Stain-repellent fabrics resist spotting from spills and drips



High-tech clothes will fend off water-based fluids such as juice and wine.
KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS
Finally, slobs have a reason to celebrate. With the latest stain-repellent fabrics, most things that spill and drip will roll right off your clothes. No rubbing, no soaking, no stains.
Sound too good to be true? That depends on what you're spilling and dripping.
For more information on these high-tech clothes, read on:
UTeflon: The material on pots and pans that was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's slipperiest substance. On clothes, it creates an invisible barrier around each fiber to protect it from stains and wrinkles.
UNano-Tex: Works with nano-scale "smart" molecules that attach to the fibers. These molecules are so small (a million times smaller than a grain of sand) that the look and feel of the fabric is not affected. The Nano-Tex family includes Nano-Care (for cotton) and Nano-Pel (for synthetics), which are liquid-repellent and wrinkle-resistant.
The tests
There didn't seem to be a discernible difference between Teflon and Nano-Tex in terms of performance.
The clothes all generally did an excellent job of fending off water-based fluids such as juice and wine. When a glass of cranberry juice was spilled on the clothes, the liquid rolled off like rain off an umbrella.
However, there was less resistance to oil-based fluids such as ketchup, mustard, and salad dressing, which tended to cling to the fabric. In most cases, the food stains couldn't simply be wiped away, but they did come out in the wash. Similarly, a spin through the washing machine removed blood stains.
Highly concentrated substances such as ink and paint were more difficult. Watercolors rolled off easily, but oil-based paints left stains on the clothing after washing.
Remember that these fabrics do not have stain-releasing properties. While they're less likely to absorb stains, it will still be difficult to get a stain out once it sets. Nano-Care2, which is still in development, should have stain-releasing properties.

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