Melbourne-based startup Threadsmiths has successfully harnessed the power of nanotechnology to make water-repellent clothing. Threadsmiths is a clothing technology company based in Melbourne, Australia pioneering a new era of nano-tech integrated apparel. The startup has launched t-shirts that are water resistant. When tested with water or liquids like wine, Gatorade, Coca Cola and Fanta were poured directly onto the fabric, the liquid beads off and the shirt was left bone dry.
Pitchford says while the startup only sells T-shirts at the moment, he is open to branching out into other areas. The T-shirt’s are fully machine and hand washable and will retain their water repellency properties up to 80 wash cycles. Threadsmiths’ water-repellent T-shirts are available in men’s and women’s sizes, with a kids’ version to be released soon. The growing company is now taking orders for the simple white tee called ‘The Cavalier’. The t-shirts are currently priced at $65.
While many other hydrophobic applications and aerosols contain harmful chemicals, Threadsmith’s fabric emulate the natural hydrophobic properties of the lotus leaf. The Cavalier shirt contains no aerosol applications and no dangerous chemicals, and is completely safe to wear
The company has patented its water-repellent technology. The patented nanotechnology enhances the material’s resistance to water and stains, without diminishing the natural breathability of the cotton. This nanotechnology minimises the surface area for water and dirt to adhere to, causing it to bead up and roll off the fabric – creating a natural self-cleaning effect.
Lewis Pitchford, co-founder of Threadsmiths, says while the technology has been around for a while it is the first time it has been used for commercially available clothing. “Our vision is it’s the first all-natural hydrophobic clothing technology,” he says. “Essentially it’s a 100% cotton T-shirt at the moment that has a natural application that mimics the waterproof elements of a lotus leaf. It repels all water. At this stage it’s T-shirts, but we’re speaking to the manufacturer at the moment about getting all sorts of things in the sporting and hospitality industry like aprons, golfing apparel and chef whites.”