The project was selected in the “Researchers at the start of their careers 2.1” call

Contact: Darja Rant, Mateja Golež

Private company: Predilnica Litija d.o.o.

The Sitarjevec Mine is a natural value of national importance. Municipality of Litia opened the Mine for the tourist purposes at the end of the year 2017. Good practices in the field of tourism have been obtained so far through domestic and international projects carried out by the Municipality of Litia and other local institutions in cooperation with external partners, including Slovenian national building and civil engineering institute (ZAG).  They show that its great tourist potential is almost untapped and the local community is keen on developing a comprehensive tourism product.
The Sitarjevec Mine is characterized by an extremely strong yellow color that gives it recognition among the mines in Slovenia and abroad. The coloration of the tunnels is the result of the formation of mine sludge, which is also a waste material in the process of mine cleaning for the purpose of adventure tourism. The proposed research project is focused on the design of products intended for tourist workers, especially mine guides, and tourists. They will need protective clothing to visit the tunnels and at the same time they will be offered to preserve some of the new experiences by purchasing products related to the mine's story. Prior research has found possible applications of mine sludge and water in the textile and art area. Yellow mine mud is a source of natural pigment for painters. Colored minewater in combination with natural plant dyes is good replacement for mordants, which are normally used when dyeing textiles with natural dyes.
Pigment obtained from mine sludge will be prepared for use for textile purposes by appropriate procedures. An important part of this project is the characterization of the pigment and the preparation and testing of textile prints with natural pigment. Natural dried pigment changes color from yellow to red when exposed to high temperature. Different temperatures allow different shades of red. In combination with various printing pastes, many color shades can be obtained. The Litia Spinnery as a leading economic entity in Litia and an important part of the local community will enable testing various textile substrates for pigment printing. On the basis of the natural and cultural heritage of the Sitarjevec Mine new textile products printed with natural pigments from the mine will be created. The designed and manufactured tourist products will contribute to the overall image of the Sitarjevec Mine as a key point of new tourist place on the Slovenian map. They will also improve the recognition of this tourist destination.
2019/04/01 - 2022/03/31
European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Slovenia, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport through EU Cohesion Policy 2014-2020