"It produces beautiful colours - deep blues, indigos, oranges and blood reds," says London-based textile designer Natsai Chieza (pictured). "I want to use them as a sustainable factory to make fabric dyes."
Chieza discovered colour-creating bacteria, such as Streptomyces, by taking soil samples from the roots of herbs such as tarragon, oregano and sage, and culturing them in a plate. “Sometimes the microbe has its own cellular colour and it seeps pigment of different colours, so you end up with a whole palette,” says Chieza. She found that these colours could stain silk fabrics like organza, satin and pongee. “We take the fabric and put it in with the growing microbes; they soak up the material and produce unique patterning.” (via This artist paints with soil bacteria (Wired UK))