Today a high-tech shirt came into my life. The shirt is made by Ably, and you can supposedly wear it for months on end and it will stay clean. Ably's garments are made with something called Filium, a non-toxic product that makes the material resistant to liquid and odor. I wore the shirt for the first time today, and the way it interacts with water is pretty cool. I purposely flicked a little water on the shirt's sleeve, and the water just beaded up into droplets and slid right off the shirt at high speed.
I played with the shirt in my sink for a while, watching water droplets roll around the fabric before sliding off. I swear, it's as fun to play with as it is to wear. But I got a little over-zealous and found that it does get wet if you submerge it into water.
I also experimented with ketchup, squirting a couple of drops onto the shirt. Unbelievably, the ketchup drops, like the water, rolled off the shirt. There was no trace of ketchup to be seen. Unfortunately I then tried Tabasco sauce, and used my finger to help push the tiny drops off of it, which caused the sauce to sink into the material. It took a bit of scrubbing with soap and water to clean off the stain. I wondered if touching the beaded sauce had something to do with it staining the shirt, so I hesitantly sprinkled more Tobasco sauce on the fabric, this time keeping my hands far away from the beaded liquid. This time the sauce rolled off the shirt just like the ketchup and water did. Lesson learned: don't use your fingers to nudge off a spill – just let it do its thing.
When I first heard about this shirt I was a bit skeptical about its comfort, thinking it would feel too synthetic, but it's surprisingly very soft and feels like a regular cotton tee. It's a great shirt to have for travelers or people who are sloppy.