CREOL, The College of Optics & Photonics at The University of Central Florida (UCF), today announces the first-ever, active user-controlled color-changing fabric. The fabric, developed by a team of UCF scientists, allows the user/wearer to change the color or pattern of the fabric through their smartphone. "We are excited to introduce the industry’s first color-changing fabric, as we believe it’s the next groundbreaking innovation in fashion and textiles," says said Dr. Ayman Abouraddy, Professor of Optics & Photonics at UCF, who looked at the long history of clothing, and decided that the structure and functionality of textile fibers and yarns was ripe for reinvention.
CREOL’s ChroMorphous technology enables a never-before-seen capability: user-controlled, dynamic color and pattern change in large woven fabrics and cut-and-sewn textile products. Using an app on their smart device, the consumer can choose from a variety of patterns and colors to suit their need or mood. For example, a solid purple tote bag now has the ability to gradually add blue stripes when you press a “stripe” button on your smartphone or computer, or switch to a solid blue. The current fabric has a denim-like feel.
The way it works is that each thread woven into the fabric incorporates within it a thin metal micro-wire. An electric current flows through the micro-wires, thus slightly raising the thread’s temperature. Special pigments embedded in the thread then respond to this modification of temperature by changing its color. CREOL is collaborating with Hills, Inc out of Melbourne, FL to further reduce the diameter of the threads. The fabrics are not yet for sale; ultimately, the patent-pending fabric has the ability to be used across a broad range of applications from clothing and accessories to furniture and fixed installations in housing and business décor.