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ANIMALIZATION of CELLULOSIC FABRIC: CHITOSAN







CELLULOSIC FABRIC: CHITOSAN

We are pleased to announce that Michel Garcia's new course, "The Complete Guide to Dyeing Cellulosic Fibers," will be available starting June 15.

As we approach the release, we wish to share insights into the course content, which extensively covers the use of aluminum mordants and dyes.

An intriguing aspect of the course, although not its primary focus, is the revitalization of traditional methods for the animalization of cellulosic fibers. Historically, various natural substances, including soy and skim milk, have been employed to enhance the properties of fabric. Michel Garcia expands on this tradition by introducing chitosan, a biopolymer derived from shrimp shell waste. This substance is recognized for its effective flocculating properties and its utility as a dietary fiber.

In the course's video tutorials, Michel explains how chitosan is treated with an alkaline solution to render it soluble under acidic conditions. He illustrates a fabric treatment process where chitosan, mixed with vinegar, creates a slightly gelatinous solution. The fabric is then immersed in this mixture and subsequently dried.

Using natural dyes such as St. John's wort and cosmos flowers, Michel shows the dyeing of chitosan-treated fabrics. The resulting colors, while stable, exhibit a more subdued quality compared to those obtained with aluminum mordants.

Michel showed an interesting property of chitosan-treated cotton - “selective extraction”. Chitosan is colored by one component of the dye, leaving the other component in solution. This interesting property allows the dye to be separated and two colors can be obtained: muted with chitosan and clean and bright with aluminum mordant.

I personally think that chitosan may be a very interesting tool for ecoprinters. The thing is to find cheap chitosan, not food-grade, but technical grade.

We will continue to provide daily updates on the content of the course. Stay tuned.

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