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Vollebak’s metal jacket is armor against … something

Vollebak is no Strangers in fantastic clothes. The company developed the world’s first graphene jacket, an algae t-shirt that biodegrades in 12 weeks, and a solar-powered barrel top that can absorb light and then take on kryptonite green glowing in the dark (to name just a few) brand catalog). And now Vollebak has turned its attention to the disease-resistant properties of copper.

Wired UK

This story originally appeared on WIRED UK.

The new full metal jacket from Vollebak consists of more than 11 kilometers of copper thread, which makes up around 65 percent of the jacket. The $ 1

,095 jacket is made from a three-layer fabric from the Swiss textile innovator Schoeller. The first layer is a lacquered copper yarn that is bound with polyurethane. This is then laminated with Schoeller’s waterproof, breathable “c_change” membrane inspired by pine cones, which is not only hydrophilic but also has pores that can open and close to regulate the temperature. Once the metal surface fabric and membrane have bonded, an abrasion-resistant polyamide backing is added.

Photo: Vollebak
Photo: Vollebak

Vollebak states that the result is a waterproof and windproof jacket that is “powerful” and wears like jeans over time. Fold lines and color fades gradually reveal the raw copper color. Oh, and it could also kill Covid-19 if you’re unlucky enough to get the virus on your copper jacket. “Could” is the key word there. In reality, Steve Tidball has no idea whether the jacket offers real protection against corona virus.

“We didn’t do any tests at all,” Tidball admits. “None at all. We don’t have a huge laboratory, we don’t have a team of scientists, and we don’t have access to Covid-19, so we can’t spray the jacket with Covid-19 to see then.” What is happening. Our priority here was to make something that is commercially available from copper, because we know that copper has these disease-resistant properties. “

Indeed it did. Copper ions are released when microbes that are transmitted, for example, by touching or sneezing, land on a copper surface. These ions create holes in the bacterial cell membrane or destroy the virus envelope and destroy the DNA and RNA inside. In addition, this also means that no mutation can occur, so the microbe cannot develop resistance to copper. As a result, copper alloys can kill superbugs, including MRSA.

And if you think these medical properties of copper are a new discovery, far from it. Ancient Egyptian and Babylonian soldiers, after sharpening their bronze swords (an alloy of copper and tin), placed the thrown away metal chips in wounds to reduce the infection. Copper was used to heal medical problems in ancient China and India. Hippocrates in Greece and the Aztecs used copper oxide and copper carbonate in combination with olive paste and honey to treat skin infections. Copper workers in Paris were immune to the city’s cholera epidemics in 1832, 1849, and 1852.

In addition, Vollebak is not the first to put copper in clothing. Copper yarn socks have been available in Japan to fight athlete’s foot for decades because copper is both antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral. Back in the UK, a company called Copper Clothing has the patent to impregnate copper salts into various fabrics – they even sell a face mask infused with copper. In America, Cupron has a technology that embeds copper nanoparticles in the fibers that come into a fabric that Under Amour uses for its Cupron boxer jocks.

Photo: Vollebak

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