Colour Society Of Australia


"Dyes Ancient and Modern" with Dr Mark Liu

  • 17 Sep 2023
  • 11:00 AM
  • Online
  • 18


Registration is closed

An image created by attaching a photo to a leaf, letting photosynthesis recreate the patterns in different levels of sugar on the leaf and then staining it with iodine to keep the pattern. Genspace, Brooklyn.

For our next webinar on Sunday September 17, Dr Mark Liu will speak on Dyes Ancient and Modern. Please help us to spread word of this event by sharing our posts on the Facebook and Instagram accounts of the Colour Society of Australia , or by passing on the following link to your friends, colleagues and students: And just a reminder that registration has now opened for the CSA national conference, to be held in Perth on October 12-15 For more information and the link for in-person and Zoom registration please see the entry in the notices at the end of this email.

Fantasma 2019, transgenic glowing silk created by injecting silkworm eggs with coral DNA.
Nature- Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York 2019.

From red crushed beetles and purple sea slug mucus to hi-tech chemically engineered dyes, humans have always desired to create colourful textiles. It is a journey from the “natural” plant and animal-based dyes of the ancient world to the mechanisation of the Industrial Revolution, leading to the refined chemical engineering of the 21st century.

In the next webinar in our Creating Colour series, Dr Mark Liu, fashion and textile designer, will be looking at the many different strategies to embed colour into fabric, from pigments that bind to the surface of the textile, dyes that embed themselves in the fabric or materials created with surface structures that have optical properties.

Fixing colours into fabrics has always been challenging: from metal mordants to chemical modifiers with complex chemistry. Colouring fabrics has historically created abundant wealth that has shaped technology, politics, culture, and the environment. The existential crisis of climate change has led scientists to look at new techniques and processes that will have a lower impact on the environment.

Join us as Dr Mark Liu not only looks at the history of dye making, but also how making permanent coloured fabric remains an essential art form, craft and science interwoven into human civilisation.

Dr Mark Liu

Dr Mark Liu is a fashion and textile designer best known for pioneering zero-waste designs during his master’s research at Central Saint Martin’s College, London, and while working at Alexander McQueen. His collections have been exhibited in museums around the world. His PhD research used 3D mathematics to invent the field of ‘non-Euclidean fashion patternmaking’, which enables scientists and engineers to understand patternmaking while working on advancements in the fields of 3D patternmaking algorithms and 3D printing, which can be applied to space suits and medical garments. A former Chancellor’s postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Technology Sydney, he collaborated across disciplines to explore equitable gender laws in the fast fashion industry, synthetic biology and algae-based carbon sequestering materials. His 2023 book Sustainable Fashion Greenwash exposes the misleading advertising of ‘sustainable’ fashion.

Project Coelicolor: Assemblage 002. A dress by Natsai Audrey Chieza dyed by bacterial microbes. Nature- Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York 2019.

This webinar is free but registration is essential and limited to 100 participants worldwide, so early registration is advised. Successful registrants will be notified by reply email and will be sent the link and instructions to join the webinar on the Zoom platform shortly before the event. To receive this email with the Zoom link, you must register by the deadline of midnight AEST on Friday September 15th.

If you're a non-member unable to attend live but would like access to a temporary link to the recording of this webinar, please do not register but send a request for access to by September 15. (CSA members have permanent access to the recordings of all our webinars).

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