Investigation into the possibility of processing waste ink from the textile print industry into new raw materials.

With the research project ‘Afterseason – Raw material per linear meter’ I investigate the possibility of processing residual ink from the textile print industry into new raw materials, so that the chemical waste is limited. I analysed various shades of purple, derived from for example, shellfish, sandalwood and residual ink. In the material output the focus was on how to proces the residual ink. In order to do that I explored a range of new textile techniques and materials and build a library. Through collaborations with various design disciplines such as art, architecture and fashion applications manifested of the developed techniques. To support the theoretical and practical research I collaborated with scientists, architects, textile-, colour- and screen printing specialists, archives and research institutions and industry.

Waste of 12 weeks printing at a small Dutch digital textile printer company Print Unlimited. 12 x ±5 liter of ink (±60 liters) , that is now considered chemical waste. The deep purple/black ink is a mixture of 8 cartridges and is collected when the printer flushes ink through the printheads to keep them fresh and open.


Spread of the book Ocean Flowers: Impressions from Nature (by Carol Armstrong & Catherine de Zegher) with left the colours produced by different snails. On the right page some swatches are placed on top showing colours from the diluting the residual ink. A similar palette with a substantial difference in source, history, process and value.

Visual contribution by Pierre Klein summarising the fact that after blowing into the shell of the Murex snail it releases a milk-like liquid that needs to exposed to the sunlight in order to fix and colour a textile.


Building a color spectrum

While doing tests with the ink, I found out that there is a green hue arising in the fixating process. What more colours could come out of the ink?

First the ‘being’ of the colour is tested byCrystal Lab. The four circles below are crystallisation fingerprints to provide knowledge on wholeness, resilience and vitality of the waste-ink.

The green hue is achieved after a collaboration with master students from the Wageningen University after investigating ways to break down the residual ink by the use of micro-organism. To communicate their scientific theory and practise based research to a broader audience with the website TheFutureIsPurple.


Building up a library

Experiments processing the ink.





Fashion context

Collaboration with SCHUELLER DE WAAL for their  ‘LITTER’ collection presented at PARIS HAUTE COUTURE FW19:

For Paris Haute Couture 2019/2020 the Dutch fashion design duo Schueller de Waal teams up withPik Pik Environement to present its first Collaborative Cleaning Initiative named ‘Litter’, supported by the city of Paris. On Tuesday 2 July 2019, on a public square, right in front of the town-hall of the 15th arrondissement, a group of 50 models, cool kids and volunteers started to clean the streets in an upbeat cleansing fashion performance. The models picked up trash from the streets, dressed head-to-toe in freshly made garments made from the studio’s leftover fabrics, deadstock and other remains from the fashion industry. The act of cleaning served as an inspiration for both the presentation as well as a design principle. With the performance, the initiators aim to make a powerful statement on the current state of the industry and inspire for change.‘Litter’ is the next step for SDW in unfolding their story of ‘Fashion Therapy.




The Afterseason research is made possible with the support of Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie NL, ArtEZ University of the Arts and Wageningen University & Research