Some kids are hawking a new line of button-ups they claim can endure 100 wears (unwashed) and come out looking and smelling like new. So what's the big, scientific secret?
The fledgling company goes by Wool&Prince, and their secret is no secret at all: the shirts are made of wool. And while the whole 100-wear thing sounds a little gimmicky and subjective, wool's moisture-wicking and odor resistant qualities are legit. It's why people have been making wool shirts (and blankets, and uniforms, and anything else that comes in contact with skin) for centuries.
To our knowledge (which, admittedly, extends no further than the company's already pretty successful Kickstarter page), Wool&Prince has incorporated no new science or technology into their supposed wonder garment. Which, we'll be honest, we were kind of disappointed to hear when we first caught wind of their product. Researchers, after all, have been closing in on awesome new self-cleaning fabrics for years. One of the more compelling examples of late comes from researchers in China, who've found a way to incorporate the self-cleaning properties of titanium dioxide (which breaks down dirt and eliminates odor-causing microbes when exposed to light – properties we've known about since the '60s, mind you) into garments. In a paper published a little over a year ago, the team demonstrated that a piece of fabric stained with orange dye could self-clean when exposed to a 1000-watt lamp for just two hours. NB: the researchers demonstrated this with a piece of cotton, not wool.
By the looks of it, Wool&Prince has found a way to capitalize on the long-recognized natural properties of wool, so... kudos for that? Exposing the masses to a soft-handed version of the fabric in a slim, modern fit is laudable, we guess – but their product is far from revolutionary. Somebody call us when they launch their N-TiO2 collection.