An eco-friendly textile dye made from algae

Blond and Bieber’s Algaemy project investigates the creative possibilities of various forms of algae.

Textile designer Essi Johanna Glomb and product designer Rasa Weber are the duo behind Blond and Bieber – a Berlin-based design studio interested in developing processes and concepts as types of modern day rituals. The step-by-step narrative of the studio’s latest project, Algaemy, reveals the ceremonial process involved in turning algae into a non-toxic textile dye.

Blond and Bieber’s work occupies an experimental space somewhere in between product and textile design. Because the design process is a central focus for the studio, textile acts as the physical tool with which to explore the thinking and story behind a concept.

In Algaemy, Glomb and Weber investigate the colour properties and creative possibilities of various forms of micro algae. While researching algae’s diverse usages across assorted industries, the designers were drawn to the vibrant pigmentations found in the organisms and how it could be used as a dye in the textile printing industry.

This led to a scientific project that involves growing algae in glass by blowing carbon dioxide into the glass bottles to aid photosynthesis. The algae is then filtered through fabric and made into a naturally pigmented paste, which can be used as an eco-friendly and completely non-toxic dye. The duo plan to introduce the algae dye to the market by designing a range of textiles with the paste. 

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