Course Blog

Self-repair Fabric

The Fashion industry is valued at 3 trillion dollars, which corresponds to 2% of the Gross Domestic product worldwide (Global Fashion Industry statistics. International Apparel). Moreover, is the second most polluting industry in the world, only after oils. To say nothing about the problems with the growing of cotton, poor working conditions for laborers and the big quantity of clothes that never come to be used because of the constant renovation (Claudio, 2007). Because of these problems, we need a change in the industry, a change lead by sustainability with two slopes: the care of the environment and the care of the rights of the people who participate in the process.


Modified from Claudio, 2007.

The self-healing property is highly desirable which allows a repair response to damage and add a long-term reliability to textiles.  There is a lot of research on this matter, but as a team, we are interested in two approaches:There are many efforts to transform the industry to a more sustainable creative platform. One of these efforts consist in the re-use of old clothes, but what happened if those clothes are broken? Or if you want to add a twist to your garment? For that purpose, the use of self-healing fabrics could be one of the answers.



  • The use of proteins to “heal” the fabric, which will enable us to do not only heal also add pieces of fabric contributing to the flexibility of the fabric to re-create new pieces. An example of this technology can be consulted in the paper of Gaddes and collaborators from the University of Pennsylvania.

The advantage of this approach is that for the self-healing action is only necessary to add water to the textile which previously had a coated of the proteins film.

Modified from Gaddes, 2016. Wool fiber, wool and cotton fabrics before and after the addition of water to allow the reparation.
  • Engineering a fungus to be able to bind the scaffold, which would be the skeleton of the garment.

One of our aims to use the more natural products and avoid the use of plastics and chemicals that can be dangerous for the environment, to keep the eco-friendly approach. But also, raise awareness of how our methods of consumption can change if there is a platform that will enable us not only to restore our old clothes but also can adapt even to new seasons or new uses.


Claudio, L. (2007). Waste couture: Environmental impact of the clothing industry. Environmental Health Perspectives115(9), A449.

Gaddes, D., Jung, H., Pena-Francesch, A., Dion, G., Tadigadapa, S., Dressick, W. J., & Demirel, M. C. (2016). Self-healing textile: enzyme encapsulated layer-by-layer structural proteins. ACS applied materials & interfaces8(31), 20371-20378.

Fashion United Group. Visited 12.02.18