On March 15, 2018 SDU’s BodyBioSoft Lab partnered with WAAG TextileLab Amsterdam to co-host the TCBL BioShades event ~ a distributed workshop and series of live-streamed talks about dyeing textiles with bacteria. The event was held simultaneously at 15 partner labs around the world, as part of TCBL ~ The EU Textile and Clothing Business Labs network.

During the workshop participants learnt about the potential of bacteria dyeing and how to do it themselves. They got to know the members of other labs, experts from different fields, and workshop participants. The event was as much about bringing people together as it was about learning a new skill, based on the premise that we can only make a difference together.

Textile Dyeing

The textile industry is one of the worst offenders when it comes to global pollution, and oe of the most environmentally disastrous processes is dyeing the fibres and textiles that become our clothes. To satisfy the colour demands of designers, industry and consumers, dangerous chemicals are released each day into the fragile environment. In the fast-paced fashion, clothing and textile industry, the list of chemical treatments is always expanding, and very few alternative dyeing options are being explored. TCBL BioShades investigates dyeing with bacteria as a less harmful alternative, documenting and sharing knowledge in the process.

TextileLab Amsterdam

TextileLab Amsterdam organised and hosted the event. Situated at WAAG, TextileLab brings together fashion, textile and material designers, researchers, artists, engineers and other creatives to explore the future of the textile and clothing industry. Together we experiment with craftsmanship, heritage, technology, digital fabrication and biology, sharing knowledge as we push the boundaries of the textile and clothing industry. The objective is to explore alternative values for the textile and clothing industry by innovating in the design and production process, and in the process, create a platform for social innovation that combines the practices of WAAG’s Open Wetlab, Fablab, and TextileLab.


TCBL ~ The EU Textile and Clothing Business Labs network aims to renew the European Textile & Clothing sector. Together, we are exploring new ways to design, make, and work together, and inventing new business models to open up new markets. BioShades is one of the research topics.

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