Silicone has totally revolutionised the fashion industry and is now found in all kinds of fabrics. Adding more ‘bounce’ to woollens, making everyday clothes more silky and soft without losing durability and even to reduce the slip associated with stockings and socks.
The Wonderful World of Silicone
Silicone is a fantastic product and is used in so many areas of our everyday lives. The sports and fashion industries have recognised its incredible list of benefits and silicone can now be found in almost all items of fashion, underwear, sportswear and performance gear.
Silicone can be used to make:
- Hot Air Balloons
- Leather Shoes
- Swimming Goggles
- Diving Masks
- Fishing Baits
- Waterproof Jackets
Silicone makes many items of clothing more durable and resistant to abrasion and for this reason it is an excellent material from which to design sportswear, protective clothing and rainwear items. Silicones are also used in the dyes used to colour clothing as it enhances the colour brilliance and uniformity.
Silicone – Caring for Fabrics
Silicone can also be found in a range of fabric conditioners where it is used to maintain and preserve the ‘new’ feel of fabrics. Not only does it care for the fabric it protects but is makes clothes easier to iron and remain wrinkle free.
Brand new techniques in the design of sportswear have made it possible to produce performance clothing which is lightweight, fashionable and extremely comfortable. Silicone can act as a water repellent which keeps outdoor gear and sportswear dry. It can also be found in use in the soles of running shoes where in gel form it acts as an effective shock absorber.
Swimmers and diving enthusiasts can also benefit from the excellent properties of silicone where it is used in the manufacture of swimming goggles and diving masks to form watertight seals. Silicone is also used for skis and snowboards to ‘wax’ the surfaces to make for easier gliding over the ski slopes.
Properties and Benefits
Silicone is an amazing product and the boundaries for its use in the fashion and clothing industry are limitless. For today’s demanding and active lifestyles this is the perfect solution and it is easy to see why:
· Add softness, reduce shrinkage and help prevent wrinkling.
· Add strength, abrasion resistance and tear strength
· Repel water or absorb water dependent upon application
· Do not become brittle or stiff when exposed to temperatures
· Breathable, comfortable and flexible
With so many benefits silicone is becoming a major player in all areas of our fashion and leisure clothing industries. They are completely resistant to variations of hot and cold temperatures, moisture, UV rays and fire. They will not break down when exposed to variations in temperature or exposure to chemicals. They are soft to the touch and perfectly suitable for skin contact making them the No.1 choice for many applications.
The textile screen printing industry has been able to expand its opportunities thanks to the unique properties of silicones. Replacing traditional methods and inks, silicones are revolutionising our entire fashion industry on every level.
- License: Creative Commons
Guest post by Kayley Jenson, looking for a newcoat and a pair of matching wellingtons.