Dr Kirsten Lucas Tiffany Kong's Merino Gold design
One of our readers very kindly brought this item to our attention which is a use for gold that we have not seen before, a combination of Merino wool and gold through nanotechnology used as a fabric by fashion designers. The fashion show took place in February this year.
The talents of Victoria University chemists and Massey fashion designers combine to bring you the Merino Gold Fashion Show. Using wool fabric bonded with clusters of gold atoms, students are competing for the opportunity to visit the fashion houses of Italy.
The 2011 International Year of Chemistry, in honour of Marie Curie, the first woman Nobel laureate, was launched in style at the Michael Fowler Centre on Wednesday night.
The launch event – a merino gold fashion show – was hosted as part of the MacDiarmid Institute’s international conference in Wellington this week.
A collaboration between MacDiarmid Institute chemists at Victoria University and fashion designers at Massey University resulted in a fashion collection based on the unique properties of pure merino wool coloured by bonded clusters of gold atoms.
The luxury wool has attracted interest and requests for samples from top fashion houses in Europe. The designer of the winning collection, Greer Osborne from New Plymouth, will have the opportunity to travel to the UK and visit and work with a number of leading fashion designers.
The visits have been organised by the British Society of Interior Design and Wools of New Zealand (UK).
The technique for forming and bonding the gold clusters to wool is just one of many applications of nanotechnology – working with material on tiny scales of one billionth of a meter – and illustrates the technical skills and creativity of New Zealand chemists and physicists working in the field. Nanotechnology is a meeting place of chemistry, physics and biology.
Well there we go, another useful application for gold to add to the list.
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And something for the chaps!
Dr John Watt models Kerry Wong's Merino Gold design