The world famous London Fashion Week held at the iconic Somerset House has come to a climatic close, and as always, was highly anticipated by the fashion world. Having started on Friday 14th February, the 5 daylong event held in central London was a chance for established fashion houses to showcase their new season’s collections and for budding designers to present their designs; it is a week of fashion, culture and innovative design.
Filled with elegant models, forward thinking fashion bloggers and journalists and beautiful designs, clothes and accessories, London Fashion Week is the perfect platform to display new designs and forward thinking technology.
Innovative design is something that often comes to play during this week; with fashion technology always being enhanced, created and discovered. Hidden away from the spotlights and flashbulbs of London Fashion Week, the science world is continually undertaking and achieving new and exciting research; it is little wonder why the two worlds don’t collide.
Science and fashion are not always two industries which go hand in hand, but when they do great things can be created and produced. Over the last few years, the fashion industry is looking to the science world for new and innovative ways to create fresh and exciting designs.
This raises the question, could science be the next big thing in high-end fashion?
Gold nanoparticles are primarily used in the medical industries, but researchers in New Zealand have found another use for these tiny nanoparticles. When adding nanoparticles made of pure gold and silver to fine Merino wool, the results were startling. The addition of the gold nanoparticles created a rainbow of intense and unexpected colours, giving the fine Merino wool a burst of eye-catching colour.
Intended for high-end, couture fashion designers where the quality of garments is much higher, this wool gives a strong and concentrated range of vibrant colours.
The first scarf dyed with gold nanoparticles was unveiled at the Nano Science and Technology Institute convention in Boston. Both gold and fine merino wool are premier materials, and when combined created a durable and quality fibre.
When the nanoparticles are reduced to nanosize dimensions, a few tens of nanometres, they exhibit what’s known in the scientific industry as surface plasmon resonance effects, what this means to you and me is beautiful and unique array of colours. Depending on how small the nanoparticles are made, the colours range from purple to yellow and everything in between.
Spherical gold nanoparticles about 10 nanometers across create a deep red wine colour (which had also been used in stained glass before) and as the nanoparticles increase in size the colour turns a bright fiery red, then purple, blue and finishes off in various shades of grey.
Any fabric can be dyed using nanotechnology, but Merino wool is fade-free and handles abrasion well. The gold nanoparticles never wash out, meaning the colours will never fade, regardless of the fabric, unlike traditional dyeing methods.
Whilst the inventors of this exciting new dye style won’t mention which fashion houses they are in talks with, they are hopeful the first precious metal dyed garments will be sauntering down a catwalk in London, Paris, Milan or New York soon!
About the author
Darren Rowles is the Particle Synthesis Group Manager at BBI Solutions with over 10 years experience in the field.