Good Thinking

Hydrophobic Silic shirt repels sweat and stains

Hydrophobic Silic shirt repels...
A young entrepreneur named Aamir Patel recently developed the Silic shirt, which is made from a hydrophobic fabric that repels liquids away from it like a force field to keep it from getting wet
A young entrepreneur named Aamir Patel recently developed the Silic shirt, which is made from a hydrophobic fabric that repels liquids away from it like a force field to keep it from getting wet
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The shirt's soft polyester fabric is layered with microscopic silica particles, which creates a tiny barrier of air around it
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The shirt's soft polyester fabric is layered with microscopic silica particles, which creates a tiny barrier of air around it
A young entrepreneur named Aamir Patel recently developed the Silic shirt, which is made from a hydrophobic fabric that repels liquids away from it like a force field to keep it from getting wet
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A young entrepreneur named Aamir Patel recently developed the Silic shirt, which is made from a hydrophobic fabric that repels liquids away from it like a force field to keep it from getting wet
According to Patel, the Silic shirt is just as comfortable as any other shirt and can be machine washed 80 times before its water-repelling properties are affected
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According to Patel, the Silic shirt is just as comfortable as any other shirt and can be machine washed 80 times before its water-repelling properties are affected
The Silic shirt's fabric causes any water-based liquid, including sweat and even maple syrup, to form into beads and slide off like rainwater on a windshield
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The Silic shirt's fabric causes any water-based liquid, including sweat and even maple syrup, to form into beads and slide off like rainwater on a windshield

We're still a long ways away from the self-drying clothing seen in Back to the Future II, but we may have a useful alternative in the form of a piece of clothing that never gets wet to begin with. Young entrepreneur Aamir Patel has developed the Silic shirt, which is made from a hydrophobic fabric that repels liquids away from it like a force field to keep it from getting wet.

At first glance, the Silic shirt looks like a simple, form-fitting T-shirt you'd find in any clothing store until you see what happens when someone throws a glass of water on it. The shirt's soft polyester fabric is layered with microscopic silica particles, which bond to the fibers and create a tiny barrier of air around it. This causes any water-based liquid, including sweat and even maple syrup, to form into beads and slide off like rainwater on a windshield. As an added bonus, since the material never retains any moisture for bacteria to grow, it's also anti-microbial and doesn't need to be washed as often as a result.

There are already some effective hydrophobic coatings on the market today, the most prominent being NeverWet, but these tend to change a fabric's texture and rinse away in the wash. Patel says his own experience with NeverWet is what convinced him to create the Silic shirt.

According to Patel, the Silic shirt is just as comfortable as any other shirt and can be machine washed 80 times before its water-repelling properties are affected.

The Silic shirt's fabric causes any water-based liquid, including sweat and even maple syrup, to form into beads and slide off like rainwater on a windshield
The Silic shirt's fabric causes any water-based liquid, including sweat and even maple syrup, to form into beads and slide off like rainwater on a windshield

Patel and his collaborators recently launched a Kickstarter campaign that cleared its $20,000 funding goal in less than a day and has raised more than quadruple that amount at the time of writing. The young inventor has pointed out that the fabric used in the Silic shirt is expensive, which is why just one shirt will cost backers US$48. Anyone who pre-orders will have a choice between black and white colors along with S, M, L, XL, and XXL sizes. If all goes as planned, the first batch of shirts will be shipped out in May 2014.

Until then, be sure to check out the video below to see some incredible slow-motion shots of soda and other beverages flowing right off the Silic shirt. From what's been shown so far, it seems like a person's exposed skin is likely to retain more water than the shirt they're wearing.

Source: Kickstarter via NextShark

12 comments
Paul van Dinther
Oh yeah, pull the green card. Instant turn off. By the way, the whole point of wearing clothes is that it draws sweat away from the body and evaporates it. I suspect that T-shirt is super uncomfortable to wear on warm weather or when active.
Matthew Faunce
Where does the sweat go? Probably down to your pants/underwear on a hot day...
Purple-Stater
@van Dinther The point of clothes is protection. As far as sweat is concerned, wearing clothing is completely counter-productive as it stops sweat from properly evaporating and keeping our bodies cool as nature intended. I do agree that this material would probably be uncomfortable in hot/humid weather.
Anne Ominous
That's what I was going to ask. If this is a "breathable" fabric, perhaps it is well suited for jacket linings, etc. which are not washed frequently. But if it's not, you might as well just wear a rubber shirt. It's going to be uncomfortable pretty quickly.
Gadgeteer
Come on, guys. It's not that hard to read their Kickstarter page. It's a woven fabric, not a solid film or even a microporous film like Gore-tex. That means it has gaps between the fibers that water vapor can pass through. So yes, sweat can escape and evaporate, although not as quickly as with the hydrophilic fibers in wicking fabrics. My reservation is that this is only good for up to 80 washings before it degrades. And they don't say how low the effectiveness is at that point. Is it only 50% effective? 10% effective? Also, does washing really clean this shirt? If it really repels water, that means wash water isn't really touching it either. It would likely be purely the friction and agitation inside the machine that loosens any dirt.
RichyRoo2002
Looks interesting. Liquid Glass Shield does the same thing as this stuff, its silica based too. Its waaay cheaper if you buy it by the litre, you will want to reapply it every 10 washes or so but its spray on and breathable.
oldguy
I suggest you watch an old movie called 'The Man in the White Suit'
Fretting Freddy the Ferret pressing the Fret
@Gadgeteer, I agree they don't address how much the performance is affected after x amount of washes. "If it really repels water, that means wash water isn't really touching it either. It would likely be purely the friction and agitation inside the machine that loosens any dirt." Water *is* touching it since there is water everywhere in a washing machine. The hydrophobic nature means that at any point it isn't submerged, the contact will be minimized by gravity that pulls the water down and away from the surface of the fabric. It happens by the very nature of reducing the number of unfavourable hydrophobic-hydrophilic interactions between surfaces. Wash water contains detergent that contains both a number hydrophilic and hydrophobic molecules that allow it to be dissolve in water, and e.g. remove grease at the same time.
Jerry Peavy
My only concern would be the health impact of the nano particles. Can any particles come loose and be breathed into the lungs and what effect might that cause?
the.other.will
This looks thinner & lighter than fabrics with waterproof, breathable coatings like Gore-Tex. I wonder if it's tough enough for to make jackets & pants as well as shirts. Their web page implies they only intend to make shirts.