MELBOURNE, Australia — An Australian startup company is using a patented nanotechnology to create a ‘hydrophobic’ chef jacket and apron. According to the company this means dry, stain-free uniforms at the end of the day. They are taking their technology to the hospitality industry but eventually plan to serve the medical industry by making medical garbs, nurse’s uniforms and lab coats.
Professional Chef Adrian Li, co-founded Fabricor Workwear as he was frustrated with keeping his chef’s jackets and aprons clean. Li, was previously a mentor on the television show MasterChef Australia and is currently the head chef at Saigon Sally in Windsor.
“As a chef I find it really difficult to keep my chef jacket white, and we like our jackets white for obvious professional reasons,” Li said. “There’s nothing currently on the market which helps this apart from buying new jackets and washing them every day. So we decided to create a new range of chef jackets using nanotechnology that makes it water repellent and stain-proof.”
The nanotechnology application works by modifying the fabric at a molecular level by permanently attaching hydrophobic ‘whiskers’ to individual fibres which elevate liquids, causing them to bead up and roll off the fabric surface.
The fabric’s patented technology can extend the life of the apparel is because the apparel doesn’t have to be washed as often and can be washed in cooler temperatures, the company stated. Fabricor’s products are not made with spray-application like many on the market which can destroy fabrics and contain carcinogenic chemical, the company says. Its hydrophobic properties are embedded into the weave during the production of the fabric.
According to Li, chefs face some issues with the apparel they wear. Unsightly spills on their uniforms make it difficult to look presentable, and the trying to deal with these spills takes away from their work. Furthermore, frequent stains mean they have to wash the uniforms after every wear.
But Fabricor’s hydrophobic fabric, which has an extreme level of water resistance, keeps stains from forming. The liquid that is repelled traps particles of dirt, resulting in a self-cleaning shirt. Even sweat is turned away, meaning no sweat stains and no body odour clinging to the uniform, according to the company.