PART of what sold James Tirey on a change in attire was the coffee spilled on his legs during a rough flight. ”It stayed sticky until it dried,” he said, ”about mid-Atlantic.”
To avoid such incidents, he bought a new pair of pants with an invisible, high-tech surface suited to the exigencies of business travel. These pants look and feel like most others, but the ingenious finish on the fabric is different: it is made of tiny, nanosized particles that repel water, ketchup, honey, blood, vinaigrette and a thousand other potential indignities. With such a surface, he said, ”if coffee is spilled on you, it just beads up” or runs off. The pants can be wiped with a paper napkin — even the skimpy cocktail kind handed out on airplanes — leaving the material dry and unscathed.
Mr. Tirey, who lives in northern Virginia, bought his pants, called the Steel Pant, at Beyond, a Eugene, Ore., company that makes and sells outerwear for men and women at BeyondFleece.com. The material is manufactured by the Swiss company Schoeller Textil, which makes both the weave and the nanofinish, called NanoSphere. On the Beyond Web site, the pants cost $119, the nanocoating an additional $15. ”It was definitely worth the money,” Mr. Tirey said of the purchase.
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