Location: Reykjavík, Blönduós, Sauðárkrókur - Iceland

FISHSkin researchers gathered in Iceland on September 2019, hosted by the project's partner Iceland University of the Arts and former partner Atlantic Leather. The exciting event included:

- ‘Innovation in the Use of Marine Resources’ conference on the use of sea leather and innovation in fashion design. the conference was arranged by Katrín María Káradóttir, Programme Director of Fashion Design at the IUA and Steinunn Gunnsteinsdóttir of ATL, Joined by experts Anne Lisbeth Schmidt from the National Museum of Denmark and Dr. Torunn Klokkernes from the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo.

- A residency at the Icelandic Textile Center, Blönduós, participating in a workshop given by Lotta Rahme, a Swedish specialist in traditional fish leather tanning.

- Visits to Atlantic Leather factory at Sauðárkrókur, eye witnessing the fish leather production at industrial scale, and round-table discussions.

Video by IUA

Location: Kyoto, Japan


University of Arts London - Elisa Palomino

Kyoto Seika University - Mitsushiro Kokita, Yuji Yonehara

We—The Future Seen Through Craft symposium by our partners, Kyoto Seika University’s Center for Innovation in Traditional Industries, was hosted by Kyoto International Manga Museum. Together with practitioners in the field of craft, FishSkin project researchers

Elisa Palomino and Mitsuhiro Kokita led important discussion on social issues such as ethical consumption, ecology and labor conditions in the context of handcrafts.

Location: Hokkaido, Japan

The use of fish skin for the construction of garments is an ancient tradition shared by Arctic coastal societies, some of the earliest traces being found from the Ainu populations in Hokkaido, Japan.

The FISHSkin project has developed common interests in the UK and Japan around topics of fish skin, leather and sustainability. The project has brought together a community of experts including fashion design academics and practitioners, and artisan experts in natural dyes, with the aim of improving knowledge of sustainable methods for fish skin production as a greener alternative to exotic leather. The FISHSkin project has mapped existing traditional knowledge on natural dying from Japanese craftsmen in order to transfer the skills into fish skin.

During the trip Elisa Palomino worked with a traditional Japanese dyer at Tokushima and tested indigo dyeing on fish skin. The results were later tested on at Ars Tinctoria laboratory by Gustavo Defeo and Massimo Mancuso to evaluate the possible use in contemporary industrial dyeing for fish skin. The physical and rheological properties of the indigo and persimmon natural dye were measured for the evaluation of dye stability. The tests were found to be suitable. The samples were subjected to light and rub fastness tests and colour measurements. Colour consistency and fastness results, especially after fixation, are comparable with those on conventional leather. Fastness properties were analysed following updated ISO standards.

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