Innovation That Matters

Sweat-sensitive textile coating shows wearer's hydration levels

Work & Lifestyle

SOAK is a sweat-sensitive textile coating which can be applied to workout clothes, to provide visual cues about hydration levels.

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Despite the body’s natural warning signs, it can be difficult to keep an eye on hydration levels during exercise. Now, SOAK is a sweat-sensitive textile coating that can be applied to workout clothes and provide the wearer with color-coded visual cues — just like a litmus test — which tell them when they need to stop and have a drink.


SOAK was developed by Paulien Routs in collaboration with Droog Design, cosmetic chemistry lab Thewa Innovations, and aesthetics doctor Annabeth Kroeskop. During exercise, the textile coating reacts to the levels of basicity and acidity in the wearers sweat, and changes color instantaneously to provide real-time information about their body’s health and wellbeing. The coating moves through a spectrum of colors, with blue representing high levels of base fluids in the sweat and good hydration, greens showing that both base and acid fluids are present, and orange and yellow to reveal a high amount of acid and dehydration.


Routs is currently exploring different applications for the technology. Perhaps it could be used to develop an upgraded sweatband, or products for kids (who would most certainly prioritize play over hydration)?



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