Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Finest silk made of the purest nanometer-thin gold woven into ties and handkerchiefs

Date:
November 2, 2011
Source:
Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA)
Summary:
True luxury has only one color -- gold. A nanometer-thin layer of pure gold now lends ties and pocket handkerchiefs that authentic gold sheen, thanks to a new process. The yarn, which is coated using a high-tech plasma process, is soft and easy to weave. It is also washing machine compatible. A limited number of gold ties will be placed on the market before Christmas. Further fashion accessories will follow in 2012.

Tie, bow-tie and pocket handkerchief made of high-tech gold fabric. Plating: 24 carat pure gold.
Credit: EMPA

True luxury has only one color -- gold. A nanometer-thin layer of pure gold now lends ties and pocket handkerchiefs that authentic gold sheen, thanks to a new Empa-developed process. The yarn, which is coated using a high-tech plasma process, is soft and easy to weave. It is also washing machine compatible. A limited number of gold ties will be placed on the market before Christmas, making a truly exclusive present. Further fashion accessories will follow in 2012.

Gold radiates with a violet hue, at least when it is sprayed onto a surface atom by atom, as can be seen by looking into a plasma coating plant when in operation. This particular plant, which is about as large as a household refrigerator, can be found on the premises of the Tersuisse spinning mill in Emmen. Inside the apparatus a piece of gold is bombarded with fast moving argon ions which knock atoms off the metal surface. These gold atoms fly off and land on a polyester fiber which is slowly pulled through the machine. This is the beginning of the production process which for the first time in the world creates a textile material permanently coated with a durable layer of gold. The precious metal remains attached to the fiber even when it is rolled, kinked, woven in a loom and given a final wash.

The culmination of 10 years of research work

The textile specialists at Empa in St Gallen had been researching for ten years to find a method of finely dividing titanium, aluminium, steel, copper and silver and then allowing these powdered metals in atomic form to rain onto polyester fibers. Originally the project aimed to create silver coated fibers, for which there were ready markets. Silver coated fibers possess an antibacterial effect, something which is of interest to sock manufacturers. In addition fashion designers were seeking durable silver coated textiles. And furthermore, silver conducts electricity extremely well, making the Empa-developed fiber eminently suitable for use in various sensors and as an antistatic filter material for industrial applications. Sooner or later the project partners had the idea that what was possible with silver might also work with gold, so in January 2010 they began work on the "Gold Fiber Project." Nowadays production in the coating plant has reached a stable level. The first kilometer was generated in the summer of 2011 and in 2012 production is expected to increase further. Further processing of the fiber is completed by two project partners, the Weisbrod-Zuerrer AG spinning mill in Hausen am Albis and the embroidery firm Jakob Schlaepfer in St. Gallen.

The cost of exclusivity: 7500 Swiss francs

One of the first customers for the gold fiber was Weisbrod-Zürrer AG, a spinning mill which specializes in exclusive decorative textiles, ties and accessories and which has also partnered Empa projects in the past. Attempts had already been made previously to create a gold tie using conventional techniques. A textile fiber was wound with the finest gold wire in the same way a guitar string is made. However material woven from the fiber had a rough, metallic feel to it and it was also not durable enough for commercial use. As a result it was only possible to make the freestanding front face of the tie in gold thread -- those parts which were mechanically stressed, the knot and the neck piece, had to remain black.

The new gold tie made using the Empa plasma coating process boasts a much more stylish appearance. The golden material, woven from gold fiber and black silk thread, covers the surface of the entire tie and is very soft to the touch. Other exclusive items of clothing from the same material are also imaginable, for example decorative pocket handkerchiefs, bow-ties, scarves, lace decorative work and even handbags. To date material enough for three ties has been manufactured, but a dozen more should be ready in time for Christmas. The first, worldwide exclusive series, tailored in the Zürich tie manufactory Hofmann und Co AG will be on offer to gentlemen with an exclusive sense of style at Swiss francs 7500 apiece.

How much gold is there on it?

This is a question which is bound to interest not just the proud owner of a gold tie, but those around him as well -- particularly when the wearer steps out into the sunlight and his neck apparel begins to shimmer with its characteristic hue. The calculation is quite easy; a textile panel large enough to make three ties is coated with 25 grams of pure, 24 carat gold. Each tie therefore glows with 8 grams of gold.

There is little chance that these exclusive gold ties will become mass produced fashion accessories in the near future -- even at full capacity production is limited to a maximum of 600 pieces annually for the world market. In actual fact it is certain that far fewer will actually be produced, since a part of the gold coated thread which is produced is reserved for other project partners. The Jakob Schlaepfer company, embroiderers and manufacturers of decorative textiles, will also use the gold yarn for items in its Winter 2012/13 Haute Couture collection.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA). "Finest silk made of the purest nanometer-thin gold woven into ties and handkerchiefs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111101130156.htm>.
Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA). (2011, November 2). Finest silk made of the purest nanometer-thin gold woven into ties and handkerchiefs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111101130156.htm
Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA). "Finest silk made of the purest nanometer-thin gold woven into ties and handkerchiefs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111101130156.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — Magic Leap isn't publicizing much more than a description of its product, but it’s been enough for Google and others to invest more than $500M. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins