Do you remember Hypercolor? They were these awesome shirts that totally changed color with body heat.
Maybe not? Here’s a little reminder!
When my family went to the Galleria in Dallas, TX when I was a kid we stumbled onto Hypercolor shirts and they were so stinking cool. Daddy bought one for all of us (though probably not himself because he’s just not into kitschy gimmicks like his girls are :). In truth, I don’t even know how many grubby hands laid on my new shirt the first time I wore it to school. As far as I know, Jen and I were the first kids at our school to own one of these amazing color changing shirts and it was a huge deal. Until they got dried in the dryer and then it was game over :)
Basically those shirts used thermochromic pigments to change from the dyed color to another with the addition of heat. This is the same thing that I did a few weeks ago when I made some color changing play slime that changes color.
When I was researching different companies that sold the pigments solely for the purpose of slime making, I found Solar Color Dust where I found so much more than thermochromic pigments. And I am in love with buying things over there. They have beaucoup pigments that do so many things including the heat changing colors but they also have pigments that change colors in the sun. Cool, right? So I got some of theses solar drops and got to playing around with them.
In fact, this isn’t the first solar color change project I’ve got here on the blog, but actually my second… The first was an awesome pair of ombre Converse that are actually white indoors but change color when the sun makes contact. Did you ever get to see them?
Yeah! That’s the pair up there! Those guys were so much fun that I have continued playing with the Solar Drops from Solar Color Dust, a sun activated liquid powder pigment that changes from white to one of six colors. And now I have a pair of polka dotted solar patterned shorts.
Aren’t they so cute? Now I’ve got to tell you we’ve been having some interesting weather around here and when we took pictures of these shorts it was actually a mostly cloudy day. As such you cannot see the blue dots that are there very well and the orange and pink ones are not as saturated as they appear when I’ve got my shorts on when it’s all blue skies. Next time I wear these guys and I can get Rob to snap some pics we’ll do that to show you the difference, but as it stands, they’re still super cute even if a bit pastel, right? Right! Want to learn how to make your own?
For this project you will need:
These are the shorts I got. I’m a HUGE FAN of Levi’s right now and I snagged some Signature by Levi Strauss white denim Bermuda shorts from Walmart for $15.
For this project you’ll be using the Solar Drops liquid powder sun color changing pigments from Solar Color Dust. Now these are a liquid but when they dry they become a powder (hence the liquid powder). In order to use this and keep the powder from being brushed off once dry we’ll need to add them to a clear medium. In this case we’re using Ceramacoat Fabric Medium.
The drops turn colors with the sun or a black light and that means using it indoors can be difficult. See how it’s just slightly tinted versions of white up there? Knowing what you’re getting working indoors will be difficult.
To remedy this I recommend either working outdoors or by a window. It should be noted that some windows (like mine) are coated in such a way that even with sunlight hitting my project the rays are filtered out or whatever and the pigment still remains largely white which isn’t helpful. In that case you can run your pigments outside for a minute or so allowing them to “charge up” with color before heading back inside to work. It’s not the most convenient but it might be the way to go if you’re working on a very windy day, for example.
Using whatever method you prefer mix up 10 drops or so into one ounce of fabric medium. Paint a small blotch onto similar fabric to what you are using for a tester and allow to dry. Take it out into the full sun to assure you’re happy with the color as it will be more saturated than the more pastel wet paint you created.
Using round foam spouncers dab your solar color changing fabric paint onto your shorts into a traditional polka dot pattern, or any other way you prefer. I went with a random color scheme with the traditionally spaced placement. Allow the paint to dry completely prior to wearing.
Indoors my shorts are white but outside they quickly begin to change from plain Jane to brightly polka-dotted. Now I quite literally wore a towel around my waist before whipping it off so Rob could snap a pic or 2 of the color as it creeps in and this was shortly after the towel came away.
As the front side of my shorts caught some sun they continued getting darker even on this cloudy day.
In comparison, the backside of my shorts were against the wall and mostly covered by my chambray shirt so I flipped around and pulled the shirt real quick-like so you can kind of see the reaction. Cool, right?
Stay tuned because I’ve got more fun pigments to play with and another project coming up next month and it’s another fun one!