2019 | Münchberg, Germany
This project is an exploratory investigation into how humans interact with materials. Clothes are called ‘the second skin’ as we interact with textiles very closely and not even realise it. Research led me to discovering the properties of thermochromic ink and its different applications.
Thermochromic inks react to heat and change their colour, making the fabric a canvas that can always be repainted to something new through interaction.
reversible action on cooling
The thermochromic pigments used, respond to heat stimulus at an activation temperature of 29°C (body temperature).
The first test of these pigments was done on different material to observe the influences of materials on the pigment. It took approximately 3 minutes for the colours to return to its original state on being subjected to heat.
These explorations aimed at bringing an interactive quality to textiles through the inter-relationship of colour, texture and structure using traditional techniques of screen printing and handloom weaving.
The first prints were made on materials with different levels of porosity. The print on the magazine paper opened up possibilities of different means of communication where information can be concealed and revealed with user interaction.
In order to see the effects of these pigments on textural surfaces, I wove fabric samples on the handloom. The warp used was cotton and the wefts were chosen based on their different properties.
The hand woven samples were then printed using different techniques to achieve various effects.
The next set of woven fabrics were first warp printed with a mix of thermochromic and normal pigments. The pigments were carefully applied in different areas of the warp with a brush.
I also introduced a structural, 3 dimensional quality in these samples using thin copper wire in the weft. Since the double cloth structure made the surface much thicker, the copper wire also helps conduct heat and keeps the surface warm for longer.
Leaving the front and the back of the cloth unbound allows it to be overturned inside out easily, hiding the selvedge to create a perfect seamless cylinder.
It can be used as an off-loom product in many ways. One example being, a lamp for interior decor which uses the heat of the bulb as activation energy for the thermochromic pigments.
Another big outcome of these experiments could be in therapeutic use. It can be used as an interactive form of colour therapy. Colour therapy works on the concept of how our brain interprets these wavelengths. Colour is both a physical and sensory experience. Color therapy is based on the idea that colors create electrical impulses in our brains that stimulate hormonal and biochemical processes in our body; these processes either calm or stimulate us.