It is one of the great mysteries of the world; put on a white shirt and you are guaranteed a stain will find its way onto it before the end of the day. Budget women’s fashion brand Elizabeth & Clarke has a solution with their simply named The Unstainable™ White Shirt. The shirt is currently on Kickstarter and has well exceeded its goal of $30,000. It is no big secret that hydrophobic materials are the key to making textiles resistant to liquid. The coatings work by disrupting the hydrogen bond that binds together water molecules. In order for the water molecule to maintain its structural integrity, it has to push away from the material. Thus, waterproofing is achieved. The problem is hydrophobic materials and coatings typically don’t breath and are not soft against the skin. Elizabeth & Clarke has spent 6 months researching and trialling different combinations of coatings and materials to allow silks and cottons to still feel like silks and cottons.
According to Melanie Moore, co-founder of Elizabeth & Clark, The Unstainable™ White Shirt is as soft as a pair of comfy PJs. The key to maintaining the suppleness of the fabric is liquid-repelling fibers 100,000 times smaller than a grain of sand. These fibers are applied to the textile of choice through a bathing and curing process, allowing the fabric to maintain its original breathability. The shirts maintain their hydrophobic qualities for at least two years and actually improve with ironing. They are currently available to purchase through Kickstarter: $25 for a tee and $50 for a blouse. See a very heavily produced video from Elizabeth & Clarke about the garment after the break.