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Wire Festival

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Bio-inspired Textiles and Objects
for Sustainable Fashion Displays

NC State University

Nature is an endless source of inspiration for art and science attested by our attempts at biomimicry in which we study and reproduce its panoply of colors, shapes, and functions. Several poignant examples include the brilliant blue color of Morpho butterflies, the metallic luster of pearls, or the dazzling rainbow coloration of some fishes which have long held the fascination of artists and scientists whose curiosity has led to the question of, “Can we mimic nature, its esthetic and functionality in helping us achieve our aesthetic or scientific goals?” This is the paramount hypothesis we intend to address in this project. We have culled expertise from the Wilson College of Textiles and the College of Natural Resources at NC State University to design bio-inspired textiles and objects from sustainable resources. More specifically, we have exploited trees at the nanoscale to create structural colors on textiles as greener alternatives to traditional textile coloration techniques such as dyeing that have implacable consequences on the environment with respect to toxicity, chemical waste, high water usage, and high energy consumption. We have further developed this sustainable coloration technique to create 3D iridescent objects that can interact with light and the audience for even more visually intense effects. The 2022 ACCelerate Festival showcases a series of our bio-inspired designs/coloration patterns on clothes and objects which mimic the structural colors and patterns found in nature. This coloration and patterning technique can be used on any substrates and surfaces, while simultaneously positively impacting our environment!


  • Nathalie Lavoine
  • Bret Smith
  • Justine Hollingshead
  • Dr. Lucian Lucia
  • Dr. Kavita Mathur
  • Dr. Traci Lamar
  • Joseph Gutierrez
  • Shiayo Hong
  • Saurav Jain