The decline of insect pollinators and the plants they pollinate are of great concern to many today. So, to raise awareness about Colony Collapse Disorder an artist and a group of scientists have designed a line of clothing to attract insects. It is a limited edition and is part of a project called, The Pollinator Frocks Project.
The artist behind this innovative idea is Karen Ingham. Karen is working with a team of: entomologists, botanists, microscopists, surface pattern technologists and print and coating engineers to make this project possible. Together the team has been testing the collection and its results in the UK. They will then be tested for a longer period of time as part of the art, technology and ecology event SCANZ 201, in New Zealand's Pukekura Botanic Parklands. The last part of the project involves an "open discussion with environmental clothing design companies to produce a limited edition of the pollinator frocks with a share of the profits going to the charities BugLife and PlantLife" (kareningham.org)
The designs are amazing, but what is even more amazing is the technology used to create these designs to attract the insects. The fabric is treated with pollinator food sources that mimic nectar. Electron microscopy images of plant pollen grains are also scanned into the fabric. They are then cut and assembled into "Pollinator Frocks". "The designs consist of ‘day-wear' for insects such as bees and butterflies and ‘evening-wear' for moths". (kareningham.org)
To learn more and see some of the beautiful designs watch this YouTube video about it: