Join the waiting list

Sign up to get advance access to the Blue Morpho Jacket and other new releases.

Blue Morpho Jacket | Available at vollebak.com

Recreating the optical illusions of the animal kingdom

While we know we’ll always be playing catch up with nature, our ultimate aim is to create synthetic materials as smart and responsive biological ones. So back in 2017 we started on our journey towards building clothing that could mimic the astonishing colour-shifting survival mechanisms found in the animal kingdom. It means you can charge our Solar Charged Jacket in the sun to glow in the dark like a firefly. And our Black Squid Jacket mimics the adaptive camouflage of the squid by reflecting every colour in the visible spectrum. But our journey started with the Blue Morpho butterfly.

Blue Morpho Jacket | Available at vollebak.com

Reverse engineering the Blue Morpho butterfly

Pilots flying above the rainforest can see the Blue Morpho butterfly from over a kilometre away thanks to microscopic scales that cover its wings. These scales reflect light to create an iridescent and shimmering blue that’s constantly shifting colour and astonishingly bright. That’s because instead of being created by pigment, the blue of the butterfly’s wing is created through a phenomenon known as structural colouration. It means it’s the structure of the wing itself that creates the colour you see.

Blue Morpho Jacket | Available at vollebak.com

The Blue Morpho reflects all blues simultaneously

While most of the colours we see are caused by pigments absorbing and reflecting certain wavelengths of light, iridescence is caused by structures on the surface of the object interfering with how the light is reflected off it. The interference means that light isn’t simply reflected but scattered. The result is that iridescent colour looks different from every angle – it isn’t constant, and it can’t be. So the Blue Morpho butterfly can appear to be every possible blue in the spectrum at the same time, and different from every angle.

Blue Morpho Jacket | Available at vollebak.com

How 2 billion glass spheres can mimic a wing

While the Blue Morpho butterfly uses these microscopic plate-like structures on the surface of its wing to make itself ultra-visible from long range, our jacket uses highly reflective microscopic blue glass spheres. With over two billion of them embedded in resin on the jacket’s surface, and over 40,000 in every single square centimetre, they’re invisible to the naked eye. When light hits the jacket, it travels through the curved surface of these glass spheres and strikes the back of them, before being reflected straight back at the original light source so that the fabric looks like it’s emitting light.

Blue Morpho Jacket | Available at vollebak.com

During the day the jacket is matt blue

As the Blue Morpho Jacket develops colour through structural colouration just like the Blue Morpho butterfly, it acts like a mirror for whatever light conditions you expose it to. When you’re inside or in subdued light conditions during the day, the jacket is a matt blue. It’s only when the jacket catches the light that you’ll see flashes of brightness across the surface.

Blue Morpho Jacket | Available at vollebak.com

In sunlight it looks like liquid metal

When you expose the jacket to any bright light source or sunshine it transforms instantly into a shimmering metallic blue. If you’re out on the slopes in the sun, the surface and colour of the jacket will appear to shift and warp. And if you shoot with the flash on in broad daylight, the surface of the jacket will look like liquid metal in your shot whether you’re taking a photo or filming. These shots use zero special effects other than turning the flash on.

Blue Morpho Jacket | Available at vollebak.com

At night you look bionic

When the jacket is exposed to a camera flash, headlamp or searchlight at night you get the full bionic effect as your face and body seem to disappear and only the jacket remains. So this is what your jacket would look like under a headlamp or helicopter searchlight out on a mountain at night. The black dots and streaks are water droplets which temporarily prevent the glass beads reflecting light back at the camera.

Blue Morpho Jacket | Available at vollebak.com

The jacket will look different from every angle

Just like the wings of the Blue Morpho butterfly, the Blue Morpho Jacket can appear to be many different shades of blue all at once. And because of the way the microscopic glass spheres on the surface of the jacket scatter light, two people looking at the jacket from two different angles will see entirely different effects. Even if you’re holding a camera up to the jacket with the flash on, what you see through the lens and what you see in real life will be two different images.

Blue Morpho Jacket | Available at vollebak.com

Built with resin, glass and lasers

Every element of our Blue Morpho Jacket is engineered with precision. As nothing sticks to the glass material we etched out the logo on the hood with lasers by removing a microscopically thin layer from its surface. The material is highly experimental so small blemishes and marks will appear on the surface of the jacket over time, both during the production process and once it’s being worn, which means no two jackets will ever look quite the same.

Blue Morpho Jacket | Available at vollebak.com

4 large waterproof front pockets

You’ll find two large front pockets big enough for any maps and gloves either side of the front zipper, so they’re fully usable while wearing a backpack. There are also two large side pockets bonded into the side seams and hidden behind storm flaps. All the pockets are waterproof and made with rubberised zip pulls. And there’s a large internal zipped pocket inside the jacket for your phone.

Blue Morpho Jacket | Available at vollebak.com

A super high collar built for the slopes

The jacket has a super high collar that’s designed to ride comfortably up and over your face to meet your goggles. The collar and hood are engineered like an ocean-racing marine jacket, which means they’re designed to operate independently. So if you want to ride with your face covered but your hood down, you can. The elasticated hood works with any ski and snowboard helmet and has drawcord adjusters at the side and back. The collar is lined with Merino next to your mouth and nose and comes with six air vents.

Blue Morpho Jacket | Available at vollebak.com

Fully waterproof outer shell with a snowskirt

The Blue Morpho Jacket is a fully waterproof, windproof and uninsulated outer shell built for the mountains. So inside the jacket you’ll find an elasticated snowskirt. The heavy-duty front zipper is waterproof, backed with an internal storm flap and has rubberised zip pulls. And if you do need to dump heat out of the jacket you’ll find two waterproofed pit zips with two-way zippers that can be operated with one hand.

Blue Morpho Jacket | Available at vollebak.com

It’s cut for extreme movement

We cut our gear for extreme movement. As an outer shell for the mountains we’ve made the Blue Morpho Jacket slightly oversized, which means on the coldest days you’ll be able to layer up as much as you want beneath it. Our Condition Black layering system made with ceramics, or our Planet Earth layering system made with Merino both work well. If you like your jackets to have a closer fit, you can of course drop down a size, or chat to us first about what size will work best for you.

Works well with