Self-cleaning fabric could have uses

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A Dunedin manufacturer’s representative for a company making self-cleaning fabric has piqued the interest of an Otago Polytechnic design student.

Peter Dunn is the representative for EverShield, an American product designed to deflect water, food, oil and other contaminants from treated fabrics.

The technology was developed for the United States military and had been made commercially available only within the past 18 months, Mr Dunn said.

“The whole idea was that they wanted to be able to send soldiers out wherever and the uniforms would stay cleaner longer.”

The collection of contaminants made soldiers’ uniforms heavier, he said.

According to promotional material, the product worked by creating a polymer coating covering each material fibre.

Mr Dunn spoke to Otago Polytechnic postgraduate design students on Tuesday.

One of those listening with interest was Jeremy Metherell, who said he was interested in the potential applications of the product.

“Everything’s running through my mind. What could I use it for?”

Mr Metherell is researching safety and search and rescue in the outdoors. He is also interested in designing products for kayakers.

He told The Star EverShield could have useful applications in those domains.

In particular, it could be useful in extreme environments where the design aim was to “keep the person as safe as possible but also as comfortable [as possible]”.