In this study, a hybrid silica sol-gel embedded with a photochromic dye has been applied to wool fabric to form a photochromic coating. The treated wool fabrics showed very quick photochromic response. Five different silanes have been used as the silica precursor, and the resultant coating showed slight differences in photochromic performance, fabric washing fastness, and surface hydrophilicity. However, the silica type had a considerable influence on fabric handle property. The silica matrix from the silane containing a long alkyl chain had a very little influence on the fabric handle and better photochromic performance than those from other different silane precursors.
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