Toray, the Japanese pioneer in nanotechnology fabric, has revealed a new material created through its 'Nano-Plem' technology that boasts water-repellent characteristics and colour resilience.

Nano-Plem is a nano-scale finishing technology that Toray claims adds new functions to fabrics by applying high energy forms such as ultraviolet rays, microwaves, electron rays, ions, electrons and radicals to materials such as nylon and polyester.

Manipulating such fabrics at the molecular level, says Toray, has led it to add entirely new functions to various synthetic fabrics and terylene/wool blends.

The first new textiles to be formed this way have been dubbed 'Deprem NT' and will be used to make Japanese schoolboys' uniforms, which are often characteristically black.

Toray says the new uniforms are a deeper black and will stay that way for years. 

Sales of the new uniforms will begin in spring 2007, and are predicted to reach JPY100m (US$837,539) by the end of the first year and JPY300m for each year following years.

By Michael Fitzpatrick.