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A jacket based on deep-sea evolution

February 1st, 2020 / By: / Swatches

The Black Squid Jacket acts like a mirror for whatever light conditions exist. It’s dullish under subdued light, looks like liquid metal in the sun, and more colorful in the brightest light. Photos: Vollebak / Sun Lee.

What can we learn from squids about developing advanced textiles? Quite a lot. The squid’s skin features a complex network of nerves that acts like an electric field, enabling the sea creature to change color and appearance in fractions of a second. A squid can camouflage itself to match its surroundings in one moment, and make itself highly visible by creating colorful, amazing optical illusions in the next.

These properties are replicated in the Black Squid Jacket, a ski and snowboard jacket that looks like metal or oil in dull light conditions but quickly morphs under bright light to reflect every color in the spectrum. The creation of Vollebak, a London-based maker of high-tech menswear, the jacket features lasers, resin and more than two billion disruptively structured microscopic glass spheres to imitate the squid’s ability to transform itself.

The microscopic glass spheres embedded in the resin on the jacket’s surface are invisible to the naked eye. When light hits the jacket, it travels through the curved surface of the spheres, reflects back at the light source and scatters, causing the fabric to look like it is emitting light.

At the same time, the Black Squid is a practical ski jacket. It’s fully waterproof,  windproof and can be layered with any gear for warmth. It has a super-high collar, internal storm flap, rubberized zip pulls and large waterproof pockets. For more information, visit