'Removable prints' is an environmentally safe fabric ink that is wearable and washable normally but can be removed with a special detergent, offering the clothing wearer a chance to sport a new pattern.
The ink can be applied by digitally printing or painting upon a finished fabric item (organic cotton and tencel at present). When the design is no longer desired, the object need be soaked, rinsed, and resoaked in a combination of water and detergent before being washed normally, and the piece is ready to be redecorated.
The technology opens avenues for digital printing on demand, and a model of reuse within the fashion industry. In addition, the fact that the printing can be removed before the end of the life of a textile product means that the fabric is of a single colour when shredded, permitting it to be respun into thread. Van Balgooi is currently seeking partners to commercially produce 'removable prints'.
'Everything is temporary. That is the way we should look at decorating our textiles too. People change, but their clothes do not change with them. We stop wearing our clothes when we are tired of them, while prints are permanent. What would happen if we have the possibility to replace prints on textiles? In other words, to remove prints and add new ones to make fabrics last. This method would combine short (fashion) cycles with long raw material cycles.' - Designer Fioen van Balgooi
example pattern a special dissolving solution eliminates the ink colour, as shown here with fabric exposed to the detergent for varying amounts of time a sample is partially dipped in the detergent, highlighting the elimination of colour materials testing