A young entrepreneur launches water-repellent shirts


To cynics, it might be something of an urban legend. But a young entrepreneur claims he has invented a technology that enables him to make shirts that don’t get wet.

Aamir Patel, CEO of Cape Town-based Silic, says his company has developed a process that uses silica, a natural mineral used in the production of cement, to produce clothes that are super hydrophobic.

Shedding light on his innovation, 21-year old Patel explains: “On the nano-scale when we bind it to the fiber it is physically repelling hydrogen atoms. So anything that is water based is not going to be able to touch it. So what happens is that it creates a very high surface tension and with that surface tension the water molecules kind of bead up so they turn into spheres, and in that form they can roll off the shirt very easily.”

Patel challenges that one can pour a whole jug of water on the shirt he has manufactured and it comes off as dry as it was. “Try it and you will see!”

He says has not stopped there; he wants to include a wide range of apparel including socks, shoes, pants and other products.“I think it is a technology that is going to become very versatile.”

Silic raised nearly R3 million in crowd funding efforts will be shipping the orders soon.

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