Summer Semester 2010,



How can I recycle fabric scraps in an aesthetically pleasant way?

What is the colour potential of plants?

Textiles are valuable resources, but their production is often tied to a series of environmentally harmful aspects. The production of one kilogram of cotton, from planting the seed to the final garment, consumes more than 20,000 litres of water and 15-20 kilowatts of energy. And this does not include agricultural space that is needed, cost of pesticides, let alone the moral cost of the often unfair working conditions for labourers. Instead of over production, throw-away-mentality and piles of waste, we are in need of a more sustainable and material saving approach to textiles. This can mean the use of material that already exists, but is usually discarded: fabric remnants.

This is where the project “sliding colours” sets in, utilizing traditional patchwork techniques. Instead of throwing fabric remnants away, they are systematically assembled to create new textile surfaces. In the project all pieces of fabric were white in colour and were cut offs that have been left over from clothing produc- tion. The resulting monochrome, geometric surface appears to be lively and irregu- lar due to the different material, shades of colour and individual weave textures of the textile remnants. Once the fabric is dyed, it‘s most interesting aesthetic is uncovered. Dyes derived from petals, leaves and berries are used as natural dyes with a surprisingly wide and varied colour spectrum. Different types of fabric absorb the biological dyestuffs in different intensities, creating a diversity of amazing new hues. In combination with the geometric design patterns,

structures are created which are almost reminiscent of digital grid images. Even after the initial dying process the colours change through washing.

Again the differently structured pieces absorb the dye in different ways and sometimes are re-dyed by bleeding colours from another piece. Which is why the “sliding colours” fabric is ideally suited for clothing that could change its look and appeal with every wash, changing colour rapidly if worn often. In this way the fabric would immediately communicate it‘s wearer’s passion for a particular piece.





Supervision Prof. Dr. Zane Berzina, Prof. Susanne Schwarz-Raacke, Prof. Heike Selmer
Project categoryProject