Pond Scum to add colour to fabrics

a nanofiber is shown covered in silver nanoparticl

We have in an earlier post discussed in length about the impacts of eco clothing. We also discussed the problems with dyed clothes.
To get that faded blue look to our jeans, the environment and the workers dying the cloth have to pay a high price.

British scientists have come up with a solution: Algae.

Diatoms, a species of single celled organisms, have rainbow like hard silica shells which act like crystals.

The holes on each shell have different configurations and depending on the configuration the colour changes.

This is a harmless technique and a safer method of adding colours to clothes than traditional dying methods in which residual toxic materials contaminate water and land.

Andrew Parker, Oxford researcher who helped develop the technique explains the technique further,

“As the paint dries, they will all align themselves horizontally at the surface, all reflecting light the same way. So, even though you have completely transparent paint and completely transparent silica shells, they will produce a very strong color.”

The best part with using the pond scum is that the colors will never fade.
On the contrary, like any other new technique this too would require completely new manufacturing processes, making it commercially expensive.

Interest shown by the companies are raising hopes of the scientists and in a few months time, we could actually see different coloured diatoms being prepared for various uses.

By going green, fashion may not become a commercial success soon but the whole effort of eco friendly practices may bring the desired change sooner.

Via: Wired