Home > Press > Student designer and fiber scientists create a dress that prevents colds and a jacket that destroys noxious gases
|Anne Ju/Cornell Chronicle
Design student Olivia Ong '07 hugs two garments, treated with metallic nanoparticles through a collaboration with fiber scientists Juan Hinestroza and Hong Dong, that she designed as part of her fashion line, "Glitterati."|
Fashion designers and fiber scientists at Cornell have taken "functional clothing" to a whole new level. They have designed a garment that can prevent colds and flu and never needs washing, and another that destroys harmful gases and protects the wearer from smog and air pollution.
Student designer and fiber scientists create a dress that prevents colds and a jacket that destroys noxious gases
ITHACA, NY | Posted on May 1st, 2007
The two-toned gold dress and metallic denim jacket, featured at the April 21 Cornell Design League fashion show, contain cotton fabrics coated with nanoparticles that give them functional qualities never before seen in the fashion world.
Designed by Olivia Ong '07 in the College of Human Ecology's Department of Fiber Science and Apparel Design, the garments were infused with their unusual qualities by fiber science assistant professor Juan Hinestroza and his postdoctoral researcher Hong Dong. Apparel design assistant professor Van Dyke Lewis launched the collaboration by introducing Ong to Hinestroza several months ago.
"We think this is one of the first times that nanotechnology has entered the fashion world," Hinestroza said. He noted one drawback may be the garments' price: one square yard of nano-treated cotton would cost about $10,000.
Ong's dress and jacket, part of her original fashion line called "Glitterati," look innocently hip. But closer inspection -- with a microscope, that is -- shows an army of electrostatically charged nanoparticles creating a protective shield around the cotton fibers in the top part of the dress, and the sleeves, hood and pockets of the jacket.
"It's something really moving toward the future, and really advanced," said Ong, who graduates in December and aspires to design school. "I thought this could potentially be what fashion is moving toward."
Dong explained that the fabrics were created by dipping them in solutions containing nanoparticles synthesized in Hinestroza's lab. The resultant colors are not the product of dyes, but rather, reflections of manipulation of particle size or arrangement.
The upper portion of the dress contains cotton coated with silver nanoparticles. Dong first created positively charged cotton fibers using ammonium- and epoxy-based reactions, inducing positive ionization. The silver particles, about 10-20 nanometers across (a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter) were synthesized in citric acid, which prevented nanoparticle agglomeration.
Dipping the positively charged cotton into the negatively charged silver nanoparticle solution resulted in the particles clinging to the cotton fibers.
Silver possesses natural antibacterial qualities that are strengthened at the nanoscale, thus giving Ong's dress the ability to deactivate many harmful bacteria and viruses. The silver infusion also reduces the need to wash the garment, since it destroys bacteria, and the small size of the particles prevents soiling and stains.
The denim jacket included a hood, sleeves and pockets with soft, gray tweed cotton embedded with palladium nanoparticles, about 5-10 nanometers in length. To create the material, Dong placed negatively charged palladium crystals onto positively charged cotton fibers.
Ong, though strictly a designer, was drawn especially to the science behind creating the anti-smog jacket.
"I thought it would be cool if [wearers] could wipe their hands on their sleeves or pockets," Ong said.
Ong incorporated the resultant cotton fiber into a jacket with the ability to oxidize smog. Such properties would be useful for someone with allergies, or for protecting themselves from harmful gases in the contaminated air, such as in a crowded or polluted city.
About Cornell University
The strategic plan for research at Cornell can be summed up simply: Be the best at what we undertake to do. The research enterprise supports university research priorities: the New Life Sciences; cross-college collaborations; and enabling research areas--computing and information sciences, genomics, advanced materials, and nanoscience. We build on our strengths when creating programs, recruiting faculty, purchasing equipment, and supporting interdisciplinary programs. Cornell research is committed to knowledge transfer and engages in technology transfer and economic development activities that benefit local, regional, national, and international constituents.
For more information, please click here
Press Relations Office
If you have a comment, please Contact
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
Nanovations Sets new Benchmark in Automotive Windscreen Coating Durability: Nanovations new automotive glass coating Vision Protect, sets new benchmark in glass coating durability March 23rd, 2014
Tawada CleanTech to show fabric duct and eco cool coating in MegaBuild March 21st, 2014
NEI Introduces Self-healing Anti-corrosion Coating for Zinc-Plated and Galvanized Steel March 14th, 2014
Cima NanoTech Announces Commercial Production of its SANTE(R) FS200 Touch Films for Large Format Touch Screens February 19th, 2014
Tiny particles could help verify goods: Chemical engineers hope smartphone-readable microparticles could crack down on counterfeiting April 15th, 2014
A molecular approach to solar power: Switchable material could harness the power of the sun — even when it’s not shining April 15th, 2014
Targeting cancer with a triple threat: MIT chemists design nanoparticles that can deliver three cancer drugs at a time April 15th, 2014
Biologists Develop Nanosensors to Visualize Movements and Distribution of Plant Stress Hormone April 15th, 2014
Making clothes from sugar: IBN researchers have found a green and efficient method to produce nylon from sugar April 1st, 2014
FibeRio® to Present “Polyester Nanofibers for Oil and Fuel Filtration" at AFS Spring 2014 Conference March 19th, 2014
Fabrics Resistant to Growth of Microbes Produced in Iran March 17th, 2014
Iran Produces Self-Cleaning Coatings for Textile Industries March 12th, 2014
Harry Potter-style invisibility cloaks: A real possibility next Christmas? Forget socks and shaving foam, the big kids of tomorrow want an invisible cloak for Christmas December 19th, 2013
Chicago Awareness Organization First Not-for-Profit to Sponsor Dog Training to Detect Ovarian Cancer Odorants December 12th, 2013
ZEISS Microscopes used to create images for Art Exhibit at Midway Airport: Art of Science: Images from the Institute for Genomic Biology October 25th, 2013
New potential for touch screens found at your fingertips September 17th, 2013