Theromochromic pigments are a Leuco dye that change state when heat is applied. In this advanced workshop we will weave a textile with an integrated heating circuit and print it with thermochromic pigments.

Learning Goals

In this workshop you will learn about simple textile printing techniques, and how they can be applied with thermochromic pigments. You will understand the fundamentals of Leuco dyes, or thermochromic pigments. And you will learn how to use basic weaving techniques to create a woven heating element.

Prerequisite Skills

  1. Weaving

  2. Silk Screening- textile or paper

  3. Hand Sewing

  4. Wire work


  1. Speedball Transparent Base

  2. Master of Clouds 28 AWG Nichrome Wire

  3. Solid Core Wire

  4. Thermochromic Pigment


  1. Cardboard loom

  2. Embroidery hoop

  3. Pantyhose

  4. Plastic Card

  5. Tapestry Needle

  6. Felt Battery Holder

  7. 9V Battery

  8. Lilypad Buttons

  9. 9V Battery Snap

  10. Crimp beads


Preparing Your Screen

Stretching Your Screen from Sasha de Koninck on Vimeo.

  1. Stretch the pantyhose over embroidery hoop until taught.

  2. Tighten embroidery hoop to secure.

Creating Your Stencil

  1. Draw your design onto the screen
  1. Paint the negative space with Mod Podge. To speed up the drying process, use a hairdryer.


  1. Warp the loom with nichrome wire
  1. Tape down loose nichrome ends to back of loom.

  2. Weave a plain weave structure with regular yarn. A plain weave is the simple structure of over-under-over-under.


  1. Mix the print paste. The ratio of pigment to paste determines opacity of color. Decide what effect you want and mix to your liking.

  2. Make sure the screen is dry.

  3. Place screen on desired area on weaving. Make sure the screen is making contact with the textile.

  1. Use a brush or squeegeee to pass paint through screen.
  1. Let the weaving air dry. It may take several hours to dry, depending on thickness of paint application, and layers of color. Do not apply and heat or current to a wet weaving.


  1. Choose one side of the weave to be positive and the other will be negative. First we will work on the positive side.

  2. Take one crimp bead and slide it onto the first lead.

  1. Slide the button on next. The button is not polarized, so it does not matter which end you choose.
  1. Take the wire and slide it back through the crimp bead, creating a loop.
  1. Take some flat nose pliers, and smash them around crimp bead, creating a tight and secure connection between the button and the nichrome lead. Trim excess wire.

  2. Cut a piece of solid core wire. Strip ends.

  1. Slide a crimp bead onto the wire.
  1. Fold the wire through the button hole.
  1. Slide the crimp bead onto the wire, crimp, and trim any excess wire.
  1. Repeat steps 2-9 on all remaining positive leads on weaving.

  2. With the negative lead, take pliers and twist wire around to form a coil.

  1. As we did when making the positive connections to the button, cut and strip a piece of solid core wire. Slide a crimp bead onto the wire. Fold the wire through the coil. Slide the crimp bead over the end. Smash with pliers and trim excess.
  1. Repeat on all remaining negative leads.

  2. Now we will make the connections to the battery. On the negative side, take all leads and slide through crimp bead.

  1. Take stripped end of negative battery lead and slide through crimp bead. Twist negative lead around wires for solid connection.
  1. Smash with pliers and trim excess wire.

  2. Repeat on positive side.


Couching is a technique of sewing down another thread, filament, or wire, with a zig zag stitch on a sewing machine, or a whip stitch by hand. In this tutorial, we will couch the wires onto a piece of felt, to hold down the sample.

ThermoFin from Sasha de Koninck on Vimeo.