Chromosonic Fabric Changes Color With Heat and Sound


If you find yourself intrigued by tech fashion, you’ll need to check this out. A new textile designed by Budapest-based artists Judit Eszter Karpati is able to interact with its surroundings, producing incredible visuals.

This innovation, named Chromosonic, is aptly referred to as the “Chamelon fabric.” Able to sense its surroundings such as temperature and sound, Chromosonic changes color based on this information, and can even blend itself into the background.

So how does it work?

The fabric, which is handmade, has several elements that generate its color combinations. It is woven with nichrome wires, which generate heat, and screenprinted with thermochromatic dye. When the wires are heated up the dye senses it, turning the fabric a different color.

Karpati has shown several ways in which the fabric can generate the heat necessary to change color.

The first is basic: human touch. Much like novelty t-shirts from the 90’s, the fabric can sense and utilize body heat to get the desired results.

The second, more complex way generates more interesting results. By connecting the wires to an Arduino microcomputer, Karpati is able to feed specific patterns and color combinations into the fabric, designing the results herself.

Realizing the potential the computer could bring to the designs, Karpati decided to take it a step further: making the color “dance” to music. Using the computer to process audio files, the computer broke down the sounds, generating heat based on the information produced by each song. The heat created a range of beautiful results in corresponding colors and patterns.

While a fabric this complex might not be feasible for mass-production, there is potential to see it walking down the runway of a haute couture show.


Jessica Bucci

Jessica has been trained in a wide variety of textile and fiber processes, traditional as well as computer-aided, which she uses in both her design and sculptural work. Jessica has also served as a teaching assistant for beginning weavers and drawers.