Exclusive lingerie collection made of gold-coated yarn
Swiss Empa (Material and Science, belonging to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich) has developed a gold-coated yarn serving now in an exclusive lingerie collection of a Swiss entrepreneur
Swiss entrepreneur and CEO Sacha Hertli of Rococo Dessous (founded in May 2013), developed a range of lingerie made from the gold fabrics and worldwide the first time ever such lingerie was launched. The most “inexpensive” item in the offered range costs CHF 1200. The prices seem to know no limits and depend only on the customer’s wishes. Already dozens of lingerie sets have been sold, mostly to Middle East customers. The lingerie is also available in the USA, Russia and in selected boutiques. Soon it will also be available in China, a bit later also in India. Hertli presents the collection to his prospect customers in luxury hotels of cosmopolitan cities and at fashion shows around the world. It was also presented at the New York Lingerie Fashion Week in August 2013.
The gold-coated yarn was developed by the Empa laboratories in St. Gall (CH). It is soft and clingy and even survives several washing in laundry machines. Gold embroidery is known over years, but it didn’t last long, as in the past the yarn was manufactured like strings of a guitar. Wafer-thin golden wire was wrapped around cotton or silk yarn. However the yarn was scratchy and not at all foldable and it could not be washed. The new yarn developed by Empa you can rub and knead the yarn as much as you want to, the gold doesn’t budge from the polyester fibres. The super yarn can even endure up to six hours at 80° C in the washing machine, but still hand washing is recommended to protect the lace in the lingerie. The development of the new yarn needed basic research for more than ten years at Empa. There is also a silver version available allowing the weaving of textile filters and the functioning can be monitored by voltage, when the filter breaks during spinning, power supply is interrupted and a technician has to assist its repairing.
The secret of the gold plating method is as follows: Inside the plasma coating machine there is a fibre and a 24-carat gold nugget. The nugget is bombarded with ions and individual atoms fly off. These vaporise at ambient temperature and land on the fibres. One yarn is made from around 100 of these polyester fibres. The scientists patented the novel method, and the industry completed the end product.
In a next step, Hertli is thinking of a next product made of the new gold-plated fibre, namely it is swimwear and the saltwater does not seem to be a problem for the gold yarn, however the right elasticity is not yet found.
A similar technology has been lately applied by Swiss Post as a philatelic rarity for collectors for the last Christmas season: a gold plated stamp has been developed that can be purchased around the globe at its face value of CHF 6.00.