“Brands try to redesign their lines every season, but nobody is trying to redesign the actual fabric,” said Kaustubh Varma, the 28-year-old founder of Vardama, who created the miracle hydrophobic cloth (shirts are $125-$155 at vardama.com).
Varma said his invention was inspired by nature: One rainy day, he looked out the window and noticed that drops of water would strike leaves and roll off without soaking them.
He quit his job soon after to develop a fabric that could repel water in the same way.
The result is Equa-Tek, Varma’s proprietary fabric that involves attaching nanofibers to raw cotton before it’s spun into yarn. It ends up feeling almost as soft as regular cotton.
Varma is vague on the manufacturing process — he doesn’t want anyone to steal his idea, after all — but unlike Scotchgard or Teflon, Varma’s liquid-repelling elements are woven into the material itself rather than merely applied as a coating.
He hopes to launch more stainproof clothes, for kids and food-service workers.
"There is no reason not to incorporate this technology into any kind of clothing,” he said. “If brands put this up against their existing shirts, the regular shirt would not sell.”
I wore the shirts — and for the first time since college, I was prepared when friends spilled drinks on my clothes.
And Equa-Tek bounces back from more than tiny spills: An entire glassful of wine rolled down the front without staining anything except the sidewalk. The shirt got a little wet, but it dried quickly and bore no lingering damage.
I repeated the experiment with a mug of coffee and an entire bottle of a sports drink.
This shirt even became a party trick, as I’d hold out my arm in the crowd while someone poured wine on it and someone else caught the vino in a big bowl as it rolled off my sleeve.
Perfect for the man cave — or the office party.
Growing up, we were (briefly) obsessed with something called Hypercolor, a T-shirt that changed appearance with body heat.
Kinda neat. Entirely pointless.
Really awkward when we forget to slap on some Right Guard.
Today, we’d kill for the opposite. A shirt that would never betray us due to spills and/or sweat.
That day is here: Vardama, a new line of stain-proof shirts, available now.
On the surface, Vardama’s a solid fit for your wardrobe: classic button-ups made from soft Egyptian cotton. Breathable. Nice details, like contrasting collars and cuffs.
But dig beneath the appearance: their baked-in, proprietary tech makes ‘em completely stain-proof.
So they say.
Water, beer, coffee, wine — all of it just rolls off or wicks away.
No stains. (For thicker spills, like a sauce, just douse with water and wipe it off.)
Bonus: no one’ll ever you see sweat. Plus, you can dry clean ‘em just like any other dress shirt.
Don’t sweat the details.
Nota bene: Here’s to style that repels ... for the right reasons.
Read more: http://www.insidehook.com/nation/vardama/
In the not-too-distant future, we’ll expect a lot more from our clothing.
It will do more than just hang off our bodies and keep us from getting arrested for public nudity. Imagine underwear that monitors your body’s vitals or a shirt that lights a room.
Those days aren’t quite here yet, but there are wearables that do more than just look smart. The Post road-tested four shirts that offer features well beyond the average Gap pullover.
Price: $125-$155 at vardama.com
Innovation: The line of dress shirts (the company also sells ties and suits) is made with so-called Equa-Tek, a proprietary blend that repels stains “without compromising breathability.”
Result: Shirts have a slim, modern cut and the fabric doesn’t feel particularly plastic-y. You might not know it’s stain-resistant. And yet, dump a cup of coffee on the sleeve and the liquid magically beads. Any residual stain was easily washed out with a run under a faucet.
A new menswear company is creating a line of suits, shirts, and ties that are all water-repellent and spill-resistant.
Called Vardama, the company has been developing for the past two years as Jorge Vega Umana and Kaustubh Varma worked to perfect a special compound that would not only allow their designs to be water-repellent, but also make them feel breathable and soft for customers. “The idea came to me while on a family trip in India,” Varma explained to Business Insider. “I was stuck in my hotel room due to the rain. Looking out of the window I was admiring the way the leaves on a nearby plant were keeping itself dry and clean. I thought to myself — what if my clothes were self-cleaning?”
After over 100 different prototypes, experiments, and products, Varma and Umana finally discovered the answer. They call their invention Equa-Tek™ and say that it treats the individual fibers at a “microscopic level” to make them water-resistant — whether the fabric is silk, Egyptian cotton, or wool.This allows things like coffee, wine, and water to be repelled from the fabric (you can see videos of it on their YouTube channel). It also makes the fabric less susceptible to visible staining due to perspiration, according to Vardama.
Washing isn’t an issue either — the shirts can be machine washed or dry cleaned, and suits and neckties are dry clean only, much like your regular work wear.
We researched several different compounds and many types of application processes to find the best solution for our customer and for the brand,” Varma explained to Business Insider. “Part of the amazing journey of Vardama has been the travel and great partners we have made through developing Equa-Tek including researchers, manufacturers, scientists and other fashion brands across the globe.”
The brand was also featured in Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week during the Fall, and hope to expand into womenswear, kids clothing, work wear, and more.
Red wine on a white shirt usually spells disaster, but it doesn't have to!
|Neck||14.5 - 15||15.5 - 16||16.5 - 17||17 - 17.5|
|Chest||38 - 40||40 - 42||42 - 44||44 - 46|
|Sleeve||32 - 33||33 - 34||34 - 35||35 - 36|
Designed for a slim silhouette with a narrow chest and tapered waist. A box pleat in the back, runs the length of the shirt ensuring functionality like you have never experienced.
The difference between the two is personal preference on fit.The Slim Fit is 2" narrower in the chest and 3" slimmer in the waist than the Tailored Fit.
|Neck||14.5 - 15||15.5 - 16||16.5 - 17||17 - 17.5||18 - 18.5|
|Chest||40 - 42||42 - 44||44 - 46||46 - 48||48-50|
|Sleeve||32 - 33.5||33 - 34||34 - 35||35 - 36||36 - 37|
Designed for a modern silhouette with a slightly tapered waist. Chest is 2“ bigger than the Slim Fits with a snug but not constricting fit in the chest.
The difference between the two is personal preference on fit. The Slim Fit is 2" narrower in the chest and 3" slimmer in the waist than the Tailored Fit.