Designers create reusable spray-on clothes

Posted by Staff writer

Can't find a pair of skinny jeans that's tight enough? Look no further. A British team has developed a fabric that can simply be sprayed onto the body.

The Fabrican Spray-on material has other, more worthy applications too.

Its creators say it could be used for medicine patches and bandages, hygiene wipes, air fresheners and upholstery for furniture and cars.

"The fashion application of spray-on fabric is a great way of advertising the concept, but we are also keen to work on new applications for the medical, transport and chemical industries," says Paul Luckham, professor of particle technology at Imperial College London.

"For example, the spray-on fabric may be produced and kept in a sterilised can, which could be perfect for providing spray-on bandages without applying any pressure for soothing burnt skin, or delivering medicines directly to a wound."

But the clothes are rather fun. Sprayed directly onto the body using aerosol technology, the clothes dry instantly and can be washed and re-worn.

The Fabrican Spray-on fabric consists of short fibres that are combined with polymers to bind the fibres together, and a solvent that delivers the fabric in liquid form and evaporates when the spray reaches a surface.

The spray can be applied using a high pressure spray gun or an aerosol can. The texture of the fabric can be changed according to which fibres are used - wool, linen or acrylic, for example - and how the spray is layered.

"When I first began this project I really wanted to make a futuristic, seamless, quick and comfortable material," says Spanish fashion designer Dr Manuel Torres.

"As an artist I spend my time dreaming up one-off creations, but as a scientist I have to focus on making things reproducible. I want to show how science and technology can help designers come up with new materials."