Great balls of fragrance

Anti-mosquito shirts and tobacco smell-repelling furnishings could soon be on sale, following the launch of fabrics containing miniature, slow-release balls of fragrance.

The system comprises micro-capsules activated by movement or touch and is claimed to be able to distribute moisturiser, deodorant, fragrance, fresheners, vitamins, repellents and anti-tobacco agents, even after being dry cleaned or washed up to 30 times.

TypeManufacturerCoolness factorCottonEveryone0NylonDuPont2KevlarBPF Inc3

The odours are almost subliminal, meaning they do not overpower or clash with the wearer’s own perfume.

‘The tiny melamine micro-encapsulation balls are waterproof and heat resistant and can contain a range of substances,’ said David Hellens, marketing director for Woolmark. ‘The balls are of various strengths, meaning that they burst at different times. They are welded to the fibres of the fabric using a secret chemical process that releases them bit by bit but can withstand cleaning.’

The micro-balls can be embedded in any fabric, paving the way for the creation of items such as carpets that give the room a fragrant smell when they are walked on, and tights that moisturise their wearer on her way to work.