Week 7: Thermochromic Ink

Thermochromic Ink!

The term thermochromic comes from the Greek word “thermos”, meaning heat and “chroma”, meaning colour. Something that is thermochromic changes colour as the temperature changes. In fabrics, a special dye acts as the thermochromic agent.

Thermochromic dye can be used in different ways. You can make images disappear, or you could make designs change colour by layering thermochromic dye on top of normal dye.

R  E  F  L  E  C  T  I  O  N

Again, this is another technique whose existence I knew of already, but whose workings I have never really understood! I’m really glad that not am I only exposed to so many new ways of manipulating materials, but that I also get to try them out!

Thermochromic ink can be used on many different products and materials, and I think that it lends a little magic to the world! I remember the first time I saw a mug that changes colour with hot liquid poured in. I wasn’t surprised, given the technological advances of our time, but I was pretty amazed. Another friend of mine has a phone case that changes colour with just your body temperature. You could then “draw” on the case or make prints with your fingers, that disappear in just seconds.

In the experimentation, I tried printing the two colours together on one sheet creating a design, almost like the mountains / seas / volcanoes / sky. The printed design is still kind of visible after heating it. I’m not sure why, maybe because of the material?

I think trying to just paint directly on the material or canceling more areas to create negative space that is not covered in the thermochromic ink would be interesting to try out in the future.

Week 5: Smocking, Elastics

This week we learnt a really cool technique, smocking!

What is smocking? 

Smocking is an embroidery technique that is used to gather fabric. Usually, this is done so that the fabric can stretch. As you can see in the picture of the little girl below, this technique is used widely in making dresses.

However, this technique also allows fabric to be gathered in a really cool way to create patterns. This form of fabric manipulation may be tedious, but the results are super rewarding!


R  E  F  L  E  C  T  I  O  N

I’ve seen textures made by smocking before, but didn’t know that they were produced by sewing the fabric to create folds.

After a little bit of googling and trying it out, I grasped the basic idea of how to do this technique. Soon, I was engulfed in finishing my pattern. It is really satisfying to watch the fabric slowly form into something mesmerising.

I experimented with using a leather-like material, and what I discovered is that the thickness of the material resulted in a sturdy form. I imagine that this would be useful in making shapes in garments or artworks. It makes me wonder what it would be like to do smocking on a flimsier material!

Week 3: Fabric of Thread, Plastic Fusing

R  E  F  L  E  C  T  I  O  N  

I joined the class later than my classmates, and was a little lost at first, but soon I saw how fun it was! The technique we learnt in this class was rather new to me. I knew of water soluble material before, but never exactly knew in detail what it entails. Getting to have a go at it on the sewing machine is really fun!

I really like the freedom that comes with fabric of thread. You can make any design with only your imagination as the limit. Moreover, it is also a way to reuse any waste thread or fabric. You can make waste into art, or something useful! Other than that, the nature of the water soluble material also allows for the possibility of sculpture.

I think that the outstanding quality of this technique is it creating beauty amidst chaos, and it brings to my mind abstract expressionism. Creating art by chance, by randomisation, I think that the art is not only defined by its finished product, but also by its process, and the moments that go into making it.