Washington: Researchers have developed a new cashmere fabric that automatically cleans itself using nothing but light.
Cashmere is a delicate material that usually gets cleaned in an expensive, energy-intensive, and sometimes toxic process at a dry cleaner.
By coating cashmere with an invisible, nano-thin layer of anatase titanium dioxide, researchers in Hong Kong have created fabric that does not resist stains, but makes them disappear.
When the fabric is placed in light for 24 hours, any dirt, bacteria, or stain automatically goes away, thanks to a chemical reaction triggered by the light, 'FastCompany' reported.
The researchers said the technology is set to make its way into actual clothing if tests continue to show that there are no adverse effects on health from the nanoparticle coatings.
Preliminary tests have shown that the material is safe. Tests have also shown that the coating is durable; the cleaning effect would last as long as the fibres are intact.
"It should reach the market very soon. We are currently working toward transfer of the technology to the industry," said Walid Daoud from City University of Hong Kong's School of Energy and Environment.
The self-cleaning sweater is expected to only cost 1 per cent more than usual.