Just ran across this announcement from back in May about a sweat-through proof fabric, invented by a UC Davis professor and his students:
The new fabric works like human skin, forming excess sweat into droplets that drain away by themselves, said inventor Tingrui Pan, professor of biomedical engineering.
Graduate students Siyuan Xing and Jia Jiang developed a new textile microfluidic platform using hydrophilic (water-attracting) threads stitched into a highly water-repellent fabric. They were able to create patterns of threads that suck droplets of water from one side of the fabric, propel them along the threads and expel them from the other side.
It’s not just that the threads conduct water through capillary action. The water-repellent properties of the surrounding fabric also help drive water down the channels. Unlike conventional fabrics, the water-pumping effect keeps working even when the water-conducting fibers are completely saturated, because of the sustaining pressure gradient generated by the surface tension of droplets.
The rest of the fabric stays completely dry and breathable. By adjusting the pattern of water-conducting fibers and how they are stitched on each side of the fabric, the researchers can control where sweat is collected and where it drains away on the outside.
There’s no doubt that a textile technology such as this would be welcome to those individuals who are heavier sweaters (hyperhidrosis) and it would a great application in athletic apparel as well.
That said, I think there’s even a broader appeal for a fabric application like this. I mean let’s face it — most of us sweat some amount, and even more in hotter climates or in the hotter seasons.
Even if you wear an undershirt for protection, there’s still a possibility of perspiration making it’s way through and reaching the outer shirt/clothing. So, if you had outer clothing that managed sweat-through more efficiently, essentially eliminating sweat-through and those embarrassing sweat patches, that would be pretty awesome, right?
Gosh, what if your entire undershirt could be sweat-through proof?? Wouldn’t that be amazing?
You know, this fabric innovation sounds a lot like the Smartweave technology used in the Freshmax shirts I mentioned just the other day. That’s patented btw, but this new invention might differ enough not to infringe on Smartweave’s patents. I’m sure they’ll be keeping an eye out on that.
Sweat-through Proof Fabric News Feature
Sweat-through Proof Fabric Demonstration
Sites That Link to this Post
- Sofft: Stain Blocking Fabric Softener (Kickstarter) | Undershirt Guy Blog | October 23, 2014