Photoluminescent Pigment Printed Textiles for Home Fashion: A User Preference Study
Richa Sharma1* and Nilanjana Bairagi2
1 Textile Department, National Institute of Fashion Technology, India
2Knitwear Department, National Institute of Fashion Technology, India
Submission: October 03, 2019; Published: October 29, 2019
*Corresponding author: Richa Sharma, Textile Department, National Institute of Fashion Technology Bengaluru, 560102, India
How to cite this article: Richa Sharma, Nilanjana Bairagi. Photoluminescent Pigment Printed Textiles for Home Fashion: A User Preference Study. Curr
Trends Fashion Technol Textile Eng. 2019; 5(4): 555666. DOI: 10.19080/CTFTTE.2019.05.555666
User preference study is an exploratory approach to assess the potential of photoluminescent pigment printed textiles as end products. The user goals need to be identified for the possible end use in the given context. For products like home fashion, personalisation and aesthetics are important factors for the success of the product. Photoluminescent pigments are rare earth metals that absorb light and emit it slowly as a pale blue/bluish green light. The duration of glow may sustain over 6-8 hours after initial excitation from external light source. Therefore, these pigments may be used for designing textiles for home to enable edge definition and navigation in the dark. The experimental studies establish that with the increase in concentration of photoluminescent pigment in printed textiles the luminosity increase . But there are limited studies to correlate this data with the user and their preferences for end-use as photoluminescent pigment printed textile in dim lighting condition.
It has been reported in the literature that the products designed should be familiar and tangible for greater acceptability by the user .The study needs to focus not only on the user needs but also on the context that challenges the need in the journey of product development . Therefore, this user perception study was conducted in a dark room; closest context of a real environment was created followed by a questionnaire method to record user perception and assign attributes to the afterglow of the photoluminescent pigment printed textiles that the user experienced. For identification of the complete spectrum of user needs informant design or participatory approach to design was also encouraged to explore diversity in the product categories .
The study was conducted with 60nos. participants in the age group of 19-60years with a mix of both normal and corrected vision. The study was done individually and none of the participants were allowed proximity to interact or influence the findings. Out of 60 only 22 wore glasses for corrected vision. The researcher methodically noted the observations made by individual user and details of the findings from the questionnaire are collated and presented hereafter.
The dark room set was created with scotopic lighting closing all the natural sources of light with black paper under dark
curtains. One long table was arranged and all the 24 printed samples B1-B4 and G1-G4 in C3 (5%), C4 (10%) and C5 (20%) concentrations as depicted in Figure 1 were placed at random in rows. The participants were brought in blindfolded after acclimatization at low light and made to enter the dark room.
The main aim of this study was to understand the user preferences and user behaviour with respect to photoluminescent pigment printed samples.
First Reaction: The first reaction of the participants was of excitement and joy. The novelty of the phenomena, the light coming from textiles as the room is put to darkness was
inescapable. The impact of novelty is there and thus stirred
emotion in all participants.
Description of Light: The description of light is without
any glare. The light from the glow was steady and not flickering.
The perception of light was coming from the printed textile
samples instead of being reflected. In the user preference study
95% of participants reported no glare and discomfort with the
light from the afterglow of photoluminescent pigment. The light
appeared brighter as it was approached and thus a perception
of depth was present. All the participants recorded the details
of the pattern and described it as floral which suggests that
the luminosity emitted by the printed samples is significantly
perceptible in the dark.
The second task was to segregate the 24 samples into three
categories i.e. Very Bright, Moderate and Least Bright. The Figure
2 shows the distribution of the choices made by the participants
on random numbers assigned to the samples. The findings are in
line with the experimental results where the visual perception
of the samples increases from least bright to very bright as
the concentration of the pigment increases irrespective of the
particle size(Sharma and Bairagi, 2019). As observed in Table 1
the brightest samples are seen mostly as C5 (20%), moderate at
C4 (10%) and least bright at C3(5%) concentration respectively.
Engagement of the photoluminescent printed textile with
the user can be further understood with the quality of light
and possible end uses which they can visualize and adopt in
daily living. Intensity of acceptable perceived luminescence
for night-light was thus recorded. As per the findings the
participants related to starlight with ‘Least Bright’ category, oil
lamps for ‘Moderate’ and full-moon light with ’Very Bright’. This
distribution is illustrated graphically in Figure 2.
As per the survey we find that most participants prefer to
leave their hall/ living rooms with some level of illumination. As
graphically represented in Figure 3 we find that we have 49% of
the participants for hall/ living which is more than two times the
next preceding option of foyer or the kitchen.
With respect to the user preference for keeping the lights
on during sleep at night, more than 50% of the participants
responded that they don’t sleep in complete darkness even
though only 10% leave the lights on. 40% of the participants
were open to the idea of using night lights in their bedrooms.
Many reported light trespass from corridors and streetlights into
their rooms at night.
The preference of intensity for night light based on the
category identified by the participant in the beginning is illustrated in Figure 4 which is Very Bright, Moderate and
Least Bright. The distribution is significant for very bright and
moderate, but every category is significantly represented which
means that there is a need for personalization in the product.
To take into account tangibility of the product it was
important to ascribe emotive attributes with the afterglow, which
will help us in design and function. The users correlated the
photoluminescent light with extreme emotions like excitement
and joy for the bright samples while sad and lonely was attributed
to least bright samples. Moderately bright samples appeared
calm and few responses were given to fear leaning towards least
This survey emphasizes the user needs and aspirations
where 80% users were willing to experiment with new
photoluminescent printed products. This poses a huge
opportunity for design and emerging new markets.
Most of the users associated with lampshades as a product
category. Cushions, drapes, carpets, floor-mats, table runners
etc. had a mixed response. Many novel suggestions like puja
room diyas, wallets and linings of bags, fridge handle covers,
and bathroom handles etc. were also mentioned. Figure 5 clearly
shows that the design possibilities for this print in homes is
tremendous and needs to be explored.
Based on the suggestions and inputs from the participants
the following mind map [Figure 6] was made to capture the
emerging areas where the design may be extended for future
scope and work. New categories such as key chains and fridge
door handles, wallet and spectacle covers, linings for bags, puja
accessories like garlands and diya’s, Christmas decorations and
many such opportunities opens research and experimentation
areas for future work. As the intensity of photoluminescence
emitted is below 1lux, it would have no impact on the circadian
rhythm of human beings as per the literature. It is thus seen as
probable applications in the area of healthcare, elderly care,
infants and baby care products and people suffering from
insomnia and sleeping disorders. It could also be used in places
like nightclubs, lounge bars and dance halls where low lighting
is the norm. And intended use for activities where too much light
could be an impediment such as meditation, listening to music
and lovemaking could also be considered. The photoluminescent
products may be integrated into the fitness gear for running
and cycling, especially in paths where lighting maybe obscure.
Camping gear like tents and sleeping bags could be a possibility.
Also, garden and patio upholstery maybe designed for enjoying
the natural nightlight.
The user preference study emphasised that there is a huge
potential for design development for new product categories
for photoluminescent pigment printed textiles not only in the
area of home fashion but also newer market positioning such as
camping and fitness gear, maritime use and navigation aids for
elderly and baby care to mention a few.