Smart Textiles Design Lab Blog at The Swedish School of Textiles

On textile printing with thermochromic inks




















This thesis describes an exploration of the principles of applying leuco dye-based inks to textile design practice. The main motivation has been to explore the design properties and potentials of leuco dye-based thermochromic inks when printed on textiles in order to obtain an understanding and facilitate the design of dynamic surface patterns. The significance of this is related to the development of a methodology to assist designers in seeing possibilities, making informed decisions, and predicting colour transitions at different temperatures when designing a dynamic surface pattern.

The research was conducted by undertaking a series of design experiments using leuco dye-based thermochromic inks, which resulted in various working methods and two pedagogical tools. This process offered the insight and depth of understanding required to design dynamic surface patterns, in that it highlighted the different colour-changing properties of leuco dye-based thermochromic inks, which have the potential to create a more complex and dynamic range of patterns on textiles than those that exist today. There is much to explore beyond the current design possibilities offered by thermochromic inks, and it is hoped that designers and researchers can apply the knowledge that has been obtained during the work of this thesis to their practical explorations so as to move towards new ways of thinking and designing, and further innovation in textile design.

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