Ever since the late 19th century, people have experimented with making textiles from natural-source-based gelatine, as a cheaper and less allergenic alternative to wool. Although the emergence of synthetic fibers largely put an end to that, a new technique may yet allow gel-based yarn to see the spotlight. The fiber is said to have an insulation quality similar to that of Merino wool, and the collagen used to produce it can be obtained from waste at animal-processing facilities.
Researchers have successfully transferred monolayer graphene to fibers commonly used in the textile industry. The transparent, flexible material could one day be used to create embedded wearable electronics, such as phones, fitness trackers or MP3 players.
Some hobbyists might already be familiar with micarta, a solid material
made from layers of denim that have been bonded together with resin.
While it's usually carved to create objects such as knife handles, UK
startup Mosevic is using a micarta-like substance to make something else – blue jeany-looking sunglasses.