World’s first washable gold cloth

If you’re thinking about a present to a person who has everything, then here’s a perfect example created by the Swiss engineers from EMPA – a 24k gold fabric that is very durable and washable and can be worn as a tie, for example.

The textile experts have worked over 10 years developing a way to mix pure gold and silk. Although the attempt to affix gold to cloth is not the first, but it is definitely the most innovative. Earlier researchers tried to use silver. The process involved covering a core polyester thread with a thin layer of silver (similar to the how guitar stings are made). However, the outcome was not quite what researchers expected.

At the same time the antibacterial properties of silver led to the appearance on the market of various fibers covered with it, which motivated scientists to continue working in the same direction. In the end they have come up with a plasma coating device. Their invention worked better than expected and researchers decided to try it with gold. The final result was the gold cloth that, according to the team, is the world’s first washable cloth.

Currently the team is planning to start marketing its innovation in form of standard neck ties, each of which will contain 8 grams of pure gold and wear a price tag of 7500 Swiss francs (about $8500 / €6100).