In one of the coolest (but least life-changing) developments over the last year or so, scientists at Imperial College London have created a revolutionary technology: Spray-on Clothing. In this case, I suppose that the “scientists” can also be referred to as “fashion designers,” especially as the concoction was created by one of each. The scientist is chemical engineer and professor of particle technology, Paul Luckham, and the fashion designer is concept creator and founder of the company “Fabrican,” Manuel Torres.
The “spray-on” part might make the process sound a little messy, but it is actually relatively tidy.
The researchers created a polymer-composite spray that dries instantly when it hits the skin. The mix consists primarily of short fibers; a polymer was added that binds the fibers together, and there is also a solvent that keeps the mix in liquid form until it is ready for use. When the spray hits the surface of your skin, the solvent evaporates—leaving you with a trendy new t-shirt.
Of course, body spray-paint has been around for quite some time, and you can even get spray-on latex body paint. But these paints adhere to your skin and are actual *paints.* Thus, they are a far cry from actual clothing. The spray-on fabric, in contrast, is a spray that connects to form an actual fabric that can be taken off, washed, and worn again. So you can pop out your spray can and create your very own personalized t-shirt in a matter of minutes. And, once you are done, you can take it off and put it in your closet with the rest of your clothing.
Of course, the spray comes in a variety of different colors, so you can really customize your look. You can also put perfume into the spray’s mix in order to create your own scented clothing. And the technology is not just fashionable; it could have some innovative uses in medicine (such as layering bandages on the skin without disturbing wounds). However, the technology is still being tested and has a few trials before it will be ready for commercial use. Nevertheless, it’s rather exciting.
Watch a relevant podcast here. Furthermore, if you think this is cool, check out our article on spray-on skin.