We are a hi-tech fashion startup from Germany which recently got notorious for creating the blackest shirt in existence.

Since all our clothes are black, we were often confronted with the unpleasantness of wearing black in the summer.

So we found this nano-coating called coldblack which manages to reflect the (invisible) heat rays, but swallow the visible light spectrum, turning it black. And made a T-Shirt from it.

Here is some more background info from an article in Dazed&Confused Magazine.

AMA! : )

Proof Reddit AMA Logo on bottom of our website

Thank you for all your questions, I will go to bed now and answer more questions tomorrow, if they occur

Comments: 103 • Responses: 39  • Date: 

black_flag_4ever47 karma

What happens to the nano particles when they wash off?

gabrielbln66 karma

They go to a very tiny heaven

Laikitu54 karma

I have to agree with u/OzlozSFW, this needs a real answer. We're still trying to get rid of those ridiculous bullshit plastic balls that shower gel decided was no big deal, and now they are turning up in our fish.

I really don't want to find out that some idiot has released the next asbestos because they got too hot wearing their goth shirt.

gabrielbln7 karma

Understandable. But whilst the particles in the shampoos were free floating, this here is embedded in a coating.

I am unable to tell you more specifics, but when we asked this company if they could reproduce Vantablack as a fabric using nano carbontubes, the declined because they said that the risks are not clear yet, even though there are studies claiming its harmlessness.

I wouldn't know why they should suddenly change their stance concerning this endeavour.

veosvos16 karma

but the coating will wash off eventually, will it not? are there any studies regarding the carbon nanotubes environmental impact? the study you linked only addresses its carcinogenicity.

gabrielbln6 karma

Well this is not made of carbon nanotubes. And classically, studies over long term effects aren't in yet.

As far as I understood it, the particles are embedded in a fixatif and won't just break off, like asbestos does. Frankly, I would be much more concerned about the soot of combustions from cars or even bonfires

HighOnGoofballs15 karma

Could you make it in a tactical turtleneck?

gabrielbln21 karma

Only if it's woven from the purest Azerbaijani cashmere wool

Milesprowler215 karma

How many washes till the coating wears away?

gabrielbln9 karma

Thank you for your question. It depends a bit on the base fabric you are applying the coating on, but according to them, the coating is very, very durable.

I suppose that's because of the nano-particles which are forming a very tight structure where external influences are not having a lot of impact. See the lotus effect where water has no means of getting a "grip".

This fabric seems very water repellant to me as well

SuggestAPhotoProject16 karma

So, like five times?

gabrielbln27 karma

More than 200, since this is the usual quality standard they are normaly working with

0020020012 karma

Why not wear white?

gabrielbln19 karma

Because wearing black is not only a choice of color, but also a statement. Yamamoto said it best

randomredditreading6 karma

Please tell me you're making formal wear for event photographers (please)?

gabrielbln1 karma

Probably not, since I don't think this coating works on cotton, wool or any of the other natural fabrics being used for suits.

randomredditreading5 karma

But maybe a t shirt dress with a clean line? Wedding photographers can get stuck on a 16 hour day carrying 10 pounds of sweaty gear during 100 degree weather, and the fashion industry doesn't care. So much money to be made for the brand that steps up there :)

gabrielbln1 karma

Sorry, we do sportswear and have a very futuristic look. Formal would just not fit in

SAM-0006 karma

How can it reflect heat rays? Isn't light converted to heat when it is absorbed by an object?

gabrielbln1 karma

The further you come to the IR spectrum, the more energy is inherent and therefore being converted. Remember grandma's infrared heat lamp?

AidosKynee9 karma

That isn't entirely correct. IR photons have less energy than visible photons. The reason heat lamps are infrared is to let them produce easily absorbed heat without a lot of distracting light that your eyes can see.

The reason "coldblack" works is because the visible range is pretty damn narrow; wavelengths of ~400-700 nm are visible, while ~700-1,000,000 nm is IR.

If you look at an AM 1.5 spectrum of solar power output, you can clearly see that the peak of the output is in the visible, but there's still a lot of IR there. If you do the math (I have a spreadsheet up to only 4000nm), about 51% of solar power is in the IR, while 42% is visible.

If you look at the Coldblack FAQ, they claim up to 80% of "heat rays" are reflected. If they mean 80% of IR power, that's a pretty significant improvement. If they mean 80% of wavelengths, that means diddly squat. Just the range from 700-1000nm contains 40% of the total IR power, in only 0.03% of the wavelength range.

I know you're not the technical person, but I wouldn't respond to technical questions if you don't really know the answer.

gabrielbln4 karma

Thank you for your input, I really find this fascinating. We might be doing a project with Swarovski Crystals soon and I really need to get into this optics topic.

You are right and I will check with the tech person tomorrow to get specifics.

Meanwhile, here is a picture I took with an IR camera in broad daylight. You can clearly see a difference

Yupwakkawakka6 karma

What is your price point for the Super-T?

gabrielbln3 karma

89€. Since we take care of environmental and social standards, we are only sourcing our fabrics in Europe and produce in a German facility that specialises in high fashion. But then we are still a startup with a small footprint, so we don't have a big company overhead.

Asron873 karma

How can I order the fabric so I can make a full suit for summer use? :)

gabrielbln3 karma

You can't. But we're thinking about doing a tracksuit next

hoilst6 karma

So, developing nanotech shirts is easier for nerds to do than develop fashion sense?

gabrielbln1 karma

We are trying to bring both worlds together :)

maccyjj5 karma

What exactly is the nano-coating? What about it makes it 'nano'?

gabrielbln4 karma

I don't have the exact details since we did not invent this. But I suppose the ultrasmall particles trap the light with the smaller wavelength (towards infrared), whilst reflecting the broader wavelenght (towards ultraviolate).

This is btw, why the coating has excellent UV properties as well.

Here is a visualisation

AidosKynee8 karma

Ummm... That's very backwards. Long wavelength would be the IR, not UV.

gabrielbln3 karma

Sorry mixed this up:

There are two different technologies at work.

One is the absorption of the visible spectrum (making it appear black) and the absorption of UV (I assumed that UV protection comes from reflecting UV, whilst this is in fact achieved through absorption - apparently sunscreen works similar)

IR is being reflected and therefore much less heat being produced.

cellada5 karma

This makes no sense. Black absorbs all frequencies of visible.light. And your nano particles absorb infrared heat. Plus its watertight and doesnt let sweat through. Sounds very much like a scam!

gabrielbln-8 karma

I beg to differ. Black does not absorb anything. Black is the absence of light, in this case the absence of reflections by a material.

Different materials reflect different wavelengths of light. That's how something appears to be a specific color.

Now this fabric reflects only the invisible UV part. If you were a goldfish, mantis shrimp, butterflie, or an eagle (yes, I googled this) you would see a violet-ish shirt.

Also the fabric is not watertight. There is still air between the filament so it is breathable. But you are right, if you wanted a real lotus effect you would make this as compact as possible.

cellada22 karma

Nonsense. Black does not reflect visible light because it absorbs it. I know how color works. Plus these nanoparticles trap infrared light and repel water ... from the comment above. Still scammy pseudoscience.

gabrielbln3 karma

But that's just what I said: The fabric looks black because it absorbs visible light.

But it also does reflect the UV spectrum.

Maybe we talk past each other. But you are right, I am no Scientist. At some point my physics knowledge is spent. However, I just called our tech guy, but he already left the company.

Would it be ok for you if I'd get back to you tomorrow with more in depth information?

Laikitu11 karma

I beg to differ. Black does not absorb anything.


But that's just what I said: The fabric looks black because it absorbs visible light.

  • you, both times.

gabrielbln6 karma

You misunderstand me. I meant black does not absorb anything, because there is no black per se. It's just the absence of light. It is not existing so it can't absorb anything.

And you meant the physical fabric.

gabrielbln11 karma

So I just got a hold of our tech guy.

Here is the deal: There are two different technologies at work.

One is the absorption of the visible spectrum (making it appear black) and the absorption of UV (I assumed that UV protection comes from reflecting UV, whilst this is in fact achieved through absorption - apparently sunscreen works similar)

IR is being reflected and with it the heat.

yadad2 karma

Why are you doing the AMA when you cannot answer the questions?

gabrielbln2 karma

There is always going to questions you can't answer. I am an allrounder, but when it gets too specific, be it in the tech or in the design direction, I can only offer to inquire for more details and come back with them to you

doublemcchicken4 karma

Don't you think the word invent is little disingenuous in this case? I have projects in the fashion industry: this proprietary coating you speak of 'inventing' has been available to anyone that wishes to purchase it for several years now. All you did was spec a fabric with the coating already applied then had this sewn into a t-shirt. I could do this for $20.

gabrielbln3 karma

I never claimed that we invented the tech. And in the Dazed article I linked, I stated that others have already been working with it. However, very few people know about this and it really helps.

InsayneBatmayne2 karma

Have you thought about pitching this to Kanye West?

gabrielbln2 karma

In fact, we have thought about it. Because Phoebe works for Adidas as well, it would have been possible to get access.

But we decided he had enough to do with his own innovations cough

dontpostdrunk2 karma

That's great, but when can I expect a black t-shirt that repels cat fur?

gabrielbln1 karma

You could use a lotus effect coating, but I then the cats would probably rearm. You can't win this fight, man

Jantachrist2 karma

Hey! Pretty cool tech, probably uses some kind of nanofiber array huh? Also, the sun's power output is mostly in the visible spectrum though, so a white shirt is always going to be cooler right?

gabrielbln2 karma

Thank you, yes white is going to feel colder. But black is always going to be cooler anyway ^

the_krillep2 karma

€89, jesus. Is the inside coated with gold dust, or is it really that expensive to make to have that as an acceptable price?

gabrielbln1 karma

Yes, it is really expensive. I guess that's why none of the big industry players have made it a big story. With their markups, the shirt would probably cost around 300€

Macedwarf2 karma

I hate the style and dislike vampires, will there be any other designs for this fabric?

Will this shirt be cold to wear? I can imagine that it'll still radiate as well as a black shirt would, so if it's not picking anything up from the sun don't I run the risk of ending up rather chilly? I'm a goth, not a zombie!

gabrielbln1 karma

I am sorry to hear that you dislike vampires. But then they are the obvious pick for somebody who doesn't like to go out in the sun, aren't they?

It feels like a light colored shirt would feel in the sun.

Macedwarf-1 karma

That is some cringeworthy meme-usage there, I really hope you're being paid for this, if not I don't feel for you in the slightest.

I'd love to see some proper science done to explore the phenomena, as I would have expected that the nanoparticles reflecting IR radiation wouldn't have much effect on the darker particles radiating heat. Have you worn one yourself?

gabrielbln4 karma

How about this one?

I don't understand. What do you mean with effecting the other particles?

Yes I have and it was really a big difference to the black jeans I wore.

FanOfGoodMovies2 karma

Does a coating need to go over the nanoparticles to keep them adhered to the shirt?
Sunblock with anatase titanium dioxide nanoparticles (but not titanium sunblock with larger particles) can precipitate cancer.

gabrielbln2 karma

It's not two different application procedures, but one. The particles are first mixed with a fixativ and then applied together

electricdog1 karma

What do the clothes feel like on your body? What is the texture of the fabric?

It looks like it would make me feel like a supervillain, and I like that. Do they wick moisture? What genius designed these matrix-esque garments? Where do you hide the "pussy-magnet"?

gabrielbln2 karma

It's a surface treatment. So the inside against your body feels like a normal fabric. However, the outside has a very silky touch ^

onlytech_nofashion1 karma

Where in Germany are you from?

gabrielbln1 karma

We started the brand in Berlin and are doing most of the creative stuff and shows there, but we are now living in Fürth, near Adidas, because Phoebe worked there. If you live near, you can come over and have a look at the shirt beforehand

xlt_cr3w1 karma

Gabriel Platt, why do you take all the credit?

gabrielbln2 karma

Please elaborate?

xlt_cr3w3 karma

For example, the title of your post is ..."creator of...". Are you the sole creator or is the a team of scientists and underlings involved? What sort of research goes in to such an undertaking?

gabrielbln3 karma

No of course not. The tech is not from us, but I've stated this in the sub text and there is a longer explanation in the article I've linked. But that explanation would have been much to long for a headline, wouldn't it

chris-goodwin1 karma

Can you create a car dashboard cover made out of this fabric? I don't need a black t-shirt but I would buy one of those, to keep the sun from reflecting off of my dashboard and into my face off of the inside of the windshield, even better if it doesn't heat up under the sun.

gabrielbln1 karma

BMW made seats from it so you don't burn your ass : )

But about the reflection, you would need to use our Viperblack material. The Vampireblack fabric is not super black

Geologistguy6781 karma

Where do I buy one?

gabrielbln1 karma

goldiespapa1 karma

When will your shirts be commercialized? Are they (or will they be) available internationally?

gabrielbln3 karma

They are already available now on our website.

We are shipping to most countries in the world. Excluding Panem, Zamunda and Westeros

-tar0t--1 karma

Can I just have one for no reason?

gabrielbln3 karma

Sorry, we are doing functional clothing. So there is always reason involved

mage2k-1 karma

We are a hi-tech fashion startup from Germany which recently got notorious for creating the blackest shirt in existence.

Where's my shirt?

gabrielbln1 karma

I've send you a DM, so we can follow up

Dr1m-4 karma

If black isn't a color, because by definition a black object didn't reflect light, how your T-shirt can be the blackest shirt in existence? Maybe your shirt isn't black at the end...

gabrielbln1 karma

For clarification - this is a question about our last project. The blackest shirt in the world. The new shirt is not extremely black.

So this shirt absorbs more of the visible light than any other shirt in existence. Still not near Vantablack, but very, very dark