Microbe Textile Project

Nature has informed design for millenia. Our clothing is adorned with animal prints, our wall papers feature images of flowers and leaves, our desktops features photos of landscape vistas from pebbles in a stream to galaxies. But we have an opportunity to see the beauty in the microscopic natural world.

This project features microbial images that are transferred to cloth. The cloth is in turn shaped into computer bags, dresses, and furnishings.

By magnifying the microscopic, we not only gain new design inspiration, but create tools that allow us to discuss the research we do and the relevance of these findings.

Microbial Textiles

Where Have These Projects Been Displayed?

  • Microbe textile pillows showing the storyboard of the microbial discovery process were showcased at ScienceTalks in 2019, in Portland, Oregon.
  • Microbe Textile “yeast dress” was showcased at the keynote of the NEMPET conference in NY in 2019.
  • Microbe Textile “yeast dress” was showcased in the audience at the 2019 TED conference in Vancouver, BC.
  • Microbe Textile “yeast dress” was showcased on the stage of the 2018 Ig Nobel ceremony in Cambridge, MA.

Additional Notes

Look at the labels of these items. Each one features a barcode on the label, but it is a barcode of the genetic sequence of this species– a tool used by scientists to identify lifeforms through genetic analyses. You can type in the sequence in to BLAST and see what species is featured!

Yeast Bag with Climate Change Hat


The yeast image showcased above was produced with colleagues from Mississippi State University. The SEM images of dust were produced with colleagues from the University of Colorado. The yeast dress was designed and produced by the fantastic SheNovaFashion.

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