Textile Materials Inspired By Structural Colour In Nature

UoM administered thesis: Phd


This research explores the concept of mimicking structural colour in nature as an alternative to traditional textile coloration techniques. In particular, the research focuses on certain species of buttery and beetle. Structural colours originate from the physical interaction of light with nanoscale structures.Firstly, this study explores the use of thin, multilayer films to aid designing and producing bi-component interference fibres, exhibiting structural colour similar to that of the Morpho buttery. In the textiles industry, a bicomponent fibre called the Morphotex® fibre has been produced. This fibre replicates the structure observed on the surface of the wings of the Morpho buttery, responsible for achieving the distinctive iridescent blue. The project aims to replicate and extend on previously implemented biomimetic structures on textiles.Secondly, this project investigates ways in which Cholesteric Liquid Crystals(CLC) can be printed onto a range of textile substrates using k-bar coating and inkjet printing methods, to exhibit structural colour similar to that of the Chrysina Gloriosa beetle.CLCs produce a wide colour gamut and provide angular colour effects that would be a welcome addition to the `toolbox' of a textile designer. In this study, solvent based ink formulations containing CLCs are applied to pre-treated textile substrates, using a piezoelectric inkjet printer. Different ink formulations, with varying concentrations of nematic liquid crystal and chiral dopant, are investigated to create a range of coloured films. This research determines whether fibre content, fabric structure, thread density, film thickness and surface treatments have an impact on the colour perceived by the observer.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date1 Aug 2017