Here is a cool new (and expensive) idea for a Christmas gift – a gold tie from EMPA. But this is not just precious metal. This luxury tie is weaved out of gold silk thread developed at Swiss research institute EMPA. The textile experts over at EMPA had been working on fixing gold on to silk for a decade, before they struck gold. Literally! The gold thread that they have created is exceedingly rare. But is durable and washable – so you don’t need to go about too gingerly over this one.
How They Did It?
EMPA has developed a hi-tech plasma coating machine. Initially, the textile experts over at EMPA had successfully used it to weave silver into material. So they decided to take the plunge with gold as well.
It works like this: the machine throws chunks of gold into a stream of speedy argon ions. Because of the speed with which the gold is thrown, the individual metal atoms are thrown off from their positions. This stream of gold is now directed at silk threads, which are slowly drawn out of the device. Thus, a nanometer-thin layer of the gold metal now coats the thread.
The Most Expensive Thread
Gold-coated thread will expectedly be expensive. EMPA’s Christmas special ties are expected to contain some 8 grams of pure gold. So what does that translate into in money terms? A whopping 7,500 Swiss francs (about $8,500). The sum may seem a bit much even for a high-end tie, but not when you consider 24-carat gold shoelaces. Earlier this year, Mr. Kennedy unveiled the gold shoelaces, and they cost a staggering $19,000. For some buyers, money is never an issue.
So, have you added it to your Christmas gift list or wishlist?