Watch: The T-shirt that's impossible to stain

A regular t-shirt feels the same as the new silic invention which can repel all sorts of stains.
Photo / Kickstarter
A regular t-shirt feels the same as the new silic invention which can repel all sorts of stains. Photo / Kickstarter

If you're clumsy and constantly spilling food down yourself, or just lazy and don't like washing your clothes, a student has invented the answer to your problems - a T-shirt that is impossible to stain.

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

The clothing is made from polyester, which has been infused with a combination of chemicals that make it resistant to water.

Despite this, the T-shirts are said to feel "no different to any other items that could be found in a clothing shop".

University student Patel from San Francisco made a prototype using a spray-on chemical, but realised 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 fibres 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.

He has already exceeded his target of around US$20,000 before the campaign closes on 26 January. He has 835 backers and over $50,000 in the kitty. The shirts, available in black and white, are expected to be on sale online from May and will cost around US$60.

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 colours and no ironing. Patel also advises wearers not to dry clean the shirt.

To reactivate the water repellency, the T-shirt must also be put through a tumble dryer on a low heat at least once every three washes.

Patel said: "I started the project a year and a half ago after looking at making smart clothing.

"I wanted to try something different and I had heard about Hydrophobic spray, which is a spray that is completely water resistant.

"I thought about putting it on a T-shirt but when I was making a prototype after a while I became very light headed and I realised it may not be safe to use.

"I also realised that if I were to put this on clothing, it would wear off after just one wash so it wouldn't be sustainable.

"To make it safe and last longer, I put the technology into the polyester of the T-shirt while it was being made on a nanoscale, molecular level.

"The T-shirts we have now are completely safe and will last for up to 80 washes, so you get around about two year's worth of wear out of it."


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