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Color Changing Fiber

Color changing fibers is a kind of fibers with a special composition or structure that can automatically change color after being stimulated by external conditions such as light, heat, moisture or radiation. As a fiber solutions provider, Alfa Chemistry offers color changing fibers to address unique fiber needs.

Typical Categories

Photochromic Fiber

Photochromic fibers refer to fibers whose color changes reversibly under sunlight or ultraviolet light, etc. Photochromic fibers are prepared by introducing photochromic substances into the fibers. Examples of organic photochromic materials include hydrazones, osazones, semicarbazones, anilines, disulfoxides, succinic anhydride, spiro compounds, and derivatives of stilbene, camphor, and o-nitrobenzyl. Taking spiropyrans (SPs) as an example, their photochromic reaction involves opening of the pyran ring under UV irradiation, as shown in the figure below. [1]

Photochromism of indolinospiropyrans: left, colorless; right, colored forms.Photochromism of indolinospiropyrans: left, colorless; right, colored forms.

Thermochromic Fiber

Thermochromic fibers are fibers whose color changes with temperature. Similarly, thermochromic fibers can be obtained by introducing thermochromic agents into fibers by filling and coating methods. Thermochromic polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) fiber is a typical representative of this type of fibers.

Application and Research

In the commercial field, color-changing fibers are mostly used in sportswear such as mountaineering, skiing, swimming, skating, and life-saving clothing.

In the field of chemical research, photochromic fibers and thermochromic fibers still hold strong appeal. Introducing new photochromic substances or thermochromic substances into various fibers is one of the key research directions. Jimmy Nguyen et al. formulated liquid crystal (LC) into electrospun fibers to realize thermochromic fibers. Experiments show that coaxial electrospinning with LC and solvent in the core can preserve the thermochromic properties of LC, resulting in thermochromic fibers. As shown, the LC in the core was observed to change from red to blue when the fiber was heated. [2]

Polarizing microscopy of coaxial electrospun PVP shells under heating conditions.Polarizing microscopy of coaxial electrospun PVP shells under heating conditions.


  1. Marzieh Parhizkar, et al. Handbook of Smart Textiles, 2014.
  2. Jimmy Nguyen, et al. Polymers, 2020, 12(4), 842.

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