Self-mending fabric is the latest scientific invention
Hasta la vista ‘make do and mend’. Scientists have come up with a way to make self-mending clothes and it’s all thanks to squid.
Experts in the US have found that by infusing fabric with proteins extracted from the suction cups in squid tentacles, rips and tears can heal themselves.
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The discovery, which could save people both time and money, means that in the future, people could mend cotton, linen and wool but simply pressing the two torn parts together firmly.
Sound like science fiction? It’s not. Self-repair films for fabrics do currently exist, but their effectiveness is often limited as the repaired clothing can later crack under warm, dry conditions.
However, this new coating made from squid tentacles is simultaneously tough and elastic in both wet and dry conditions.
The research team from Pennsylvania State University found that when cut pieces of cloth covered in this coating were pressed together in water, they began to reattach.
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But this self-healing technology wouldn’t only be useful for ripped clothes. The researchers have suggested that the coating could also be used as a ‘second skin’ to protect the wearer from chemical and biological hazards in the future.
‘Squid ring teeth hold great promise to provide a broad range of solutions for textile applications due to their ability to self-heal,’ the study authors reported.
‘As the cost of production for industrial biotechnology products continues to fall, such self-healing films become increasingly feasible and sustainable for large-scale production.’
No more needle and thread? Sounds good to us.