Waste Embroidering
Marcos Kueh Sheng Pang
4th year, Bachelor Textile & Fashion

What is the technique you based your material research on?
The pieces were created by embroidering computer-generated visuals of bacteria culture on pieces of trash collected from the bins in the Textiles workshop. The process enabled a visual speculation on the decomposition of textile waste fibers.

If anything went wrong along the way, what did you do?
The long yarns would sometimes tangle with the needles, while some waste materials were so hard that they broke the needles. Eventually I learned to gauge what materials are kinder to the machines and there are also dissolvable films that are sold in the workshop that prevent loose yarns from being trapped in the needles.

Waste from the bins in the textile workshop

PE design program (can convert images into embroidery files); Brother embroidery machine brand (10 colours per round)

KABK Textiles


  1. Collect pieces of trash from waste bins.

  2. Convert images of bacteria culture into embroidery files, set in different embroidery styles and colors.

  3. Arrange materials onto embroidery plate and lay a dissolvable film over them.

  4. Let it embroider.

  5. Take out artwork when complete and wash it under the sink to let film dissolve.

  6. Let it dry.

This recipe is part of Touching: A Research Method in Art and Design, an exhibition curated by architect and KABK tutor Laura van Santen, featuring the materials and research of students, tutors and workshop instructors from the KABK.

More information on the display, all samples and recipes can be found here.