The researchers used a method known as vacuum metal deposition that's already used to recover print detail on smooth surfaces like carrier bags, plastics and glass since the 1970s but has not previously been applied to fingerprint detection on fabrics
Forensic researchers have had early success refining a method normally used to recover fingerprints from plastic and glass, and applying it to clothing
Promising early results from research undertaken by the University of Abertay Dundee and the Scottish Police Services Authority could lead to fingerprint evidence being obtained from clothing, for use in criminal prosecution. Refining an existing technique that's been used to successfully recover print detail from smooth objects such as glass and plastic, forensic scientists have managed to create a kind of photo negative of fingerprint impressions on fabric. It's a bit hit and miss at the moment, but even when clear ridge detail isn't retrieved, the technique could still prove useful to investigators looking for other evidence.
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