Japanese textile manufacturer Nisshinbo Industries has announced the latest addition to its nanotechnology-led line-up.

Named 'Ag fresh', the company claims antibacterial and deodorising qualities for the new fabric which incorporates silver particles on the nano scale (a billionth of a metre).

Part of its Nano Science range developed at Nisshinbo's R&D headquarters, researchers say they believe they have tackled the problems of wash durability for added ingredients such as silver by having the metal penetrate the fabric itself.

Nisshinbo claims to have incorporated silver particles in a minute size of around 4nm into fibre through the use of the latest nanotechnology.

Silver has proven antibacterial qualities and is the best conductor of heat and electricity known. It also has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity known for any material.

The company plans to use the new textile in undergarments, shirts and uniforms.

Meanwhile, to help increase production of nanotechnology thread, Japan's leading technologist in this area, Osaka-based Hosokawa Micron Corporation, is planning to sell nano-particle manufacturing devices to facilitate volume production at a rate of 1 tonne a month.

By Michael Fitzpatrick.