The only thing unique about this new silver nanoparticle embedded clothes line is the cost…roughly $10,000 for a yard of fabric.
The two-toned gold dress and metallic denim jacket, featured at the April 21 Cornell Design League fashion show, contain cotton fabrics coated with nanoparticles that give them functional qualities never before seen in the fashion world.
Designed by Olivia Ong ’07 in the College of Human Ecology’s Department of Fiber Science and Apparel Design, the garments were infused with their unusual qualities by fiber science assistant professor Juan Hinestroza and his postdoctoral researcher Hong Dong. Apparel design assistant professor Van Dyke Lewis launched the collaboration by introducing Ong to Hinestroza several months ago.
“We think this is one of the first times that nanotechnology has entered the fashion world,” [umm…see the Flashback below -ed] Hinestroza said. He noted one drawback may be the garments’ price: one square yard of nano-treated cotton would cost about $10,000.
Dipping the positively charged cotton into the negatively charged silver nanoparticle solution resulted in the particles clinging to the cotton fibers.
Silver possesses natural antibacterial qualities that are strengthened at the nanoscale, thus giving Ong’s dress the ability to deactivate many harmful bacteria and viruses. The silver infusion also reduces the need to wash the garment, since it destroys bacteria, and the small size of the particles prevents soiling and stains.
Ong, though strictly a designer, was drawn especially to the science behind creating the anti-smog jacket.
“I thought it would be cool if [wearers] could wipe their hands on their sleeves or pockets,” Ong said.
Ong incorporated the resultant cotton fiber into a jacket with the ability to oxidize smog. Such properties would be useful for someone with allergies, or for protecting themselves from harmful gases in the contaminated air, such as in a crowded or polluted city.
Press release: Student designer and fiber scientists create a dress that prevents colds and a jacket that destroys noxious gases …
(hat tip: Medlaunches)
Flashback: DARPA Reminds You: Always Wear Your Self-Cleaning Underwear, MIRACARAT Photocatalyst Series Pantyhoses, Virus-Proof Fabric for Medical Wear, Germ-Resistant Scrubs