Textile materials with a pH‐sensitive function

Lien Van der Schueren (Department of Textiles, Ghent University, Zwijnaarde, Belgium)
Karen De Clerck (Department of Textiles, Ghent University, Zwijnaarde, Belgium)

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology

ISSN: 0955-6222

Publication date: 9 August 2011



The purpose of this paper is to develop textile materials with a pH‐sensitive function.


As a start point, the feasibility of incorporating pH‐indicators in conventional textiles using standard dyeing processes was investigated. Next, a pH‐indicator was incorporated into a nylon nanofibrous structure by adding the dye to the polymer solution before the start of the electro‐spinning process.


The authors' results proved that it is possible to develop a pH‐sensor using conventional textiles dyed by a standard dyeing process. Also, the incorporation of a pH‐indicator dye into a nanofibrous structure was possible. Moreover, reproducible samples could be obtained. Furthermore, the majority of the obtained textile structures showed a clear colour change with a change in acidity. This halochromic behaviour was, however, different from the behaviour of the dyes in solution due to dye‐fibre interactions.


The knowledge obtained in this study can lead to the development of a textile pH‐sensor. This sensor can be used in a broad field of applications since a colour change is a non‐disturbing but clear signal which can perform a first warning function.



Van der Schueren, L. and De Clerck, K. (2011), "Textile materials with a pH‐sensitive function", International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 269-274. https://doi.org/10.1108/09556221111136539

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