Teknologi – fördjupning

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With OrganoTex we mimic plant leaves by clicking on nature’s own chemistry. Studying the surface of a lotus leaf provided us with an already mastered solution to keep the rain out. We simply took the full package, because according to us biomimetics is not just recreating an effect. Rather, it demands us to use ingredients provided by plants that biodegrade rapidly to be returned into an infinite cycle. Harmonious high-tech leaving nothing behind in nature, free from fossil plastics and forever chemicals. We call it made green inside by OrganoClick®.

Water repellence that leaves place to breathe

Plants possess high physiochemical intelligence. Water flow is carefully controlled. Leaves should stay dry so plants can keep breathing – taking up CO2 and giving back oxygen – and limit susceptibility to pests. Sealing their leaf surface with a hydrophobic polymer film would create a protective barrier but practically suffocate them. Instead, many plants build structures from smaller hydrophobic molecules aggregated in roughly shaped three-dimensional (3D) microstructures. The top layer of leaf cells reveals these structures on their fibrous cell walls, which can be studied with scanning electron microscopy (SEM).

OrganoTex® seen on a cotton yarn, made visible using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). 

The fittest waterproofing that survived — now for humans

We noticed the similarities between the plant’s challenge and desired quality attributes for functional outdoor clothing. Repel water, maintain a breathing function, all on a fibrous material. Nature had already come up with a solution through generations of perfecting work. And, allowed breathability is not the only advantage. First, it is more efficient, as the effect is already obtained when a fraction of the fibre surface is covered with the crystals; thereby reducing impact on important sensory fabric attributes. Additionally, the structures being so small, even reach hidden fibres tucked away in the yarn, allowing for a lasting protection with resilience to abrasion. 

Already produced in a plant, we just had to bottle it

Simply said, our challenge was just to bottle it. Of course, we also had to get it in a water-based liquid, carefully select the plant compounds required while making sure that happens sustainably, fix it so that the repellence remains even after machine washing your garments, process it reliably in our plant, keep it stable while waiting for your purchase on the shop shelves and carry out thousands of other tests. But we managed, and the unique result is a series of biobased, readily biodegradable, and eco-labelled waterproofing products, giving your rainwear access to leaf-like high-tech.

Några av alla tester och prover i labbet hos vår avdelning för FoU, under utvecklingen av nya generationen OrganoTex.