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This all-black clothing range uses glass to keep people safe in the dark

By Nicola Irwin, Press Association

This incredible clothing is entirely matt black until it’s hit by a light source at night.

Then, reflective dots made from microscopic glass spheres light up to make the wearer instantly identifiable.

Designers at Vollebak have based the Black Light range on how people see in the dark.

(Sun Lee/Vollebak)

By strategically placing the eight dots of light on the clothing at key places – where people flex and bend – it immediately tells the brain that the object in front is a person.

Each reflective matt black dot is made of thousands of microscopic black glass spheres – more than 60,000 are embedded in each dot’s surface.

It means the dots are barely noticeable until they’re lit up in the darkness of night. Each one weighs just a fraction of a gram, with the look and feel of super-thin, soft, smooth and flexible rubber rather than glass.

(Sun Lee/Vollebak)
(Sun Lee/Vollebak)

The technology has been made available in four items so people can opt for whatever is best for their workout – a T-shirt, base and mid layers and ski/snowboard shell – and can be taken on or off without compromising safety.

Vollebak co-founder Steve Tidball said: “We wanted to get rid of the need to wear a specific layer like a vest or jacket to be seen. When it comes to sport, the idea that you become more or less safe as you take off or add layers is backwards. You shouldn’t have to make a choice between over-heating and being seen. So we set out to rethink high vis gear from scratch.”

Steve’s twin and co-founder Nick added: “At night, when the dots are hit by any light source they transform from matt black into glowing discs of bright white light.

(Sun Lee/Vollebak)

“Because we’ve positioned them on the parts of your body that move the most – like your elbows, wrists, shoulders and hips – they create a pattern that’s instantly recognisable as a person from any angle.

“Your brain’s pattern recognition system kicks in to simply join the dots. We’ve done exactly the same thing on the T-shirt, baselayer, midlayer and jacket, so you can be just as safe wearing a T-shirt as you will be wearing a jacket.”

Vollebak previously made a solar-charged jacket that glowed “like kryptonite” after being exposed to a light source.

The range is designed for men; prices start from £70.