Skip to content

Thermochromic Dyeing

title: Learning thermo dyeing and shibori embroidery with Vilnius art academy Fashion Design students

Learning paths

Path Target Duration Colaboration Objectives
Discovery 18+ 2 days / 4 h each day Vilnius art academy Implement new skills into curricula


Fabric dyed with thermo-dye and then sewn with conductive thread allows further experiments with electric current and thus to change the colours of the fabric by exposing the fabric to the heat generated by electricity.

Activity description

Students dyed cotton fabric with thermo dyes and created E-embroidering shibori circuit. In the last phase they experimented with electric current to see how fabric changes colours.

General Feedback on the activity

For student thermochromic dyeing technique was a new discovery. Some of the results were very artistic and unexpected.

Learning Outcomes

  • Knowing the suitable fabrics for dyeing
  • Discover how different thermochromic dyes work
  • Learning the technique of thermo dyeing
  • Understanding the circuit basics


Day 1: thermo-chromic fabric dyeing

  • Presentation of the ambassador background and activities
  • Introduction to thermochromic dyeing process
  • Thermochromic dye preparation
  • Dyeing process

Preparation and materials

Equipment, Tools and Materials

  • Scissors
  • Plastic containers
  • Wooden craft stick
  • Sponge
  • Very light 100% cotton fabric / muslin
  • Thermochromic pigment various colors 22°C or higher
  • Fabric paint medium
  • Conductive thread
  • Paper or plastic sheet to cover the working surface

Day 2: shibori E-emboidering

  • Presentation of the activity
  • Introduction to e-textiles
  • Understanding the circuit basics
  • Shibori embroidery with conductive thread and thermo dyed fabric (from previous workshop)
  • Experiments with the power supply to get the results and explore the thermo dyed fabric limits

Preparation and materials

Equipment, Tools and Materials

  • Scissors
  • Needles
  • Embroidery hoop
  • DC power supply
  • Aligator clips
  • Previously dyed cotton fabric
  • Conductive thread

Estimated cost
Always consider to find local providers - BOM of materials for 1 participant (total: €11.37)

Item Quantity Cost (€) Link to vendor
Very light 100% cotton fabric / muslin 30 cm €1.20 amazon
Thermochromic pigment Trial Pack ∼ €3.00 sfxc
Conductive thread 3 meters ∼ €1.99 sparkfun
Crocodile clip wires ended from both sides 2 €1.56 anodas
Fabric painting medium 1 €2.45 dekonamai
Plastic containers 2 €0.70 amazon
Wooden craft stick 2 €0.08 amazon
Embroidery hoop 20 cm 1 €2.28 amazon
Sponge 1/3 €0.10 amazon


Licence and credits

Attribution — ShareAlike CC BY-SA This activity has been designed by Andrea Wolf-Simone with the help of Vivitop for

Related and supporting activities/modules
It can be combined with the other topics of Topic/skills, part of ...

Last update: December 23, 2022