Table of Contents
Color Changing Umbrellas
An umbrella is a convenient tool for getting protection from the elements of the weather. Umbrella designers and manufacturers constantly look for new and creative ways to improve the umbrella’s look and feel. Every new umbrella design comes with new features and solutions to specific problems. For instance, the pocket umbrella solves the problem of portability.
The umbrella market is filled with several types, designs, and shapes of umbrellas; this ensures that the umbrella never goes out of style or fashion or becomes irrelevant to the need it is created to meet. Of the various kinds of umbrellas today, the color-changing umbrella is one of the fascinating types.
This article will tell you all you should know about the color-changing umbrella to be adequately informed about this unique umbrella.
What are Color Changing Umbrellas?
A color-changing umbrella is a circular fabric stretched over U-shaped, hinged ribs joined at the center with a pole. What differentiates the color-changing umbrella from the common umbrella is that the canopy changes color when there is a shift in the situation surrounding the umbrella. The umbrella naturally has a monochromatic design; in other words, it is black and white. But when there is a temperature change or the addition of water, you have a pop of colors.
Color-changing umbrellas bring some extra color to an ordinarily dreary rainy day. Some special inks used to print and design the umbrella canopies make this color change possible. When these inks on the umbrellas, i.e., Hydrochromic ink reacts to water, Thermochromic ink reacts to temperature, Photochromic ink reacts to UV light, the ink turns invisible, and the hidden design under the ink is revealed. We will discuss these different types of inks in the following subheading.
Eye-catching Color-Changing Umbrellas: A Fun and Durable Accessory for Kids and Adults
You should note that after this type of umbrella has dried or the temperature has returned to normalcy in that environment, the graphics colors change back to black and white. This type of umbrella’s color-changing effect is usually eye-catching, which is probably why most of the color-changing umbrellas out there are for children. The color-changing umbrellas are typically found in the kids’ category in online shops and umbrella manufacturers’ websites because they encourage children to use them and even make them fun. This does not mean no adult color-changing umbrellas are on the market. There are quite a number of them out there on the umbrella market.
The canopy of color-changing umbrellas could be made from materials such as Pongee or polyester. These materials are easy to design and do not react poorly to the inks used in printing. Most color-changing umbrellas use black fabric because a black background is known to make colors more vivid. Also, most umbrella manufacturers use carbon fiber or fiberglass for the umbrella’s ribs to help it withstand strong winds. And so, the umbrellas are long-lasting due to the extra strength given to them by the materials used to make their ribs.
How Do Color-Changing Umbrellas Work?
The secret of the color-changing umbrella is that the colors have always been there, but they were just hidden! The colors and designs are imprinted through the normal process of printing. Afterward, an extra layer of special ink is printed on the colors to conceal them. Although it seems as though the colors seem to “appear” out of nowhere, the truth is that the colors have always been there.
Three types of inks can print the designs on the umbrellas’ canopies for color-changing umbrellas.
1. Hydrochromic Ink
Hydrochromic ink is the most common ink used to create color-changing umbrellas. This type of ink is activated by water. When an image is printed on an umbrella’s canopy, the white Hydrochromic ink is screened (or sprayed) over the design. So when water touches the umbrella, the ink disappears, and the structure underneath it is displayed. You could also put it this way: when the Hydrochromic ink on the umbrella makes contact with water or any liquid, it becomes transparent and gives way for the original colors to come out. What is even more fascinating is that once the water on the umbrella dries up, the image becomes concealed again.
Applying the ink in a screen printing method is more advisable because it requires a fairly hefty amount to be effective. The umbrella manufacturer’s design to camouflage with the Hydrochromic ink could determine the efficiency of the ink. So, you have to select the underlying text or graphic carefully. There are specific requirements about the image you hope to cover. These requirements are peculiar to the ink factory, so you must follow these instructions before using them.
Although it is conventional for the colors on the canopy to become hidden once the water dries, some Hydrochromic inks are irreversible. In other words, once water is applied, the colors are exposed, and they stay that way even after the canopy is already dry. Simply put, the changes caused after water touches the umbrella are permanent.
2. Thermochromic or Thermochromatic Ink
Thermochromic ink reacts to fluctuations in temperature, either hot or cold; that is, it is triggered by an increase or decrease in temperature. However, the use of Thermochromic ink in color-changing umbrellas is not as popular as Hydrochromic ink. A significant similarity between Thermochromic and Hydrochromic ink is that after the umbrella has been manufactured and engraved, the ink is sprayed or screened on the canopy to conceal the previously printed images.
The canopy of a Thermochromic color-changing umbrella is often resistant to ultraviolet rays. And because of this, this type of umbrella protects its users from these harmful rays.
Thermochromic inks are reversible; in other words, they change either as the ink warms or cools. These inks could be activated by temperatures of -10°C to 70°C.
Thermochromic umbrellas could also be used to measure the temperature outside. There is usually a set temperature that can activate the Thermochromic ink. So, below that set temperature, the ink conceals the colors; above the temperature, the ink becomes invisible to reveal the umbrella’s colors. If, for instance, the temperature outside is so hot that it can change the color of the umbrella, you would have an idea of just how hot the weather is and how to prepare for it.
There are three primary temperature inks to consider when it comes to Thermochromic inks:
- The low-temperature ink is activated when the temperature is cold, like during a snowy day.
- The body temperature ink is triggered when the surrounding is at room temperature. For example, you can rub your hands or blow a warm breath on the umbrella.
- The high-temperature ink is activated when things are heated up. So, if you go out during a scorching day, you will see the hidden designs on your umbrella.
Brands use thermochromic inks as a creative visual cue to let their customers know when a product is hot or cold, for example, Pizza shops or beverage companies. When you use Thermochromic ink to design a color-changing umbrella in the umbrella market, you are presented with an aesthetically pleasing umbrella.
3. Photochromic Ink
Photochromic ink reacts when exposed to Ultraviolet light, for instance, the sun or black light. This works because when the photochromic ink’s chemical structure absorbs the UV light, they are transformed from clear to color. The UV rays are distributed to the umbrella’s canopy and used to beautify the umbrella upon contact with the ink. The UV light causes the ink to absorb color (the designs on the umbrella), and then when the UV source is removed, the ink changes back to a transparent color. A downside to this type of ink is that it is not as common in the umbrella business as the other two types of ink.
We have taken the time to dissect everything you need to know and understand about color-changing umbrellas and how they work. Hopefully, you have learned one or two things about the color-changing umbrella. The Hydrochromic, Thermochromic, and Photochromic inks give the classic umbrella an exciting twist. It is fascinating that these three inks can effortlessly and creatively transform the look of an umbrella; it is almost like having two umbrellas in one!
There are many designs, so you do not have to feel restricted. If you hope to purchase a color-changing umbrella for your personal use or as a promotional item, you can contact us at Huifeng Umbrella; we would be more than willing to make your dreams a reality. All you need to do is message us at email@example.com, and you will be more than satisfied with our services.