This has to be one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen all week. It’s fabric imbued with a special ink designed to react to seven stimuli: heat, UV, pollution, moisture, chemicals, friction, and sound.
It comes from UK-based artist Lauren Bowker of the material studio THE UNSEEN and debuted during London’s Fashion Week 2014.
According to their website, they say the fabric “translates our environment into a stunning visual representation, where a multi-faceted garment is reminiscent of an insect’s iridescent exoskeleton.”
The studio used fabric treated with the ink for a small collection of clothing called Air, for Swarovski.
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You could imagine such a fabric being used in practical applications. For example, a fabric that changes from one color to another to indicated high levels of pollution or the presence of certain chemicals. Car seat colors could change when the temperature goes up to warn drivers not to leave behind their pets or — stupidly — their babies. Patterns on swimming suits could change color when they’ve gotten too much UV.
See a video below of the fabric fluctuating.
Credit: The Unseen