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alive textiles

research

2020.01

Color

As a start, two experiments are executed. The results will determine the best technique for coloring kombucha and what the next steps will be. Experiment one is growing colored SCOBY’s with fruit and vegetable juices. Different kinds of fruits and vegetables are boiled, the water is strained and saved in a boiled jar. These juices are used to grow colored SCOBY. Experiment two is soaking the grown SCOBY in the juice for four days to get colored.

Growing colored SCOBY with juice:

Every Scoby has grown a substantial layer during one week. No mold was visible on any of the experiments. Some grew better than others, and all were compared to the control group, which grew as usual.

Kurkuma – Yellow

Kurkuma is an antioxidant (D’Haene, Personal Communication, 2020), making it difficult to grow. The SCOBY had an uneven texture and contained strange bubbles. However, the color was very prominent. The SCOBY was thinner than the control group.

Blackberry – Red/Purple

The blackberry SCOBY was the thickest of all the SCOBY’s, and it was twice the size as the control group. It has an intense color and even structure. Because fruits contain much sugar, it’s possible this helped the SCOBY growing.

Blueberry – Purple

The blueberry SCOBY was almost as thick as the blackberry SCOBY and had a beautiful dark purple color. The SCOBY could not be near other SCOBY’s because they would stain. The structure was even and smooth.

Strawberry – Orange/Pink

Strawberry, together with the red berry, is the most smooth grown SCOBY’s. The surface was smooth, even, and the color was the same everywhere. Strawberry grew thicker than the control group.

Red Berry – Pink

red berry, together with the strawberry, is the most smooth grown SCOBY’s. The surface was smooth, even, and the color was the same everywhere. Strawberry grew thicker than the control group.

Avocado – Beige

The Avocado SCOBY was a bit more orange than the control group. It had an uneven structure and was quite thin at some points. Maybe if the SCOBY was given more time, it would have time to come to fruition.

Red Cabbage – Bright Pink

The Red Cabbage SCOBY was very thin, It is bright pink, but the color is not in every part of the fabric. It is a skinny and fragile layer.

Beetroot – Orange Brown

The beetroot had an uneven structure but an intense brown/orange color. It is thicker than the control group in some parts, but the structure is uneven.

Coloring grown SCOBY with juice:

As long as a fruit solution is used, with lots of sugar already in there, the solution with the SCOBY doesn’t need to be in the fridge. It colors the material quickly and sometimes even grows a small layer of film. However, vegetable solutions need to be refrigerated to prevent weird smells and mold growing. As a follow-up, more colors can be tested on SCOBY’s, for example, with extracts from plants or charcoal.