Making the invisible visible, the intangible tangible: unlocking and engineering active and passive ‘smart’ potential in yarns using aluminium and photochromic dyes
Ward, Stephanie Carol
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Well-being has been used as the motivation for yarn design to integrate positive affect (hedonic) and eudaimonic perspectives with the reflectance and absorption of light within the UV and visible light spectrum. An interdisciplinary approach applies Durling and Niedderer, (2013;2007), 'Designing to Test' and 'Designing as Demonstration' as the platform to develop two photochromic systems with aluminium. This combines yarn design, colour chemistry, textile engineering and textile design. 'Designing as Creative Exploration' (Durling and Niedderer 2013;2007) observes how users and materials respond to natural and controlled UV light using photographic, video and microscopic methods leading to an entire range of smart aluminium photochromic yarns. 'Designing as Data Exploration' is introduced to determine bespoke light reflectance and absorption values within the invisible and visible light spectrum to enable solutions relating to light affecting health and well-being for individuals and aspects of the built environment. Ultraviolet light has both benefits and risks relating to human health and has been found to have positive euphoric, yet addictive associations with sunbed use. For sufferers of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) it provides a positive and raised mood. The different percentages of light reflectance and absorbance within the yarns provide positive (hedonic) affect which aims in alleviating sunbed addiction and treatment of SAD during winter months. They also act as UV detection tools for cancer awareness.