Algae Fabric Dye Makes Clothing Change Color in Sunlight


In India, clothing designers and students at the JD Institute of Fashion Technology are using algae to make their clothing designs stand out from the rest. Students isolated Spirulina, an algae strain, from local fresh water sources to form the dye that changes color when exposed to sunlight. The biggest challenge was getting the dye in a form that worked well on fabric, as it was thickly pigmented. Block printing didn’t work so screen printing or manually painting it on the clothing were deemed the best options currently. They also completed wash and dermatological tests to see how it holds up under normal washing and to ensure there were no potential skin reactions.