De Montfort University Leicester scientists use fungi as a natural and energy-saving dye for clothes. The scientist stated that instead of using the conventional synthetic dyes the biodegradable enzymes present in natural fungi can be used to dye clothes thereby saving energy and wastes reduction.

Nalinee Netithammakorn, a second-year Ph.D. fashion and textiles design researcher from Thailand, found that she could use the biodegradable enzymes in natural fungi to dye clothes, avoiding the use of conventional synthetic dyes.

The dyeing process, which Netithammakorn has named ‘Enzcolour’, uses multidisciplinary technology at a lower temperature than conventional dyes, resulting in the benefit of energy-saving as well as a reduction in waste from materials and water.

In recognition of her work, Netithammakorn was highly commended by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts (RSA) in its RSA Student Design Awards.

“Harsh chemicals used in conventional dyeing processes can contribute to wastewater pollution in waterways. This led to my passion to improve sustainability in textile production. I was determined in my research to improve conventional textile processing by using innovative technology.”