October 12, 2010
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Chromagenic fiber

Morphotex is the world’s first optical coloring fiber, inspired by the chromogenic principle of Morpho butterflies that inhabit areas along the Amazon in South Africa. Called “living jewels,” the cobalt-blue wings of Morpho butterflies impart vivid color although they have no pigmentation.

Teijin Fibers has recreated this effect via nanotechnology, combining a total of 61 polyester and nylon fibers in alternating layers. By controlling the thickness of each layer ranging from 70 to 100 nanometers, they can produce four basic colors (red, green, blue and violet). Although no dyes or pigments are used for Morphotex, the process reveals a rainbow of colors according to the intensity and angle of light due to this unique structure of the fiber. As there is no dyeing process involved in producing the fiber, Morphotex saves energy and minimizes industrial waste when compared with conventional methods.

Contact: Teijin Fibers Limited, Osaka, Japan.

For more information, see Transmaterial 3: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine our Physical Environment