Fast fashion: Researchers create glowing, colour changing fabric

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We've seen dresses that can change colour before - just look at the LED-infused output of London based fashion house CuteCircuit over the years.

Read this: How wearable tech can work with our bodies and emotions

But now researchers in China are taking customisable, futuristic fashion to the next level with the creation of a weavable fiber that can light up and change colour on command.

It's the work of Huisheng Peng and his fellow scientists at Fundan University in Shanghai in collaboration with UCLA.

Flexible, transparent, solar powered

According to the journal Nature Photonics (via ECNS) the team has produced 1mm thick fibers made out of PLECs - polymer light-emitting electrochemical cells which are flexible and even elastic while acting like organic LEDs.

That means that the researchers were able to weave their sci-fi, light-emitting yarn into garments which glowed different colours - altered by adjusting the brightness ratio - for four hours straight.

Not only do the PLECs require less power than LEDs, they are also transparent and conductive which means, in theory, such customisable clothes could be solar powered.

According to the team, the exciting and efficient fabric is ready for mass production. Material scientists have also peer reviewed the research, referring to it as "a major step forward" in this area.

Here's hoping it's ready in time for the Spring/Summer 2016 season.

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Sophie was Wareable's associate editor. She joined the team from Stuff magazine where she was an in-house reviewer. For three and a half years, she tested every smartphone, tablet, and robot vacuum that mattered. 

A fan of thoughtful design, innovative apps, and that Spike Jonze film, she is currently wondering how many fitness tracker reviews it will take to get her fit. Current bet: 19.

Sophie has also written for a host of sites, including Metro, the Evening Standard, the Times, the Telegraph, Little White Lies, the Press Association and the Debrief.

She now works for Wired.

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