Simple but Effective! Introducing the Visible Light (VL) absorbing Flock Sheet!
From photographer to researcher and friend to optical DIY materials, I am Teppei from KoPro.
We are very happy to see that our latest product, "Musou Black," the World's Blackest water-based acrylic Paint, has become a hot topic recently! We apologize for the lack of stock! We would like to thank all of you for purchasing and posting your creations on social media. Please check them out at #musoublack on Twitter and Instagram! For today, I would like to introduce another promising product, the "Visible Light absorbing Flock Sheet."
First, let me tell you something important.
The VL Flock Sheet is blacker than our Musou Black paint.
The cost-performance ratio is great and the material can be touched.
So in today's blog, we will delve into the features of the VL Flock Sheet, compare it with other companies' products, and introduce its recommended uses!
Introduction to Flocking: The staple for light absorbing materials
Where there is light, there will always be shadow. Since ancient times, optical researchers have sometimes been more conscious of the existence of shadows more than light, and have been devoted to control it.
Therefore, light absorbing black materials are very important for both photography and optical research. Unwanted light reflections causes decreases in contrast and produces noise, which impairs accuracy and aesthetics. The purpose of a black material is to absorb such unwanted reflections and obtain a clear image.
A standard process for making such light absorbing materials is flocking. Above all, the process of electrostatic flocking is very effective. It is a method of adhering a fine pile to the base material while standing upright by the force of static electricity.
So the question is, why are flocked products black by the way? To that question I answer, are you familiar with the experiment involving a bundle of needles?
The shiny needles are also mysterious when viewed from the needle tip in a bundle. The content is that the tip of the needle bundle looks black. The light that enters between the needles is reflected into the bottom of the bundle many times, attenuates, and hardly returns, so it looks black. The surprising point of this experiment is that even a glittering surface of silver can produce black with repeated reflections.
A similar phenomenon occurs on the surface of fiber transplants. The pile that stands upright by electrostatic flocking is like a dense bundle of needles.
Let's compare with other flocked materials
Let's understand how the structure of flocking is good for light absorption, and let's see the difference between flocking sheets. The intended use this time is a black background for photography (black background). It's a pretty specific comparison.
First up is the "Light-Absorbing Blackout Material" from Edmund Optics, a general distributor of optical parts and optical materials. They are a well-known major optical material supplier among optical designers, and they have built a product supply system that is worthy of the title, "Any optical material, available anywhere around the world!"
The light-absorbing blackout material has a surface that looks somewhat like felt. That is, the flocked hair is not standing upright, but is set randomly. It does not seem to be electrostatic flocking.
It is most likely a processing method of dropping or spraying pile on an object coated with adhesive. It is the same idea behind a Flocky painting.
The light absorption property is not the best, probably because the hair is not upright compared to electrostatic flocking. The difference is obvious when compared to our anti-reflective flock sheet with electrostatic flocking. However, the blackout material can be obtained at a low price, so the cost performance will be sufficient.
Let's compare with another flocking material-Himiron (ハイミロン)
Next we move up to a comparison of higher levels. Next we will compare a Japanese product, Himiron (black), which is a familiar material for photography by professional photographers and blackout curtains, and our non-reflective blanket.
Himiron is really a staple as a blanket for such stray light prevention, solid black background, and dark curtain use. What is the darkest thing you know? I think that there are quite a few people who respond to this question with Himiron. On the other hand, our non-reflective fleece blanket (it was called suede 0.9 for companies) was not distributed to individuals until recently, and its name recognition is zero. It was supplied to camera makers as an internal component for dark curtains and lenses.
Let's line them up side by side~
As you can see, Koyo's VL Flock Sheet is blacker. It may be difficult to see the difference depending on your monitor.
But what can you tell by looking at this lining photo? Our light absorbing flock sheets are slightly stiff rayon base materials so it lacks flexibility and it is difficult to handle.
Himiron is a standard curtain, so it's really soft and supple. This is definitely suitable for shooting situations such as wrapping around shooting equipment or following unevenness of the set. Use a non-reflective flock blanket as a flat background for a simple set. I'm going to use the black material of Han.
As mentioned above, this time I have introduced a niche flocked cloth with a circle. I hope you will use it in combination with Musou Black, and use it for diorama that blends into black.
Even so, Himiron is nice to the touch. It is almost perfect for clothes, but what about our anti-reflective flock sheet? It would probably be pretty uncomfortable.
Perhaps we can make a cosplay of the shadow guy from the popular anime, "Detective Conan?"
The truth is always one ;) This was Teppei from KoPro.
Check out our VL Flock Sheet here: VL Flock Sheet
Thanks again for reading and see you next time!