Unlike current waterproofing chemical agents that Patel says have been proven unsafe, the 21-year-old enterpreneur and his team have developed a process that uses silica, a natural mineral used in the production of cement, to produce clothes that are super hydrophobic.
"On the nano-scale when we bind it to the fiber it is physically repelling hydrogen atoms. So anything that is water based is not going to be able to touch it. So what happens is that it creates a very high surface tension and with that surface tension the water molecules kind of bead up so they turn into spheres, and in that form they can roll off the shirt very easily," said Patel.
The company raised nearly $300 000 in crowd funding efforts and Patel said the first orders will be shipping soon.
"The first time I did it as I spilled an entire jug of water all over my shirt and it came off dry I was mind blown. And now as I show that to more and more people it seems like it's a very, it's a repeating process of people saying 'wow' and, you know, they get this head rush of you know 'I want to put this on socks shoes pants, everything that is out there.' So I think it is a technology that is going to become very versatile," he added.
Patel is also experimenting with other materials that he says will add form and function to fashion. He believes nanotechnology has the potential to create wearable technologies that can change shape, monitor your health and eventually connect to the internet.
For now, Patel says, he is content knowing that his shirts will help even the messiest eaters clean up their act.