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For chefs, a food–splattered jacket may be a sign of a post-shift beer well earned, but it’s not aesthetically pleasing. Keeping chefwear clean and presentable is a constant struglle, so wouldn’t it be cool to have chefwear that actually repelled whatever you could throw at it and lasted longer due to not having to be repeatedly washed?
Australian start-up Fabricor, co-founded by Chef Adrian Li of Melbourne's Saigon Sally, claims it has the solution. Their 100% cotton ‘hydrophobic’ chefwear – a chef jacket and apron currently – has been developed using a patented nanotechnology that makes the garments, they say, both water repellent and stain-proof.
The fabric has been modified “at a molecular level, by permanently attaching hydrophobic ‘whiskers’ to individual fibres, which elevate liquids, causing them to bead-up and roll off the fabric surface.” As you can see from the two videos below, substances are easily washed away from the surface of the fabric and aren't absorbed.
The garments can be washed in warm water without bleach and softener, and tumble-drying at normal to low heat every few washes reactivates their repellent properties. But there's one problem: the garments don't protect against water and oil-based stains that are 'rubbed in,' so we're not sure how practical they'll be in a busy kitchen environement. But an interesting devlopment for sure.