This study focused on fabrication of the thermochromic microcapsules and their application to the cotton fabric. In this study, thermochromic systems composed of crystal violet lactone, bisphenol A, and 1-tetradecanol were prepared and microencapsulated by emulsion polymerization method in poly(methyl methacrylate-co-ethylene glycol dimethacrylate-co-glycidyl methacrylate) wall. The microcapsules were analyzed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscope, transmission electron microscope, differential scanning calorimetry, and thermogravimetric analysis. Their thermoregulating property was tested by T-history test. The results revealed that microcapsules with smooth surfaces, core-shell structured, and spherical shape were successfully produced. The latent heat storage capacity of the microcapsules decreased from 202 J g(-1) to 167 J g(-1) when their shell/core ratio changed from 0.5/1 to 2/1. Microcapsules were adequately had sufficient thermal resistance to the temperatures they will encounter during their application to textile products and their usage. According to the UV-visible spectroscopy analysis and color measurements, the microcapsules exhibited reversible color change from blue to colorless and vice versa. Besides, the microcapsule impregnated fabric was able to absorb latent heat energy of 21.79 J g(-1) at around 35 degrees C and had cooling effect. According to the colorimetric parameters, the fabric was at blue color at room temperature and became colorless when heated to the temperature above the melting point of thermochromic system. (c) 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2019, 137, 48815.