Hydrophobic materials – that is, materials that reject water at the molecular level – are quickly making their way into the mainstream. There are nanoscale hydrophobic treatments for electronics, all-purpose sprays that can be applied to nearly anything and make them water resistant, and even dishes that don’t need to be washed.
Yet despite how amazing and useful it would be, Hydrophobic clothing has been somewhat elusive thus far. This is mostly because applying hydrophobic coatings to solid, static surfaces is one thing, but applying them onto flexible, dynamic materials that are comfortable to wear is much more difficult.
But thanks to SF-based entrepreneur Aamir Patel, hydrophobic garments may very well be the clothing of the future. Silic, a creation he’s currently gathering funds for mass production on Kickstarter, is exactly what we’ve been waiting for: a t-shirt whose fibers are imbued with water-repelling nanoparticles. Check out the video below to see it in action.
The shirt is made from a type of four-way stretch polyester that’s been layered with billions of microscopic silica particles, which apparently help create a sort of air barrier around the fabric that causes water to bead off of it. Unlike other hydrophobic treatments though, fabrics engineered in this fashion can be washed dozens of times without losing their water-repellent properties. According to Patel, Silic shirts can be washed up to 80 times before they start to lose effectiveness.
The project has already blasted through it’s original $20,000 goal, and is currently sitting on over $160K in pledges with nearly a month to go in it’s campaign. Unfortunately, this unexpected overshoot will likely cause scaling problems and push back the estimated delivery date, but the technology itself has already been created and tested, so at least we don’t need to wait around for additional R&D to be completed.
You can lock down a Silic tee of your own by pledging just $48 bucks. Find out more here.
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