bildschirmfoto 2019-05-16 um 00.29.56.png

Find more sources and information on:



Vienna Textile Lab:

Textilelab Amsterdam

Living Colour: - Color made in microbes designed by humans

Bildschirmfoto 2019-05-15 um 23.45.30.png

History from Natural to Synthetic Dyes

There are two types of dyes. Natural, those come from animal or plant sources and synthetic, those that are manmade. If you were trying to dye clothing before synthetic dyes were discovered in 1856, you would have had to use natural dyes. Some of the most known are the animal dyes tyrian purple and cochineal and the plant dyes madder and indigo or saffflower in Europe. Tyrian purple was one of the moste desired natural dyes made of snails. As legend has it, a sheep dog belonging to Herules was walking along the beach in Tyre. He bi into a small mollusk which turned his mouth the color of coagulated blood. This became known as royal or tyrian purple. It brought great prosperity to Tyre around 1500 BC and for centuries it was the most expensive animal dye money could buy, worn by Cesaer, Cleopatra and entire european king houses. Corchineal is a crimson dye made from cactus insects. It was introduced to Europe from Mexico by the Spanish sea voyagers. It was used as cloth dye, artists’ pigment, and much later as a food dye. This is also required a huge seasonal harvest seeing as 17’000 dried insects produced a single ounce of dye. Plant dyes are generally cheaper and in greater supply. The most common being madder red and indigo blue. Madder came from the roots of 35 species of plants found in Europe and Asia. It has been found in the cloth of mummies and was the first dye to be used as camouflage.

Animal Fibers

Animal Fibers are natural fibers that consist largely of particular proteins. Instances are silk, hair and fur (including wool) and feathers. Wool Silk Hair Feather

Plant-derived vegetable fibres

The principal chemical component of vegetable fibers is cellulose, with varying amounts of lignin and hemicelluloses also usually present; thus the fibers are also referred to as cellulosic or lignocellulosic. Cotton Linen Ramie Hemp Raffia Jute

Bildschirmfoto 2019-05-15 um 23.50.38.png

On Natural Dye and sources:

Why not research how to dye easter eggs

DIY Natural


All Natural Dyeing

Natural Products that give dye:




Safflower oder Färberdistel


japanischer Knöterich

blaue Kartoffeln



Wildherbs that create natural patterns:






Chemicals used in Synth Dye:

Synthetic color agents are largely produced threw petrol industry and its chemicals. It is very toxic and polluting our natural water sources and ecosystems. Beyond the fashion industry synthetic dye and color industry is a shadow industry that reveals the real impact and scales in ecological pollution.

Alkylphenols Azo dyes Brominated and chlorinated flame retardants Cadmium, lead, mercury and chromium Chlorinated solvents Chlorobenzenes Chlorophenols Organotin compounds Pefrluorinated chemicals Phthalates Short-chain chlorinated paraffins

Bacterial Dye

Bildschirmfoto 2019-05-17 um 16.15.09.png

Purple: Janthinobacterium lividum

RED: Arthrobacter agilis


Micrococcus Luteus

Streptomyces Colicolor

More Related Links and other projects:

Open Calls on Textile making:

Fastweb Digital Academy:

Urban Bee Lab - Pigmented Bacteria:

Article - Bacterial dyes in Fashion:

Living Color - iBook:

Creative in Residence at Ginkgo Bioworks:

Faber Futures:

Middleage Wiki (Germ.)

Links to ethnobotanical References:

(feel free to add)

• Paracelsus Paracelsus (1493 - 1541), Theophrastus Bombast von Hohenheim, fälschlich auch Philippus Theophrastus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim genannt, deutscher Arzt und Reformator der Medizin Quelle: Paracelsus, Mensch und Schöpfung Alle Dinge sind Gift, und nichts ist ohne Gift. Allein die Dosis macht, daß ein Ding kein Gift ist.

Heilkräuter Lexikon Online (German)

Date & Location

Saturday 24. March 2019

[1],Sattelkammer is an artspace based in Bern, curated by Mirijam Gallo


Workshop is happening from 11-16 Uhr: 1. Introduction of the workshop participants

2. Bleching and dressing up, prepare color bath (we skiped the bacteria, this will happen next time, need more scientists and designers!)

3. Walk: foraging for wild herbs

4. Pattern creation and steam baths, this is were the magic happens


WhatsApp Image 2019-05-17 at 16.03.05.jpeg IMG 5643.JPG IMG 5646.JPG IMG 5649.JPG IMG 5653.JPG IMG 5655.JPG IMG 5660.JPG IMG 5662.JPG IMG 5665.JPG IMG 5670.JPG IMG 5673.JPG IMG 5677.JPG IMG 5683.JPG IMG 5686.JPG IMG 5687.JPG