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Tuesday, 18 August 2015 19:20

Polygiene® - How does the technical treatment work? Featured

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Polygiene®. Increasing numbers of brands are treating their garments with the treatment, in order to keep clothing odour free. But how does it work? Why is there a difference with products stamped with a Polygiene® on it?

Polygiene® has several benefit claims:

Stay Fresh – Fresh all day confidence without any odor-causing bacteria.

Effective and permanent treatment – Odour-free effect guaranteed for the lifetime of the product.

No effect on the skin – Doesn’t interfere with the skins natural bacteria

Climate Smart :

Wear More. Wash Less™ - Clothes can be worn several times before washing

Longer Lasting – Fibers last longer without bacterial growth and excessive washing

Less luggage – Travel light

Nano-free solution made of silver salt from recycled silver

bluesign® approved – Demanding environmental certification with a life cycle approach.





But once again, how does it work?

Lets start at where the stink comes from

When we exercise we sweat, it is a natural response to physical activity to cool us down. There are up to 2.6 million sweat glands in the average human to cool down, disperse heat and keep us comfortable. Sweat is naturally odourless, however when it's mixed with textiles (fabrics) creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Those warm and moist environments culture odour forming bacteria, and they grow and multiply in numbers. Nasty.

So, rather than our sweat, it is the bacteria passed onto our clothing which causes those self conscious smells. What’s more astonishing is up to 30% of our clothing is thrown away prematurely due to odour!

Having spent time talking to Stephen from Polygiene® recently, there are two ways it works.

Shoes and socks. If you're like me, mine stink! The foam insoles are a perfect breading ground for sweat, add to this socks and your feet which are coated in 20% of your body’s sweat glands and... you have a stink bomb waiting to happen. However, Polygiene® treated socks in fresh shoes will keep thing smelling like roses. Treated socks in old shoes will not cure the problem, you may need to switch out the insoles (those constructed from merino wool especially), however it will stop the bacteria from multiplying. Prevent them from multiplying and you have significantly reduced the problem.


The tech

Polygiene® consists of a preparation of silver chloride and titanium dioxide.

Silver chloride is/was mainly used in photography, it is the compound that goes black when film is exposed to light. To digital users, the roll of black perforated tape that was put in the back of cameras before the 2000s.

Titanium Dioxide is the main component of white paint, which also happens to be the main ingredient of the `cream` in a bottle of Baileys! Crazy world we live and we all know that isn't cream to start with.

Now the bit that makes Polygiene® do its magic, are the silver ions it delivers.

Now for these ions to do their work, there needs to be a constant supply from the material. But how does this remain within your treated baselayer or sock?

Think of that stain that never leaves despite how ever many times you wash it, chain lube oil, oh how we despise your t-shirt ruining properties. Due to the laws of physics (that’s a whole different lesson) they are happy where they are and try as you might, your efforts are for most parts futile.

Polygiene® sticks to your top like glue by literally depositing the smaller silver molecules, onto the much larger titanium dioxide. They then create a paint or for the geeks a stable dispersion that can be added to your top . When this dispersion is heavily diluted, i.e as when applied to the textile, it becomes unstable and the active particles are deposited onto and into the fabric. Because they don’t form a chemical bond, they can be used on any material, which is why you can find it in shoes, towels, baselayers, socks, anything really.

They are retained because of their extremely low –parts per billion- solubility, and because of some physical entrapment within the yarn structures. To remove from the fibre in this extremely low concentration would require extreme amounts of energy and `solvents`, exactly the same reasons you cannot remove that annoying oil stain.


It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3

The below diagram shows how those minute silver ions prevent that stink from growing into a stink factory.

By breaking down the cells, inhibiting the smell enzymes from releasing their fear inducing stench and from reproducing.


Yet there is more. If you aren’t washing your clothes daily, there are large environmental benefits.

Lack of water, especially fresh drinking water is an acute problem throughout the world. By reducing the washing required, there is less wastage from washing machines constantly sucking in this valuable resource. To put things in perspective, 2/3 of the environmental impact from apparel is from the consumer, whether washing, drying or ironing. The production only accounts for 1/3 of the footprint, so if we can become more efficient, resourceful and less reliant on the washing, we can balance things out.


Simple facts makes things easy to process.

65% of greenhouse emissions are from the consumer rather than production.

73% of energy consumption is caused by irons, washing machines and tumble dryers.

54% of water is from washing machines.

So, its clear to see the impact can be rapidly decreased by using smart fabrics, in this case the silver ion treatment.


To summarise


So Polygiene®, it can save you from disturbing your friends after a long day in the hills and save you time and money from reducing your reliance on washing that garment regularly. There is a vast number of leading outdoor and sports brands utilizing this revolutionary brand and we will be testing a few treated products shortly.

Read 2213 times Last modified on Wednesday, 02 December 2015 21:07

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