Atacama, a fashion-technology startup, uses microfluidic technology to create textiles which stays dry even when someone is sweating. The startup exploring how its technology can be applied in a diverse range of industries, including apparel, auto manufacturing, and healthcare. The technology is superior to what is currently prevalent in the industry. While most moisture-wicking fabrics currently on the market draw sweat to the surface of clothing so it evaporates more quickly, microfluidics directs moisture into tiny three-dimensional channels and then controls the direction of the fluid so it collects or drips off textiles exactly where manufacturers want it to.
While Atacama’s tech has been applied mostly to synthetics like polyester and nylon, the company is also testing it on natural fibers like cotton and merino wool. Being able to manipulate how fluid travels over the surface of fabric in channels means Atacama’s technology can be incorporated into apparel design and shown off, a potential selling point for sportswear labels. Susan Neal, CEO of Atacama, also added that “We’ve been asked to look at car seats. What we’re finding is that there is a lot of interest in this technology to keep moisture and spilled drinks away from electronics in autonomous cars”.