Digital thermochromic textile

Acrylic mold 3mm

For this week I have chosen a parametric pattern of circles, following with the initial idea of ​​controlling patterns digitally. The first prototype I made cutting the design with the laser cutter trotec speedy 400, in a 3mm thick acrylic. This stencil I have attached it to a support of acrylic of the same size with a tule fabric in the middle, so that the material could enter between the holes of the textile.

Paper mold 1mm

Make the same design but this time the stencil is 250gr paper with a thickness of 1mm, in the middle use the same tule fabric, attached to the base with tweezers.

Thermochromic ink

I made a mixture of thermochromic black pigment with ecoflex, so that the movement of the fabric was elastic and comfortable. Use 10gr of pigment and 13.8 of ecoflex 00-30.

Ecoflex 00-30

The way to use ecoflex 00-30 is to mix the two components A and B in the same amount, 50% A and 50% B, for this you must use a vascula to control the adequate amount of material.

Spread in the acrylic mold

The ecoflex and the pigment have been mixed satisfactorily, obtaining a black silicone, which is spread over the stencil. The tweezers were a disadvantage when it came to distributing the material homogenously, and neither was it sufficient pressure between layers, so part of the material was spread under the stencil.

Spread in the paper mold

The same process for the paper stencil, but this time easier to spread by the shallow depth of the texture.

Results in the textile

This is the result after drying the ecoflex in the oven for 15 minutes at a temperature of 175f, when removing the material from the oven was still hot so it can be seen that the thermochromic pigment works and varies in color between soft and black depending on temperature.

Chanching color

In this image we can see the difference between the two prototypes, the prototype of 1mm thickness changes color much faster, than the prototype of 3mm due to the thickness of the material.

3mm mold reults

In this video we can see the degradation of colors, transpiring in white due to the hot air. The texture of this prototype tries to mimic the octopus suckers in some way and its color change through an external interaction.

1mm mold result

The 1mm prototype changes much faster color so it is more visible the interaction with the body without having to use hot air.


I followed the tutorials of Liza Stark, to perform the first test with electronica. The conductive thread is under the textile, and is connected to a 9v battery at both ends, causing the yarn to heat up and generate a color change in the textile with the pigment.

Controling patterns

The idea of ​​using this pattern was to be able to control the points independently creating patterns. It is this test I have sewn a square with conductive thread between the points, and I have repeated the same process, connecting the thread to the battery.

Pressure soft sensor + thermochromic

Continuing with the investigation of the patterns, this time I decided to use conductive tissue, to generate heat, but interspersed with velostat, so that both tissues would not burn, creating a pressure sensor that only heats up when you generate pressure on the conductive tissue.

Pressure soft sensor + thermochromic

This video represents the joy of when I did the first test and the results were a success. With this test you can see how I can change the color of the points by pressure independently. The points only change color in the part where the pressure sensor is located..

Creating patterns

After my first success and full of positive energy, continue experimenting with another idea more complete but interesting. My hypothesis was based on being able to visualize patterns when pressing the sensor, since only the part that has the conductive textile is heated. This time I have introduced a new moon-shaped fabric on top of the velostat, hoping to be able to visualize only this shape when pressed.

Moon Pattern result

Yes! The test has been a success, in this video we can see the figure of the moon when pressing the fabric, changing color to white. This test opens many possibilities for experimentation where you can visualize different shapes on the fabric by pressing on it.