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Wood-Rotting Fungal Pigments as Colorant Coatings on Oil-Based Textile Dyes

Department of Wood Science and Engineering, 119 Richardson Hall, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2017, 7(10), 152;
Received: 4 August 2017 / Revised: 19 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 23 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Binders, Pigments, Dyes and Additives)
PDF [1183 KB, uploaded 23 September 2017]


Opportunities for alternatives to synthetic textile dyes are of increasing importance as the world looks to minimize its ecological footprint. Fungal pigments within a unique class of wood-rotting (“spalting”) fungi have been under investigation for several years as a possible solution, and have been shown to be ideally suited as textile dye coatings. Unfortunately, the solvent currently in use for these colorants is dichloromethane (DCM), which is an environmental problem as well as a potential human carcinogen. Recently, researchers found that the pigments from Chlorociboria species, Scytalidium cuboideum, and Scytalidium ganodermophthorum could be carried in some natural oils, which opened up a potential method of delivering pigments onto a host of substrates without utilizing DCM. Although the pigments can be carried in oil, no testing has thus far been conducted as to how oil affects the binding properties of the pigments onto textiles, or how the oil might affect the pigments directly. In this paper, the pigments produced by three well-known wood-rotting fungi were carried in raw linseed oil and applied to cotton, polyester, and nylon. Only the red pigment produced visible color change on the textiles. Cotton and polyester showed the greatest color change when the pigments were dripped onto the fabric, while polyester showed the most color when the textile was submerged into the pigment solution. Unfortunately, the colors faded significantly for all the tests except the saturation test. This indicates that while natural oils may be excellent, nontoxic alternative carriers for DCM, the pigments are not stable within them except at very high concentrations, and therefore natural oils—including raw linseed oil—are not ideal for use in conjunction with these pigments. View Full-Text
Keywords: spalting fungi; textiles; inkjet printer ink; oils; natural pigments spalting fungi; textiles; inkjet printer ink; oils; natural pigments

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Palomino Agurto, M.E.; Vega Gutierrez, S.M.; Chen, H.-L.; Robinson, S.C. Wood-Rotting Fungal Pigments as Colorant Coatings on Oil-Based Textile Dyes. Coatings 2017, 7, 152.

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