Biomimicry: Water Repellent clothing

In the recent years, there seems to be a trend of water repellent clothing. It is inspired by how a lotus leaf has the ability to repel water.

The secret to this incredible water resistance is the layer of silicone nanofilaments, which are highly chemically hydrophobic. The spiky structure of the 40-nanometre-wide filaments strengthens that effect, to create a coating that prevents water droplets from soaking through the coating to the polyester fibres underneath.

The new fabric strongly repels water thanks to nanoscale filaments with a spiky structure      A jet of water sprayed onto the superhydrophobic fabric bounces out without leaving a trace

The silicone nanofilaments also trap a layer of air between them, to create a permanent air layer. Similar layers – known as plastrons – are used by some insects and spiders to breathe underwater.


One of the brand that started creating such clothing is Fantini a Denmark brand.

The fabric is made by nanotechnology. However, it is different from the nanotechnology used in the above as this brand uses 100% cotton for their products. Which makes it more environmentally friendly as it does not use non-biodegradeable materials in the process of forming the fabric.

Another brand known as Threadsmith also produces hydrophobic clothing. This company also uses cotton as their choice of fabric. The cotton fibres are woven together more tightly than normal clothing. On top of that, a larger quantity of fibres is being woven together to form this fabric which makes it water repellent. It works the same way as the non-cotton version mentioned above.

2 thoughts on “Biomimicry: Water Repellent clothing

  1. This looks really cool! I especially liked the video.

    Are there any drawbacks of this design/material though? Does the silicone layer prevent your skin from “breathing”? Is it comfortable to wear this material? How flexible is the material with the extra silicone layer on it?

    1. Nope, it works just like a normal shirt as it made out of cotton. I guess the only issue is how long can it withstand and repel water and substance like eg. walking through pouring rain. from the videos I have watched, certain substance do leave a stain but its rather faint.

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