Apr 14, 2015 11:45 EDT

Photochromia: Creating a future where garments respond – An apparel collection of UV responsive digital prints that change back and forth time and time again when exposed to sunlight or shade

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 14, 2015

Photochromia: Creating a future where garments respond

by PAOM + The Crated

Creating a future where garments respond to our environment through Photochromia, an apparel collection of UV responsive digital prints

About this project

*Our garments change back and forth time and time again when exposed to sunlight or shade. 


Every good collaboration begins with a funny story. Ours began with Maddy (co-founder of The Crated) standing up a very pregnant Meredith (co-founder of Print All Over Me) for coffee.

Fast forward two years, many late night conversations, supply chain mishaps and  apologies on Maddy’s part, Photochromia was born.


Photochromia is a collaboration between two companies at the intersection of apparel and technology. A collection of sunlight sensitive garments, Photochromia visualizes STEAM concepts such as Schrodinger’s Cat and Parametric equations. Through our collaboration, we aim to contribute to a future where clothing is truly responsive to our environment.

Photochromia Epitrochoid T-shirt.
Photochromia Epitrochoid T-shirt.


New York is an incredible place that’s at the nexus of design and technology. We believe that wonderful products can come our of working between teams and combining ideas.

The Crated

The crated is a product innovation studio focused on wearable technology and responsive textiles.

 Print All Over Me

Print All Over Me makes the web real by providing a platform where designers and create full bleed digitally printed garments.

” Our UV-reactive designs reflect the blend of design and code that has gone into their development and production. From Schrödinger’s cat to parametric equations, this collection brings design and scientific concepts together in PHOTOCHROMIA’s engaging and dynamic garments. The aim of the collaboration is to contribute to a future where responsive garments are the norm.”

-Print All Over Me


See our garments in action. All pieces in the Photochromia collection react to sunlight.

#{project_title}'s video poster


Manufacturing of PHOTOCHROMIA will take place in the Print All Over Me production studio outside Shanghai, where each object is made to order by hand. The facility is owned by Print All Over Me, meaning employees work full time and receive full health care coverage; they make at least four times a fair wage.

It took us over a year to set up a reliable, ethical and functional supply chain and we’re constantly iterating and growing to perfect our garments.


We begin printing PHOTOCHROMIA designs on fabric with a digital printer, then use screen printing to apply the UV-reactive inks. The printed fabric is then washed, cut and sewn into Print All Over Me-designed garments and accessories before making its way home to you.


Inks that change color when exposed to sunlight undergo a process called photochromism. These inks are also known as photochromic inks, which inspired the name of our collection. Photochromism was discovered around 1850 and was originally called phototropy. Photochromic inks are considered to be bi-phasic. This means that they alter between two states, often triggered by electromagnetic radiation. Our photochromic inks alter between clear and opaque, but some photochromic inks change from one colored state to another. Leuco dyes are commonly used for creating transitions in photochromic inks. These are dyes whose molecules can acquire two forms, one of which is colorless. This is the sort of dye used for Photochromia. Lueco dyes can also be used for thermochromism (changing state when stimulated by heat). Generally, the molecular structure of a Leuco dye, when clear, reflects photons, appearing to be white or clear. When stimulated with UV light, the chemical structure of the dye changes to a conjugated system. Conjugated systems are very stable and give rise to strong pigments as they reflect photons. This reflection of photons makes the pigment appear to be black.


New supply chains require large orders to stay alive, which is why we’re bringing Print All Over Me to Kickstarter. Help us produce our photochromic garments by supporting our Kickstarter campaign by ordering a hat, sweatshirt, backpack, or sweatpants.

“We believe that PHOTOCHROMIA is a small, but sure step towards reactive garments being integrated into our everyday lives. Even more so, we believe that collaboration within the design and technology world is essential and we hope to inspire future collaborations between NYC startups in the future. Let’s create a world full of enchanted objects rather than backlit screens. “

-Maddy Maxey, Head of Technology, The Crated


PRODUCTION CREDITS Photography: Spencer Kohn Videography: Max Lauter Styling , jewelry and hair: Jenni Hensler Makeup and Hair: Eric Vosburg Models: Annika White & Tyler Pope

Risks and challenges

We’re big fans of Kickstarter and supporting emerging technologies. With this in mind, we know how common it is for this to happen: http://theoatmeal.com/blog/kickstartmart .

We’ve refined our supply chain over the past year to avoid as many delays as possible. We’re confident we’ll be able to get your garments to you in a timely manner.

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