Metamorphic Color




Introduction: Metamorphic Color

Theromochromic pigments are a Leuco dye that change state when heat is applied. In this tutorial, we will weave a textile with an integrated heating circuit and print it with thermochromic pigments.

In this tutorial, you will learn about simple textile printing techniques, and how they can be applied with thermochromic pigments. You will understand the fundamentals of Leuco dyes, or thermochromic pigments. And you will learn how to use basic weaving techniques to create a woven heating element.

Step 1: What You'll Need: Printing

Step 2: Materials and Tools

Cardboard Loom

Embroidery Hoop


Plastic Card

Tapestry Needle

9V Battery

LilyPad Buttons

9V Battery Snap

Crimp Beads

Not Pictured: Acrylic Yarn

Step 3: Prepare Your Screen

Stretch the pantyhose over embroidery hoop until taught.

Tighten embroidery hoop to secure.

Step 4: Create Your Stencil

Draw your design onto the screen. Paint the negative space with Mod Podge. To speed up the drying process, use a hairdryer. Careful not to melt the pantyhose.

Step 5: Warping Your Loom

Warp the loom in three separate sections with nichrome wire.

Step 6: Weaving

Weave a plain weave structure with regular yarn. A plain weave is the simple structure of over-under-over-under.

Step 7: Printing

Mix the print paste. The ratio of pigment to Transparent Base determines opacity of color. Decide what effect you want and mix to your liking.

Make sure the screen is dry.

Place screen on desired area on weaving. Make sure the screen is making contact with the textile.

Use an old plastic card, like a credit card, as your squeegeee to pass paint through screen.

Let the weaving air dry. It may take several hours to dry, depending on thickness of paint application, and layers of color. Do not apply any heat or current to a wet weaving.

Step 8: Connections: Step 1

Choose one side of the weave to be positive and the other will be negative. First we will work on the positive side.

Take one crimp bead and slide it onto the first lead.

Slide the button on next. The button is not polarized, so it does not matter which end you choose.

Take the wire and slide it back through the crimp bead, creating a loop.

Take some flat nose pliers, and smash them around crimp bead, creating a tight and secure connection between the button and the nichrome lead. Trim excess wire.

Step 9: Connections: Step 2

Cut a piece of solid core wire. Strip ends.

Slide a crimp bead onto the wire.

Fold the wire through the button hole.

Slide the crimp bead onto the wire, crimp, and trim any excess wire.

Step 10: Connections: Step 3

Repeat steps 1-2 on all remaining Positive leads on weaving.

Step 11: Connections: Step 4

With the negative lead, take pliers and twist wire around to form a coil. As we did when making the positive connections to the button, cut and strip a piece of solid core wire. Slide a crimp bead onto the wire. Fold the wire through the coil. Slide the crimp bead over the end. Smash with pliers and trim excess. Repeat on all remaining negative leads.

Step 12: Connecting to the Battery

On the negative side, take all leads and slide through crimp bead. Take stripped end of negative battery lead and slide through crimp bead. Twist negative lead around wires for solid connection. Smash crimp bead with pliers and trim excess wire. Repeat on positive side.

Step 13: Bonus! Couching

Couching is a technique of sewing down another thread, filament, or wire, with a zig zag stitch on a sewing machine, or a whip stitch by hand. In this tutorial, we will couch the wires onto a piece of felt, to hold down the sample.

Step 14: Finished!

Be the First to Share


    • Pocket-Sized Speed Challenge

      Pocket-Sized Speed Challenge
    • Audio Challenge 2020

      Audio Challenge 2020
    • Maps Challenge

      Maps Challenge


    Maker Saga
    Maker Saga

    2 years ago

    Way cool! Your writing style is so professional. It reminds me of a course description.