Snail-Digested Paper Creates Malleable Design Material [Pics]

Snail-Digested Paper Creates Malleable Design Material [Pics]
Arts & Culture

Reprocessed snail excrements can be used as something other than fertilizers.

Serena Chu
  • 27 november 2013

Dutch designer Lieske Schreuder discovered a new use for snail excrements. The experiment might make you scrunch your nose, but it is actually a very creative idea if you give it a chance. Schreuder fed coloured parchment to her snail farm – which contains hundreds of snails she purchase from a snail breeder – and then gathered the uniquely-colored poo to make tiles and thread. The paper given to the snails is similar in cellular structure to the plant matter they typically consume, and is probably why these snails are so willing to be laboratory experiments.


Schreuder found that snails cannot digest the colour pigment of the paper, and as a result they must force the dye out the other end. After collecting copious amounts of snail waste, Schreuder stuffed the malleable material into a machine – which she designed to grind, mix and press – to churn out colorful thread strands. The turnout rate of the thread is so slow that its takes her an hour just to make one meter. To give you a better description, it takes nine snails five days to produce six grams of waste.

Lieske Schreduer

Source, images: DeZeen

+Environmental / Green

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