Clothing and accessories that change colors with sunlight.
If you were a kid in the 90s, you will probably remember the Hypercolor t-shirts that contained leuco dye and would change color when you touched them. Leuco dye is sensitive to temperature change and what would look like a purple shirt would magically change to pink, etc., when in the sun or even from just blowing hot air on the dye. They were popular in the early 90’s when I was in middle school and I really, really wanted one. Unfortunately, when I finally found one at a thrift store years later, the previous owner had not taken proper care of the shirt, so it wouldn’t change color. Awwww. Either way, the technology fascinated me and I was excited to hear about Del Sol’s color changing tees for my kids.
There is a big difference in the old Hypercolor t-shirts versus the use of Del Sol’s proprietary Spectrachrome® Technology on their tees. Being a curious person, I read about why there is a difference and I’ll try to explain it to you in layman’s terms. Spectrachrome crystals reveal their hidden colors when exposed to sunlight and not heat, like leuco dye. Del Sol’s light-sensitive shirts use photochromic dyes and the technology was actually invented by NASA for the space program. Thermochromic inks (ones that are sensitive to heat) has been used in mainstream products in the United States since the 70s, from mood rings to the Hypercolor tees that I had wanted as a pre-teen. However, due to their heat sensitivity, if a Hypercolor tee was washed in really HOT water, it would destroy the dye and ruin the shirt. Shirts using photochromic technology (synthesized of organic materials) do not have that problem. Interestingly, photochromic technology was first used in eyeglasses created by Corning in lenses that would darken when exposed to the sun in the late 1960s and used by NASA in the 1970s and 1980s in their space helmets. Del Sol created their first photochromic t-shirts in the mid-90s, which was, unfortunately, the time when thermochromic shirts were losing their popularity because of spotty or sporadic color change from the heat sensitivity.
To make a long story short, Del Sol was able to continue working on their photochromic dyes to make their colors brighter and stronger and Del’s Sol’s current product line has their amazing color changing shirts to show how far they have come in their technology. Who knew? Here is something that will blow your mind, too; the photochromic dyes do not actually ‘change’ color, the light just makes it visible to the human eye. The word human is stressed because scientific research shows that some animals, such as certain species of bats, can actually see the color of a color-changing crystal in its inactive state. How is that for cool? For humans, the energy shift from the sunlight that causes the color of the dye to change can be seen only in its active state when there is enough UV rays.
What my girls love about the Del Sol Color Changing tees is, of course, that they seem to ‘magically’ turn to color in the sun, but also because they have Disney character shirts. While Brooke is really into the whole Disney princess theme, little Brie has an obsession with Minnie Mouse. I probably hear the name ‘Minnie’ or ‘Oh Toodles’ about a hundred times a day! So while it was fun for me to read the information on how the dye actually works and tried to somehow explain that to the girls, they were more fascinated by the fact that “Minnie Mouse has color!” when we are out in the sun. And, yes, it is cool to see the t-shirt change color. It is also cool that I don’t have to worry about the dye getting ruined in the washing machine or dryer. Yeah! So check out Del Sol’s tees and watch your child be impresesd by photochromic dyes.
Check it out! Del Sol also offers color changing nail polish. See this fun video about Del Sol’s nail polish art here.
Coupon Code! Use code “ColorChange6781” for a 30% discount upon checkout at www.delsol.com. Offer is good until 12/31/15.
List Price: $ 20.00