Nanotechnology... on the runway?

Fashion designers and fiber scientists at Cornell University have teamed up to bring "functional clothing" to a whole new level. The garments are infused with synthetic nanoparticles by fiber scientist Juan Hinestroza and his colleagues. The resulting colors of the fabric depend on the size and arrangement of the nanoparticles.

How are these fabrics made? First, the cotton fibers are positively charged using some ammonium and epoxy-based chemistries, and then dipped into a solution of silver nanoparticles that are 10-20 nanometers across. The negatively charged silver nanoparticles will end up clinging to the positively charged cotton fibers.

So, what is so great about this fabric? Well, silver has natural antibacterial qualities that are strengthened at the nanoscale, which allows these new fabrics to deactivate many harmful bacteria and viruses. Nanoparticle-treated clothes would allow people to alleviate allergies, protect themselves from harmful air contaminations, and prevent colds and flu.
It's the fashion of the future!

Source: Student designer and fiber scientists create a dress that prevents colds and a jacket that destroys noxious gases

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