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With full metal clothing against corona

Caroline Zöller

Published on 24.08.2020

Vollebak stands for clothing of the future. In the design studio of twin brothers Nick and Steve Tidball, technology and science are used to create textiles that have yet to be invented. At least that’s how the brothers advertise their innovative garments and ideas for tomorrow’s fashion.

Intended as protective clothing for Mars

One project on which the designers were already working before the Corona pandemic is concerned with the role that clothing can play in protecting against disease in remote areas of the earth or in space. Copper, with its antibacterial and antiviral properties, was under discussion as a raw material, because bacteria and viruses die when they are exposed to the metal. Actually, the first astronauts on Mars were supposed to wear full-body protective suits made of copper, but then the corona pandemic intervened. Suddenly, the focus was on clothing that would ensure survival on Earth. However, you can’t wear theory. The metal garment had not yet been invented.

Pandemic accelerates development

Vollebak (link worked flat out to implement the project and developed the “Full Metal Jacket” from eleven kilometres of copper wire. The jacket consists of 65 percent metal. The rest is polyamide and polyurethane. It is waterproof, windproof and breathable, so it has nothing at all like a rigid knight’s armour. However, the process of transforming the metal wire into a wearable fabric is very complex. The metallic layer of the jacket is made of coloured lacquered copper yarn, which is used to create a flexible fabric on the loom.

The metal yarn is combed out, thermofixed, dyed and dried during processing. The curing process of the varnish alone takes six days. Once dried, it acts as a protective layer. The colour of the lacquer determines the later colour of the jacket, whose surface shimmers and appears as if computer-generated. The effect is created by the moving copper parts that warp and curl in the fabric like water. The material is designed so that the garment can be worn like an everyday jacket. The copper is soft and malleable. Only under the microscope can the individual copper strands that run through the material be seen.

Metal jacket is fully recyclable

Copper is one of the few materials that can be recycled infinitely without losing its chemical properties. Recycled copper or secondary copper, as it is also called, cannot be distinguished from primary copper. The valuable material of the “Full Metal Jacket” can thus be recovered repeatedly.

An overall as virus protection

The fashion label Marta Scarampi is taking a completely different approach with its DECO Travel collection (link ). The women’s clothing brand has launched a collection especially for travel in Corona times. Here, too, COVID-19 and the associated restrictions were the decisive impetus for the idea.

People are on the move again

Travel restrictions are being relaxed everywhere and more and more commuters are using public transport to get to work again. What they all have in common is the desire for protection from the virus. The idea of the designers Marta and Lucia Scarampi: A coverall that protects and is worn over the actual clothing.

They created a waterproof silk jumpsuit in a comfortable, light and matte material – the same material used for the Deco Raincape in the collection. The cut is casual and the fabric is breathable, so you can easily wear clothes underneath. When you arrive at your destination, the overall is simply taken off and stowed in the drawstring bag of the travel collection. The clothing underneath stays clean and virus-free.

Italian collection for the new travel

The DECO Jumpsuit is characterized by wearing comfort combined with a protective feature and is therefore predestined for the new travel in Corona times. It is handmade to order in Turin, Italy, and is delivered after ten to 15 days. In addition to the jumpsuit, the collection also includes matching facemasks and a bag to store the jumpsuit – all available in taupe, navy blue and black.

pictures: Volleback & Marta Scarampi