Blossoms of Anthemis tinctoria and a wool sample dyed with them. Jenni-Liisa Yliniva, 2023.
The degree programme in Fashion, Textile Art and Material Studies takes part in an extensive project that combines the cultural tradition of colorants and textile dyeing with the development of new dyeing technologies and bio-based dyes. The international project is financed by the European Union's Horizon Europe framework programme.
For a designer, especially in the field of fashion and textiles, color
is one of the most important choices in the design process. However, few
consider where the color comes from to all the products around. It is
widely known that the production of dyes and dyeing involve considerable
environmental problems, which is why there will be a need for greener
ways of producing and using dyes in the future.
international Colour4CRAFTS project, research groups from different
disciplines and RD companies join forces to produce new information on
the culture history of using dyes and new technological applications of
bio-based dyes. Researchers and business partners examine what kind of
new perspectives history and traditional working methods could open for
the production and use of colors to solve environmental problems here
and now. In addition, it will be studied how traditional working methods
could be applied to produce and use dyes that are more environmentally
friendly than before.
ULapland focuses on education and new applications of dyeing, as well as the values and attitudes associated with natural colors
the project, the researchers of the University of Lapland's Fashion,
Textile Art and Material Studies examine, for example, how European
textile art and craftsmanship could promote the sustainable dyeing of
textiles in the future. The goal is to propose new applications for
traditional dyes and methods. In addition, they organise training
related to sustainable textile dyeing, where the production of colors is
studied using practical methods.
"We are interested, for
example, in how colors are taught in design and crafts, and how the use
of bio-based dyes can be learned," says Ana Nuutinen, Professor in
Fashion and Clothing from the University of Lapland.
researchers at the University of Lapland collect information from
artisans, designers and artists about the use, production and
development of natural dyes, as well as the motives for using them. For
example, what are the values, attitudes and meanings associated with
"We consider, for example, choices related to
colors and the values behind them, as well as conflicts of values and
interests of different parties. Color is one of the most effective
intangible elements used in the textile and clothing industry in the
design of various products, events and experiences. The choice of colors
affects the entire value chain of the product, from the beginning of
the design to recyclability. So how do you make sensible color choices,"
Professor Nuutinen states.
According to Professor Nuutinen, we
are used to the situation where the colors do not fade in dyed or
colored products which are produced industrially. This is considered a
sign of high quality.
"When we move towards sustainable
production of dyes, novelty colors can be undyed, natural-colored
materials and faded color shades. The question then is whether consumers
are ready to adapt to new sustainable color production methods and,
with that, potentially higher prices and a smaller color selection."
and attitudes also include awareness of environmental problems and an
understanding of one's own responsibility and opportunities for
influence. The subproject of the University of Lapland also examines the
role that design education plays in values and attitudes. Design
students as well as crafts professionals and enthusiasts are involved by
producing workshops, teaching materials and exhibitions about natural
Colour4CRAFTS: Color for Combining, Re-engineering, Applying, Futuring, Transforming, Stretching!, 2023–2026
the three-year international project, the cultural tradition of colors
and dyeing is combined with the latest technology. The project
investigates the cultural tradition of dyes and textile dyeing in
historical times and, on the other hand, the development of new dyeing
technologies and bio-based dyes using cultural historical information.
project is coordinated by the University of Helsinki. The partners are
the University of Lapland, the University of Leeds (Great Britain), the
University of Tartu (Estonia) and the Royal Institute for Cultural
Heritage of Belgia KIK-IRPA, as well as PILI Bio from France, which
develops colors using enzyme technology.
The total funding of the
project is 4.079 million euros, of which the financial contribution
received by the University of Lapland is 336,000 euros. The subproject
of the University of Lapland is led by Professor Ana Nuutinen. In
addition, University Lecturer Karoliina Laxström and University Teacher
Jenni-Liisa Yliniva are part of the project team at the University of
Lapland. The funding is EU consortium funding from the Horizon Europe
framework programme. The project will start on May 1, 2023.
Professor Ana Nuutinen, tel. +358 40 484 4091, ana.nuutinen (at) ulapland.fi