Spray-on T-Shirt Tech Looks Cool, Might Actually Be Useful
By James Mulroy
Got a hot date? Pop out the spray can and spray on your very own personalized t-shirt. With your polymer-composite t-shirt you’ll be hipper (or not) than Lady Gaga with her crazy outfits.
The attractive material was developed by Manuel Torres, a Spanish fashion designer, and Paul Luckham, a chemical Engineer at Imperial College London, who together built the start-up company Fabrican for their product. The material is sprayed on from either a high pressure spray gun or a can. It consists of short fibers, a polymer (the glue that binds it together), and a solvent to keep it in a liquid form in the can.
When the spray-on material hits the surface of your skin, the solvent evaporates, and the material “cures.” You simply spray on a layer, making it as thick as you’d like, then spray on additional colors and coats. When you’re done, you can peel it off or wear it as is.
The material wrinkles just like any other shirt (although probably less than a normal shirt due to it’s polymer architecture); is washable; comes in wool, linen, or acrylic; and comes a large variety of colors. The spray can also be used to make other garments like scarfs, or trousers—but it’s very cold when it’s sprayed on, so you may think twice about that.
The spray may also have other benefits in the medical, transport, and chemical industries. So whether it’s for a band-aid or a hot date, spray on polymer composites are there for you.