Admission with Museum Card

Sustainable Colour 11.9.-5.12.2021

The Craft Museum of Finland, Jyvskyl

  • 11.9.2021–5.12.2021

Are we ready to look at colour with fresh eyes?


Sustainable Colour exhibition dives into the secrets of textile dyeing. Dyeing with natural dyes, dyeing trends, future and sustainable development, as well as various dyeing techniques and their ecology are discussed in the exhibition.

The colour splendour of textiles is day-to-day norm and the presentation of personality for us, but what lies behind the colours?

ersonality for us, but what lies behind the colours? Natural wool yarns have been trendy for a while now, but dyeing of textiles is hardly going away. The traditions of textile dyeing date long back to human history and dyeing is one of the oldest crafts, but the needs and customs of dyeing have changed throughout the centuries. Dyeing has changed from a craft profession to an industry and, on the other hand, also a hobby.

In the Sustainable Colour exhibition, the Craft Museum of Finland, the BioColour project led by the University of Helsinki, Coloria.net and the Finnish Dyers Guild celebrating its anniversary, dive into a colour tank and study the dyeing of textiles from different perspectives.

Basically, dyeing is simple: you need a dye, a mordant, and usually water. The most common dyeing method is simple, because in boil dyeing, the dye is first extracted from the plant by boiling, the yarns are pre-mordanted, and the actual dyeing takes place by keeping the mordanted yarns in hot dyebath long enough. However, the reality is much richer and surprising than one might expect and the world of dyeing is like an adventure in the world of chemistry with the Mad Hatter. In the Sustainable Colour exhibition, you can travel from the traditional profession of dyeing and industrial dyeing to todays plant dyeing hype and reach out to the future of dyeing with us.

In the textile industry, synthetic dyes have replaced natural dyes, but many other things have not changed. Chemical treatment and dyeing of textiles still account for one-fifth of the industrial pollution that destroys waters. Efforts have been made at many stages to try to minimize the impact on nature of plant dyeing – which is not always automatically the most ecological option. Throughout history, natural resources have been deprived with no hesitation, and the abundant collection of dyeing plants has caused some plants to end up on the International Union for Conservation of Natures list of endangered plants. For the dye industry, rivers and lakes were both sources of used water and landfills to which wastewater from dyeing plants was discharged unfiltered. Large quantities of substances harmful to the environment and their users ended up in the waters with dye liquids.  

Replacing synthetic dyes with natural dyes would require a solution to many problems. On the artisanal scale, natural dyes are in themselves ecological and harmless to the environment, but their use cannot be scaled to a very large scale without environmental harm. How can colour plants be grown without a large amount of arable land and without consuming huge amounts of water and energy? How can dyeing plants be collected without disturbing the balance of nature? How to make the dyeing process itself as ecological as possible?

The type of dyes that will be used in the future depends a lot on our attitudes and demands on colours. Could colours produced from bio-based sources be a natural part of our way of life, where the origin, sustainable production and recycling of materials would be emphasized more and more? Step into the colour dyebath with us and lets consider together what colour textiles we will wear in the future!

Share this with your friends!

Museum contact details

The Craft Museum of Finland
Kauppakatu 25, 40100 Jyvskyl

(014) 266 4370

Museum website

Yhteydet julkisilla

Näytä reitti museolle Matkahuollon reittioppaassa


Katso reitti Matkahuollon reittioppaassa


The Craft Museum of Finland, Kauppakatu 25, 40100 Jyvskyl


Tai lataa Reitit ja Liput -sovellus

Admission fees

Admission with Museum Card
Admission with Museum Card


Payment methods

Visa, Mastercard, Museokortti, Smartum liikunta- ja kulttuuriseteli ja -saldokortti, Sportti&KulttuuriPassi, Tyky-kuntoseteli sek Ticket Mind&Body ja Ticket Duo -kortti.

Opening hours

Mon Closed
Tue 11:00-18:00
Wed 11:00-18:00
Thu 11:00-18:00
Fri 11:00-18:00
Sat 11:00-18:00
Sun 11:00-18:00

Free entry on Fridays. Further information about opening hours is available at: www.craftmuseum.fi/­en/­craft-museum-finland/­visit-us/­opening-times-and-admissions