Smart textiles

2015-12-02

What about a jacket which changes colour according to your frame of mind, or a backpack that varies between 13 different colours depending on the weather! Smart textiles are now moving into our homes and workplaces…

The products, which have already been a great success at Selfridges in London, were developed by the designer Lauren Bowker, who has previously worked with both Formula 1 teams and in Parisian fashion houses. With the Air collection – which includes everything from wallets to high fashion jackets – Lauren Bowker completely overturns our conceptions of what can be done with textiles. All products are basically black, but take on new, shimmering colours when they are exposed to external influence. This might, for example, be a change of weather or air pressure, or if it suddenly starts to rain.

"Or depending on who is holding the fabric. As we all have different blood circulations and body temperatures, this is also reflected in the textile, which senses the heat we are transmitting. For the same reason, a scarf for example, has different colours and expressions depending on the fact that a part of the fabric is close to the body while another part is hanging loose," says Lauren Bowker.

The explanation is to be found in a thin ink pigment, which Lauren Bowker has produced, and which is painted over the products. The different colours appear when the pigment reacts with carbon monoxide. Of course, how to match your outfit is another question entirely…