Glow In The Dark Reflective Fabric

| By CHINASTARS
"Glow in the dark reflective fabric is a fabric that can both emit light in the darkness and reflect light when hit by light sources such as a car headlight. It is designed for clothing, gloves, bags, hats, shoes or any other products that required night glowing performance."
luminous rainbow reflective clothing

What is glow in the dark reflective fabric?

Glow in the dark fabric also called photoluminescence or phosphorescent fabric, becomes a favorite for clothing designers in recent years, to add extra magic to their design and attract both kids and adults. The glow in the dark fabric can absorb ultraviolet light or other visible ambient light, restore the energy and slowly release the energy in fluorescent color in the dark.

While reflective fabrics are the latest trend these days when it comes to fashion and safety. It can reflect light back to the light source within 200 meters, to protect the wearers' safety on the road. And the reflected light comes in various visual effects to make the wearer an eye-catcher at night. 

Chinastars combines glow in the dark and reflective features together making the fabric ideal for fashion design.

Glow in the dark reflective fabrics we have

For different production technologies and raw materials, we can produce fabrics that differ in daylight colors, reflected colors as well as glow in the dark colors.

  • 1. Daylight Color: Milky white,  Reflected Color: Rainbow Color,  Glow in the dark color: Green/Blue luminous rainbow white reflective fabric
  • 2. Daylight Color: Custom pattern fabric,  Reflected Color: Rainbow Color,  Glow in the dark color: Green luminous rainbow pattern reflective fabric
  • 3. Daylight Color: Milky white with a slight yellowish shade,  Reflected Color: Rainbow,  Glow in the dark color: Green luminous rainbow pattern reflective fabric

Luminous Rainbow Fabric Features:

  • 1. Glowing: the fabric can glow in the dark for over 8 hours after absorbing visible light for as little as 20-30 minutes. It can be used as human outline markers in the dark, and can be seen up to 100 meters depending on conditions.
  • 2. Reflective: The fabric can reflect in rainbow aurora color or white color at night with a direct hit of the headlight. The wearers can be protected and seen to the traffic for as far as 200 meters.
  • 3. Light-weight: The fabric is made of polyester fiber and is light-weighted with a weight of 170 g/m².
  • 4. Water repellent and windproof: The fabric is naturally water repellent with a durable coating, the windproof property makes it perfect for outdoor wear that needs to keep warm in cold or windy weather.
  • 5. Skin-Friendly: The fabric is non-toxic, skin-friendly, and has no radioactive elements. It is also child safe and suitable for kids products being phthalate and lead-free.
  • 6. Natural recharge: It can be recharged naturally and repeatedly with exposure to any visual light, no need for wiring, batteries or bulbs. Compared to zinc sulfide products, this fabric glow is much brighter and recharges faster.

Luminous Rainbow Reflective Fabric Applications:

luminous sports safety clothing

How can glow in the dark reflective fabric be used?

  • 1. It is perfect for making safety clothing/ equipment/crafting projects for high visibility property.
  • 2. The lightweight, water-repellent and high visibility properties make it an ideal fabric for sporting goods. For joggers or bikers, cycling apparel made with this fabric will allow them to be seen in the dark for as far as 200 meters.
  • 3. It is suitable for casual wear or accessories, such as windbreakers, caps, backpacks for its windproof and stylish performance. The reflective and glow in the dark performance enables the wearer to be the shiniest eye-catcher at night.
  • 4. Costumes or fashion clothes is also common application for the fabric. For anyone who wants to bring some attention to himself/herself at night, this is the way to go!
  • 5. Interior decoration is also a novel application. For coffee bars or other shops, the fabric can make it a popular place and attract many visitors to take and share photos.

How does glow in the dark fabric work?

The glow in the dark material is normally sulphide or aluminum silicate. The one we used is aluminum silicate, which has higher brightness, longer afterglow time, stable performance and non-radioactive properties. Sulphide can only glow for up to half hour, whereas aluminum silicate can glow for more than 8 hours.

The production of glow in the dark materials uses high temperature solid state method, the chemical raw materials are roasted to 1100-1400℃, reacted for 2-3 hours, then cooled and ball-milling into powder materials to be coated onto fabrics.

The glowing light can be in blue, green, purple or yellow colors, each made of different chemicals. The most commonly seen is in green color, it seems the green light is brighter than light in other colors, is that true? Actually it's not. The reason why green glow appears brighter is that human eyes are most sensitive to the green light. Human eyes can perceive light between the wavelength of 380nm(blue light) to 780nm(red light), human eyes have the highest sensitivity in the green spectrum region of 550nm. For colored lights at other wavelengths, higher light radiation power is required for human beings to perceive the same brightness.

Normally the molecules of glow in the dark materials are in a stable state. When it is stimulated by an external light source, the atoms inside absorb light of a certain frequency, obtain energy from it, and become excited and emit fluorescent light. The moment right after light charging, the emitted light is the brightest, and it begins to fade gradually as the atoms slowly calm down. It recharges naturally with exposure to sun or ambient light, no need for wiring, batteries or bulbs. Maximum brightness can be achieved after being charged by ultra violet light for 3-4 minutes, direct sunlight for 7-8 minutes, or ambient light for 25-30 minutes.

The ambient light will affect the light brightness our eyes perceive. The darker the environment, the more adapted our eyes are to the darkness, the brighter the light glow will see. Total darkness is the best for perceiving the light brightness, any ambient light will distract our eyes' attention. 

How does reflective fabric work?

The reflective fabric consists of micro glass beads embedded onto adhesives and attached to a base fabric. The diameters of micro glass beads vary from 20μm to 100μm and are as tiny as powders. The micro-glass beads are semi-coated with aluminum or other optical materials using special coating technology. When light passes through the micro glass beads, it is bent and reflected by the optical materials back to the light source just like a mirror. So at night, when hit by a headlight, the reflective fabric will reflect in silver, colorful, or rainbow color bright light, and easily seen by drivers within 200 meters to avoid a possible car accident. Also, the big contrast between daylight color and light reflected color makes the reflective fabric a new fashion trend.

How to observe reflective and luminous effect?

The reflective principle as we know is to reflect the light that passes through the micro glass beads back to the original light source. So to observe the reflective effect, we can use below methods:

observe rainbow effect

Method 1: Open the camera app on your phone and turn on the flashlight under video mode, keep a distance (arm length) with the sample and observe it on the phone.

Method 2: Open the camera app on your phone and turn on the flashlight under photo mode, keep a distance (arm length) with the sample and take a photo.

How to restore reflective fabric before or during garment manufacturing?

  • 1. Store in a cool, dry and ventilated place, and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. Recommended to Keep them in the environment of below 80°F and lowering than 70% relative humidity.
  • 2. Do not wipe the surface of reflective fabric with acid or alkali. Avoid soak in acid or alkaline solutions for long time.
  • 3. Water-cooled air conditioner is not suitable for garment factory. Garment is recommended to be dried or dehumidified before bagging. If the cloth is dampened or steam ironed, be sure to let it air-dry in time.
  • 4. Workers are suggested to wear gloves during production process to avoid possible blemishes. Meanwhile, machine oil or other corrosive liquids shall be kept away from reflective fabric.

How to wash reflective fabric?

Some suggestions for extending the life of reflective fabric on safety clothing:

  • 1. When do machine wash, you may use a mild detergent, but No Bleach or Fabric Softener!
  • 2. Try to avoid wash the reflective products with your work jeans or any clothing with rough fabric or edges. The microscopic glass beads on the reflective fabric can be worn off by rough texture.
  • 3. Try to line dry your reflective products. If you choose to machine dry, try to remove the product immediately. The added heat can damage the reflective fabric.

Friendly Tip for Designer:

Reflective fabric is not suitable for parts with direct skin contact such as collar or lining. It will cause an uncomfortable feeling when contacting directly with skin.

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