Solvatochromic structural color fabrics with favorable wearability properties
Robust, washable, steam permeable fabrics that display solvatochromic structural color changes are fabricated by a solvent evaporation-driven self-assembly method using poly(styrene–butyl acrylate–acrylic acid) core–shell colloidal microspheres. The colloidal microspheres self-assemble into a periodic arrangement to form a colorless transparent film on fabrics. Because of the lack of refractive index difference between the film and fabric, the fabric retains its original color (black polyester in this work). As soon as the fabric is wetted, its color changes. When the wetted fabric is completely dried, its original black color appears again. These solvatochromic fabrics do not show apparent color fading during repeated stretching or after laundering. The structural color fabrics show promising steam permeability with only a 13% decrease compared with the original fabrics. Therefore, the wearability of the fabric meets the demands for applications in the textile industry.