Researchers have found two ways of binding a citronella scent to fabric that is released as wearers sweat
Spotted: Scientists in Portugal have developed a fabric that can turn the sour smell of sweat into the sweet smell of citronella. The results can be achieved by two different methods.
In the first method, they modified cotton fibres using a protein found in pigs’ noses. The protein binds to the citronella scent molecules. At the same time, they attached a carbohydrate-linking module, which binds the scent to cotton. In the second method, the researchers used fat-like liposomes, rather than protein, to bind the citronella scent to the fabric.
The altered fabric releases the citronella scent molecules when it comes in contact with sweat, which is an acidic solution. The protein-treated fabric releases a rapid burst of scent, while the liposomes give a slower, more controlled release.
Citronella is also an insect repellent, so the altered fabrics could keep bugs away while wearers exercise outdoors. The new fabric still needs to be tested on a larger scale, but it shows promise as a way to mask unpleasant aromas.
This is yet another example of fabrics that can respond to their environment. At Springwise, we have also seen technology used to create fabrics that use light to communicate with each other.