Color Change Effects with Thermo- and Photochromic Pigments

With thermochromic and photochromic pigments you can create very particular color change effects in textile printing and coating. Depending on the sun exposure or on the temperature the pigments are either colored or colorless. In combination with conventional color pigments you can design extraordinary fashionable printing or coating effects which are changing their color when they are exposed to UV light or to higher temperatures.

Picture of two fabrics with thermochromic flower prints before and after heating up

Left side: Print made with PERICOLOR BLACK TCCH and PERICOLOR PINK FLM at room temperature, right side: after heating up


Thermo- and Photochromic Effects

Thermochromic substances are able to change their color in case of a temperature change. A light-induced color change is called photochromism. Both thermochromic and photochromic color changes are reversible. If the temperature or the light intensity is changing back to the previous state, the original color reappears, or the pigments which changed from colorless to colored will become colorless again.

Color Change in Textile Printing and Coating

We offer thermochromic and photochromic pigments for textile coating and printing. These special pigments can be processed in water-based pigment printing or coating pastes just like standard pigments. We provide those pigments as aqueous pigment dispersions which are easy to handle in the color kitchen.


Our thermochromic PERICOLOR TC/CH pigments turn colorless if they are heated above their specific color change temperature range. When stimulated by UV light or daylight, our photochromic PERICOLOR PC pigments change from their initial colorless to a colored state. After removing or shutting off the heat or light source, the pigments – and thus the coating or printing on the textile – will return to their original color.

Fashionable Color Effects by Combined Application

You can apply the respective pigments either alone or in combination with other pigments.

Examples for thermochromic effects:

  • With rising temperature, PERICOLOR MAGENTA TC/CH loses its original pink color and turns colorless.
  • A pigment print with our thermochromic PERICOLOR BLACK TC/CH in combination with our neon pigment PERICOLOR PINK FL/M changes its color from a muted dark red into a fluorescent pink when heated.
  • With increasing temperature a black coating with PERICOLOR BLACK TC/CH turns translucent. This way the textile fabric itself, a dyeing, or a print underneath can show through. 

Examples for photochromic effects:

  • With sun exposure PERICOLOR PC/PURPLE changes from a colorless state into purple.
  • With a fluorescent yellow pigment like PERICOLOR YELLOW FL/M in combination with our photochromic PERICOLOR PC/BLUE pigment you can achieve photochromic color change effects from yellow into green.
  • The photochromic pigments PERICOLOR PC/YELLOW can be combined with other photochromic pigments such as PERICOLOR PC/BLUE or PERICOLOR PC/PURPLE


Recipe Recommendation for Photochromic and Thermochromic Prints

For pigment printing with our thermo- or photochromic PERICOLOR pigments we suggest the following guiding recipe:

Binder:  PERICOAT VA 110  200 g/kg
Defoamer:   PERIFOAM NSI NEW    3 g/kg
Urea   20 g/kg
Silicone Softener:  PERISOFT SE  20 g/kg
Pigments:   PERICOLOR PC or TC/CH     x g/kg
Crosslinker:  PERICOAT CROSSLINKER NF  30 g/kg
Thickener:  PERIPRINT TN/PF    y g/kg

Printing screen: 55T/80 mesh
Drying: 100 °C
Curing: 2 min, 160 °C

Do You Have Questions on Pigments?

We offer conventional color, pearlescent and glitter pigments. Furthermore, for special effects we provide color change effects, so-called flip-flop pigments, fluorescent, thermo- and photochromic pigments. If you have any questions regarding the application of our pigments or the suitable binder systems for textile printing or coating, please contact our experts. We will be pleased to assist you.  

For further information, please visit: News Printing Effects.