Teijin Fibers was the first company to create a product based on the nanostructures seen on a Morpho butterfly’s wing. The textile was featured in my July 19, 2010 posting about an Australian designer, Donna Sgro, who created a dress made from the company’s Morphotex product. Sadly, the textile is no longer in production as of this April 5, 2012 notice on the AskNature.org website,
Teijin Fibers Limited of Japan produces Morphotex® fibers. No dyes or pigments are used. Rather, color is created based on the varying thickness and structure of the fibers. Energy consumption and industrial waste are reduced because no dye process must be used.
In 2011, Teijin Fibers Limited stopped manufacturing Morphotex.
In the latest news about Teijin Fibers, the April 11, 2012 news item by Cameron Chai on Azonano notes,
Teijin Fibers, a company of Teijin Group, has revealed that Srixon is fabricating its new Pro Tour golf gloves called Srixon GGG-S005 using Teijin Fibers’ Nanofront high-strength polyester nanofiber.
The Srixon GGG-S005 gloves deliver remarkable grip performance, enabled by Nanofront’s soft texture and superior frictional properties. The high-strength polyester nanofiber also provides remarkable moisture diffusion and absorption for improved comfort, making the fiber a suitable material for golf gloves.
I went to the Teijin Fibers website to find more information about their Nanofront product,
Here comes the world’s first 700 nanometer ultra fine polyester nanofiber “Nanofront™”. The new “island-in-sea” composite spinning technology has solved the problem of unstable quality associated with conventional mass-production nanofibers. The surface area woven in long fibers structure could be tens of times greater than conventional fibers. This enhances water absorption, absorbability of particulates, and anti-translucency. The texture feels soft to the skin, and reduces irritation drastically. Suitable for a variety of applications, including functional sportswear, innerwear, skin care products, antibacterial filter, precision grinding cloth, etc. Teijin “Nanofront™” opens the future for fibers at last.
The Nanofront product is also being used in New Balance Japan socks according to the company’s Jan. 10, 2012 news release,
Teijin Fibers Limited, the core company of the Teijin Group’s polyester fibers business, announced today that it is supplying its high-strength polyester nanofiber Nanofront for use in running socks made by New Balance. The socks are being marketed by New Balance Japan and sold in its directly owned shops in Tokyo and Osaka, as well as other sports retail stores nationwide from this month.
I’m sorry to see that Morphotex is no longer being produced especially since I’ve looked at Teijin Fiber’s statement about environmentally-friendly materials,
Teijin Fibers is striving to be friendly to the global environment, humans and various other creatures to make our society sustainable. We taking initiatives to manufacture environmentally-friendly materials such as using recycled polyester materials which turn garbage into resources, and employing recycling systems for polyester products. Furthermore, we are developing synthetic fibers derived from plants based on the concept of carbon neutral materials that do not use hazardous Substances [sic] as much as possible, and materials that create color without dyestuff.
I assume that there wasn’t enough demand for a product which achieved its colour, like the Morpho butterfly, due to the properties of its structure at the nanoscale.
The company seems to be having better luck with some of their other ‘eco products’. Note: Nanofront does not appear to be one of the company’s ‘eco’ products.