Non-toxic water repellent fabrics for outdoor apparel company Arc’teryx has been created by a team of researchers from UBC Okanagan . It is environment friendly, will keep one’s clothes dry and is free of toxins.
Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) are generally used on outdoor fabrics to repel oil and water. Even though it is effective, it has long term risks. From clothing to non-stick frying pans, also use PFCs as a standard for stain repellency. A hazard to human health and the environment, as they take hundreds of years to breakdown and linger both in the environment and our bodies.
The research team solved this problem by adding a nanoscopic layer of silicone to each fibre in a woven fabric. Thus, creating an oil-repellant jacket fabric that repels water, sweat and oils, but doesn’t require PFCs.
This new design along with the fabric finish can be made from biodegradable materials and be recyclable. It addresses many issues that outdoor apparel industry has been working on, related to PFC-based repellent products.
It is highly suitable for technical apparel consumers and manufacturers. Yet, in order to replace the current products, it has to last, time after time. Durability and testing are still in improvement stage. Moreover, it has to be applied in a way that textile mills can produce it in high volume.
Arc’teryx is working to meet their goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 65 per cent by 2030. Furthermore, expand its application to other DWR-treated textiles used in their products.