Micro-encapsulation – these are tiny bubbles of liquid or solid substances which are encapsulated and integrated within fabrics. Friction caused in the general use of a fabric breaks down the membrane of these gas or liquid bubbles. As it breaks down, the contents, such as moisturisers, therapeutic oils, and insecticides, are released slowly.
Product that use micro-encapsulation can help to absorb, store and release body heat and keeping the wearer at a comfortable temperature. This form of technology can be used for example in ski wear, military uniforms that are use in warm climates, gloves and footwear.
Products have been developed various forms of micro-encapsulation which can be applied to:
- Regulate body temperature
- Lotions (aloe Vera, vitamin E, lanolin, etc.)
- Fabric softeners
- Flame retardants.
The liquid or solid substances in tiny thin-walled bubbles gradually release agents by simple mechanical rubbing, which ruptures the membrane over time.
Medical uses of encapsulation to patients have included drug treatments through clothing. One example involves the delivery of treatments to cut down the bugs causing the hospital super-infection MRSA.
The potential of microencapsulation for fashion clothing, keeping garments fresh and hygienic, for use in sportswear, underwear and work wear is now becoming very common.