April 22, 2024
Product Launch & Innovation

Textiles Dipped In Water & Do Not Get Wet May Become Reality

Put on your swimsuit, get in the water, come out dry. Sound unbelievable. But could soon become a reality.

Former students Alexandra Plewnia, Melanie Jakubik and Sarah Neumann are developing an unwettable yarn in a project named Octogarn, which could prove to be a game changer in the world.

The Octogarn project sounded so promising that the former students from the Hochschule Niederrhein (HSNR) and Aachen University of Applied Sciences are receiving funding of €1.84 million.

The amount will come from the EXIST – Start-ups from Science funding program of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection.

The research is still at the early stages and the €1.84 million funding will help the trio to develop a prototype by the end of the funding period in February 2026.

Octogarn is pollutant-free, sustainable, cold-insulating, breathable and friction-reducing and works in a similar way to the lotus effect, which means it is water-repellent and so will not become wet.

“This means that if a textile made from it is completely submerged in water, it remains dry,” Alexandra Plewnia, one of the researchers said.

Currently, many water-repellent textiles, especially in the technical textiles sector, are made by giving them chemical finishes like fluoropolymers.

“Green alternatives are more environmentally friendly, but often not powerful enough. Octogarn aims to solve both problems,” Alexandra Plewnia added.

Plewnia has been conducting research on Octogarn for around two years as part of her master’s studies at the Faculty of Textile and Clothing Technology.

Her interest was piqued when she took the optional course in nanotechnology and dealt with the topic of functionality.

With her idea, she won the university’s ‘Battle of Ideas’ competition back in 2022. The €20,000 in prize money went directly into filing the patent.

The trio want to produce the yarn and sell it to garment brands into outdoor clothing, protective gear or for use in the shipping industry.

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