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Small Designs Magazine

Small Designs Magazine

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The T-shirt that is impossible to stain

We've all been there - donned a smart white T-shirt, stepped out into the world and been immediately tagged by a flying dollop of ketchup.

Thankfully, this could soon be a thing of the past. Using 'Hydrophobic Nanotechnology', an American college student has developed a shirt that is impossible to stain - the Silic Shirt.

The fabric of the garment has a "nanotechnology bonded to the fibers on the microscopic level" consisting of billions of silica particles. These cause water-based liquids to simply roll off the material rather than soak into it.

The tops can resist any spills and splashes including Coca-Cola, tomato ketchup, mustard, milkshakes, beer, ink and even red wine.

University student Patel from San Francisco made a prototype using a spray-on chemical, but realized it would only last for one wash. He then began looking at ways to incorporate the technology into the fabric.
He created a fabric that has the nanotechnology bonded to the fibers on a microscopic level.
This means they won't irritate the skin.

 According to Patel: ‘Most liquid molecules will not be able to touch the fabric because of a microscopic layer of air that forms between the liquid and fabric. This is because the fabric is layered with billions of silica particles. Water based liquids will form a 150 degree sphere and roll right off! As a result, this barrier protects your shirt from potential accidents.’

After testing his method, the business student created a page about the invention, named Silic, on crowdfunding website Kickstarter.

According to Patel’s Kickstarter page, there are certain steps wearers have to take to make sure the T-shirts stays waterproof. These include not using fabric softener in a machine wash, no bleaching or washing with colors and no ironing. Patel also advises wearers not to dry clean the shirt. To reactivate the water repelency, the T-shirt must also be put through a tumble dryer on a low heat at least once every three washes.

If you want one they will be going on sale in May for around £30.

The t-shirts are being funded on KickStarter and the project has already far surpassed its original target of $20,000.

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