Blog: Leonie BarrieSelf-cleaning clothes

Leonie Barrie | 16 June 2004

I’ve just been listening to news reports about how we’re inching closer to the cloning of human embryos – a concept once relegated solely to the pages of a science fiction novel. On another level, reports that scientists in Hong Kong have developed a fabric coating which removes dirt and grime when exposed to sunlight has echoes of the plot of the classic 1951 Ealing comedy The Man In The White Suit, where Alec Guinness invents a fabric which always stays clean.

Current applications for the real-life breakthrough technology are mind-boggling. How about self-washing cars and permanently shiny kitchen floors and worktops? And is this the beginning of the end for washing machines? More research is needed before we start to see self-cleaning clothes in high street shops, but manufacturers are said to be watching developments closely. A word of warning though: Alec Guinness’s character ends up being pursued by angry textile firms who believe he will put them out of work.

HONG KONG: Researchers Develop Self-Cleaning Clothes


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