Introduction: HAIKU, When Fashion and Technology Merge Together. TfCD Project. TU Delft.
Haiku is a concept developed by Mucahit Aydin for a TU Delft MSc course. The main principle of this kimono is to extend the feeling of being hugged by someone. In order to do so, the kimono will reveal a pattern after being touched. How? By implementing several layers of thermochromic ink on it. After receiving a hug, the body temperature of both people is sufficient to provoke the thermochromic ink to become transparent and reveal the pattern.
The next video explains the whole manufacturing of the kimono, starting with the fabric, designing and cutting the pattern, and drawing the pattern. The team manufactured two kimonos with a cherry blossom pattern and finally applied black thermochromic (with an activation temperature of 30ºC) on top of them.
Thermochromic pigments react to temperature and will be translucent when the activation temperature is reached, which usually varies between 15ºC and 47ºC. After the temperature is cooled down this activation temperature, the color will go back to its initial state.The technology presented, thermochromic ink, can be applied in any type of natural and synthetic fabric. Therefore, everybody can create its own dynamic clothing!
- Fabric. In our case, we have used a light gray fabric composed of 100% cotton, and a black fabric made of a combination of cotton and elastane. The reason why we elaborated two versions was to prove and test both fabrics. In conclusion, we recommend using natural fabrics that not include elastic fibers, even though they are usually more expensive, because the result looks always better.
- Clothing patterns, which can be found on the internet. We recommend you to design your own clothing, even if this will take more time and effort. The final result will be completely yours!
- Sewing materials.
- Clothing painting. In the video, we decided to make the patterns manually, which takes more time and practice. The reason behind this has been derived from the meaningful part that Muca wanted to bring to his project. Despite this, you can always stamp any type of pattern, obtaining a more 'professional' result.
- Thermochromic black pigment and transparent clothing painting. Before manufacturing the concept, the team tried different thermochromic inks, like water-based paintings and powder. Finally, we have concluded that the best option is the pigment, which needs to be mixed with transparent clothing painting in a 5% solution. The reason why the team took this decision is because the user can adapt better the tone to the color of the fabric.
The price will vary completely based on the fabric you decide to buy. In our case, for the 100% cotton kimono:
- 3 meters of fabric: 40€
- Color paintings for the pattern: 15€
- Black thermochromic pigment: 25€ (We only use 20% of the package)
- Transparent painting: 10€
Step 1: Building Up the Piece of Clothing
Once you have the patterns, put it on the fabric and mark its shape with a chalk. We recommend you to do this always from the inside face of the fabric. After this, cut the fabric and sew the parts with a sewing machine. If you are designing your own piece of clothing, don't forget to leave big margins in the extremes of the patterns (3 cm should be enough). For the circumference of the sleeve, you should add 10 cm (as minimum) to assure that the final clothing will fit comfortably. Once the clothing is sewed you should wash it in the laundry, and try it to see if it fits you properly.
Step 2: Drawing the Pattern
First of all, you need to choose the pattern. If you are going to stamp it you should need a template for this step. In our case, because it was a kimono, we decided to draw a cherry blossom tree on the back. Usually, clothing painting needs to be iron after applying it on the fabric. After this step, we recommend you to wash it one or two times (two is enough) to eliminate any excess of painting.
Step 3: Applying the Thermochromic Ink
Once Step 2 has been completed, you should prepare the mix for the kimono. Make sure that you use the right proportion of material! You can always include more or less, in order to assure that the color fits the fabric, but no more than 1-2%, please. Most of the thermochromic pigments need to dissolve in the transparent painting. This process takes at least one hour and is always specified in the package. In our case, we wait for one hour and a half, and the results were good. Once the mix is homogeneous, you can apply it on top of the pattern. Don't worry if the first layer doesn't cover the pattern completely. It is normal. You should apply between 2 and 5 layers of thermochromic painting. In our case, 3 were enough. Usually, thermochromic suppliers recommend applying on top a layer of transparent gel (you can also use the transparent painting of the mix) to assure that the thermochromic ink will not suffer.
Step 4: Enjoy Your Personalized Dynamic Clothing!
Remember, you can wash it as many times as you want, but it is important to not apply temperatures over 60ºC directly to the thermochromic areas of it because it will lose it ability to recover its original tone. Therefore, you should not directly iron it!