Introduction: Thermochromic Patterns

If you're looking for a new material to design with, then thermochromic paint might be just what you are after. Follow this tutorial to learn how to create interactive thermochromic designs!

Step 1: Get Materials

For thermochromic dye, you'll need:

❏ Thermochromic Pigment

❏ Vinegar

❏ Glycerine

For the thermal pattern, you can find the following supplies from Seeed Studio:

❏ Conductive thread

❏ Switch

❏ Battery (3.7 volts)

Step 2: Make Dye

❏ Prepare the fabric by brushing with a one-to-one mix of water and vinegar until saturated - This helps the dye soak into the fibers of the fabric and spread easily

❏ Mix pigment and glycerine until it becomes a thick paste

❏ Slowly add water to the paste until it is thin enough to paint and saturate the chosen fabric

Step 3: Paint

❏ Paint fabric with your own design

❏ Leave overnight to dry

❏ Note that the fabric should NOT be ironed, as this will denature the thermochromic pigment, and it may no longer react properly

Step 4: Create Pattern

❏ To determine the length of the thread, we need to first test the wire

❏ Try connecting the + and - sides of the battery to a length of thread and seeing how much it affects the paint (if it is too warm or cool, try adjusting it)

❏ Be careful when testing the circuit, start long, then slowly move shorter (never try less than 5cm)

❏ Once you’re satisfied with the length, attach/sew the thread in any shape

Step 5: Attach Switch and Battery

❏ Before making your circuit, double check that the pattern is working

❏ Solder battery to switch

❏ Solder switch to wire

❏ Solder wire to the other side of the switch

Step 6: Try It Out

❏ Congratulations on finishing! Hold down the switch to reveal your pattern

Step 7: Go Further

Try incorporating thermochromic patterns into your own projects!

Experiment with new ideas and test with other materials

You could try linking insulated heat pads together to form thicker patterns, or wrapping conductive thread around thermochromic cotton / yarn to embroider it onto the fabric