One of the dreams of many fashionista’s is to change the outfit or at least the color of it without changing clothes.
The reason for doing this can be: having a bit of fun by changing, like chameleons, the color in response to the surroundings or for a quick adjustment of the color coordination of the outfit is needed to attend an unplanned event on short notice.
On a more practical side, color active clothing for emergency personnel could help increase the visibility = safety of those people.
To realize color changing clothing seems more difficult as most other e-textile technologies. Lot of work and resources are dedicated in developing such technology as efforts like Lumalive is showing. Other technologies like EL (Electroluminescence) technology is used for a lot of fun decals on T-Shirt’s but they are add-on to clothing rather than integrated.
Other technologies which allow a bit of a color change on clothing are Photochromic, Hydrochromic and Thermochromic ink. The first reacts on light, the second on liquid (water) and the third on temperature.
Clothing impregnated or having printed pattern using one of those inks will change from one color shade to another when exposed to a certain amount of light, moisture or heat.
Another great example is the ‘Aqua chameleon swimming suit‘ design from Yun Ding, a textile designer specializing in printing ,textile surface and fashion textile area.
I am a bit amazed not seeing more of ink based color changing clothing in the shops as at the same time a lot of glitter elements are added to clothing to create a color changing effect by light reflection.