Flexible fabric snubs stains

A Leeds University graduate has used plasma based technology to change the molecular structure of finished garments to make them crease- and stain-proof.

Natasha Newsham, who took a degree in industrial Fashion Design Management worked with industrial partners and sourced new technologies to develop the process. The prototype garments are almost indistinguishable from untreated products, in contrast to existing techniques which can sacrifice comfort and style by stiffening the fabric.

Leeds School of Design lecturer Dave Brook said: ‘These new technologies make fabric far superior to what is currently available, with no reduction in quality. It’s a quantum leap in performance and miles ahead of the competition.’

Plasma enhancement technology company P2i is one of the key industrial partners in the project. Rather than applying a surface-coating to rolls of cloth, its process changes the molecular structure of the finished garment, making it highly water and stain-resistant yet breathable.

Newsham enhanced the effect by incorporating a further chemical process to make the fabric crease-resistant.

‘The techniques worked amazingly together, and the tests exceeded all of our expectations’, she said, ‘For the first time, we’ve made a stain-free, crease-resistant shirt that looks and feels amazing and anyone would be proud to wear.’