Last Updated on August 29, 2023 by Reiner Chase
Vantablack clothing is not commercially available due to its complex manufacturing process. It’s primarily used for scientific and industrial purposes. However, alternative black clothing and accessories are accessible in retail stores and online platforms like fashion outlets and e-commerce websites.
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What Is Vantablack?
Vantablack was once a scientific triumph as the most genuinely black tone in human existence. Vantablack could be the blackest garment in the world. Surrey Nanosystems, a British company, developed the material.
It is composed of countless carbon nanotubes grown like a field of grass. A single tube is as thin as a single hair strand separated ten thousand times. When light strikes the fabric, it is absorbed and transformed into heat.
The tubes in the fabric are spaced apart like a grass field and are densely packed. Light doesn’t escape the material.
Only a little light can leave the material. Carbon nanotubes became famous in the 1990s, and ever since then, designers have in competing to make the blackest of blacks. They have managed to invent deeper blacks over the years.
How Is Vantablack Made?
Vantablack is without a doubt one of the most intriguing and captivating materials of our time. Known for its incredibly black appearance, it absorbs up to 99.96% of visible light, making it the darkest substance ever created by humans. But have you ever wondered how Vantablack is made? Let’s take a closer look at the fascinating process behind its creation.
- Carbon Nanotubes:
At the heart of Vantablack lies carbon nanotubes – an extraordinary form of carbon arrangements. These nanotubes are ultra-thin, hollow cylinders, consisting of carbon atoms bonded together in a unique hexagonal lattice structure. A network of these nanotubes forms the foundation of Vantablack.
- Growing the Nanotube Forest:
To create Vantablack, a specialized technique called chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is used. In this process, a substrate or base material is placed inside a reactor chamber, which is then filled with hydrocarbon gases such as methane and hydrogen. The substrate acts as a surface for the nanotubes to grow on.
- Catalyst and High Temperatures:
A catalyst, most commonly iron or nickel, is introduced into the reactor chamber to facilitate the growth of nanotubes. The chamber is heated to extremely high temperatures, reaching around 750°C (1382°F). This elevated temperature enables a chemical reaction between the hydrocarbon gases and the catalyst, resulting in the growth of carbon nanotubes on the substrate.
- The Alignment Process:
Once the nanotubes have been deposited on the substrate, an essential step known as the alignment process takes place. It involves removing any unwanted particles and aligning the nanotubes in a particular direction to optimize light absorption.
- Removing the Substrate:
When the alignment process is complete, the substrate is carefully removed, leaving behind a free-standing array of carbon nanotubes. These nanotube forests also referred to as nanopillars, are incredibly delicate but have exceptional structural integrity.
- The Forest Within:
The exceptional blackness of Vantablack is primarily due to the unique structure of the nanotube forests. When light enters the material, it is trapped between the carbon nanotubes. The light repeatedly bounces around inside the nanotube forest, eventually becoming absorbed and dissipated as heat.
- Applications and Advancements:
Originally developed for military and scientific purposes such as reducing stray light in telescopes or enhancing the performance of infrared cameras, Vantablack has now captured the attention of various industries. It is being explored in fields like architecture, automotive, art, and fashion for its unparalleled ability to absorb light.
- Licensing Restrictions:
It is important to note that Vantablack is a proprietary material developed by Surrey NanoSystems. The company has strict licensing restrictions in place for commercial use. However, they have also developed variations like Vantablack S-VIS and Vantablack VBx that are available for use by artists and the general public.
Use of Vantablack In Fashion
Understanding Vantablack’s incredible capability to absorb light up to 99.96% has piqued the interest of various industries, prominently the world of fashion. Here is how this super black material finds its way into high fashion.
1. Creating Unique Aesthetics
Vantablack, in its purest form, is unlike any other black. Its ultra-black finish creates a unique aesthetic that traditional fabrics simply cannot mimic. Designers can use this new application of material science to create unprecedented styles and deliver stand-out pieces.
2. Enhancing Silhouettes
With Vantablack’s ability to absorb light and remove any visible features, it allows for an accentuated and enhanced silhouette in designs. In essence, it transports the concept of minimalism to an entirely new level, making any wearer stand out.
3. Incorporating Advanced Technology
Fashion designers are always in search of new materials that push boundaries and add a different dimension to their designs. The incorporation of advanced material technology like Vantablack, though challenging, represents the vanguard in fashion.
4. Adding a Perception of Depth
When applied to a three-dimensional object, Vantablack makes it appear two-dimensional to the human eye due to its ability to essentially ‘remove’ any visible features. This feature can be manipulated in fashion to create a perception of depth and illusion, exposing an aspect of fashion that plays with human perception.
5. Promoting Futuristic Fashion
Incorporating Vantablack in fashion paves the way for a futuristic look and feel, creating designs that seem extraterrestrial and forward-thinking. While it is undoubtedly challenging to work with, the resultant fashion items can be true pieces of futuristic art.
|Uses of Vantablack In Fashion||Description|
|Creating Unique Aesthetics||Its ultra-black finish creates stunning aesthetics that traditional fabrics cannot mimic|
|Enhancing Silhouettes||Allows for an accentuated silhouette in designs|
|Incorporating Advanced Technology||Represents cutting-edge applications in the fashion industry|
|Adding a Perception of Depth||Creates illusions and perceptions of depth|
|Promoting Futuristic Fashion||Creates designs that seem forward-thinking and extraterrestrial|
However, it’s important to note that Vantablack is not a traditional fabric or dye but a complex technological solution made up of microscopic structures grown on a substrate. Although its use in the fashion industry brings about an exciting blend of science and style, the acquisition and application limitations due to its patented nature can influence its extent of use in the fashion industry. Also, caution is required as the substance itself is safe, but it can be hazardous if ingested or inhaled as dust particles during application process.
Is It Possible to Get Vantablack Clothing?
It is not possible now, but it is something you should keep on your list. Civilians aren’t as lucky as military and aerospace workers because the latter has a better chance of wearing something in the future. The fabrics’ potential health risks, costs, and applications are unsuitable for clothing.
There is some possibility that designers will use it in clothing. The second reason you cannot get Vantablack clothing is that Anish Kapoor, a selfish temperamental artist, has been labeled after purchasing and maintaining exclusive rights to the color.
He has refuted the commercial use of Vantablack, and word on the street says he has not prevented health issues and other skin conditions.
Many people think that Vantablack is illegal, whereas it is not. However, you can be sued for using it if you would be violating Anish Kapoor’s exclusive rights. You must obtain permission from him to use it on your car or walls.
Surrey NanoSystems felt they could not make more of this color for a more comprehensive application, and they gave Mr. Kapoor exclusive rights because he works with voids. Phoebe Hess claims to have made a shirt blacker than any black on earth. It absorbs up to ninety-nine percent of light. Red Bubble also claims to have Vantablack clothes.
Benefits of Vantablack Fabric
Vantablack is utilized in various applications, including ultra-black coatings, Ultralight wiring, touch screens, and aerospace components. It is being used in multiple industries, such as aerospace and manufacturing, where it is used to enhance the component’s strength.
People find it fascinating and want to use it, whereas architects can utilize it to create optical effects in buildings, absorb heat, and release it, creating a calm environment.
The Vantablack cloth obsessions come down to the notion of the classic little black dress, which has had its place in women’s wardrobes for decades. It would go well with other clothing styles, but the notion of bringing a dark tone to the outfit regardless of the design or length is intriguing.
Fashion experts claim that the extreme darkness of the material might make the wearer of the dress appear two-dimensional. Still, the dress’ ability to flatter your body will depend on the body shape and the reason for wearing it.
The dress would feel right at home at the Met Gala or any catwalk runway rather than on a movie date night. The material is sensitive to the touch yet robust enough to hold up well to jolt and vibration.
Since the carbon nanotubes have no mass, it feels like they’re made out of the air, making them ideal for bumpy ride items like space and military equipment.
How Much Is the Cost of Vantablack?
Citing the price of Vantablack isn’t easy because it is not being produced for commercial use. There are fifty timepieces made by a watchmaker using Vantablack for purchase. The watches cost between seventy-five thousand to ninety-five thousand dollars.
Vantablack is still unavailable for clothing application.
Surrey, a British company, is working to make colors using Vantablack. It may take some time before you see a dress using Vantablack, as it is a coat of nanotubes and not paint or pigment. BMW was the only business to have been able to make a car with the color, and it was a one-time experience. The paint would be too expensive and too difficult to handle daily.
Is Vantablack Material Safe?
Vantablack is not as dangerous as a conventional poison. It doesn’t kill you as a traditional poison would., but the ingredients used by the manufacturers may cause skin, respiratory, and eye problems.
People dispute that harsh chemicals are used to make items for everyday use, but the chemicals used to create Vantablack are not as safe as experts maintain. You are fine as long as you avoid chemicals, although it depends on your skin type and health.
Despite its name, Vantablack is not particularly dangerous. If you’re locked in a room with this color, you’ll be deprived of all your sensory inputs, absorbing the light and not altering it. If used for extended amounts of time, you may lose your life.
The color takes a few years to kill unless you misuse it, and it has harmful effects if utilized for long.
You may thin the paint with water and use it on any surface. The makers of the color claim Mr. Kapoor cannot use it. Another superb alternative is the highly acclaimed Procion jet black reactive dye.
It is a concentrated dye powder that you may utilize on any clothing material, including cotton, linen, rayon, and paper. It has numerous applications, including garment dyeing, batik, tie and dye, airbrush, spatter painting, and gradation dying for quilters.
Is There a Blacker Material Than Vantablack?
Yes, there is. Vantablack isn’t the blackest option anymore. Innovation and new technology are constantly vying to outsmart each other by coming up with improvements or taking them a little further. When this happens, individuals always want Vantablack rather than the blackest option.
They want to make the material better or take it a little further than their competitors. The MIT staff did this by attempting to raise the oxidation danger of Vantablack materials. It became even darker; 0.4% of the light was not absorbed by Vantablack, which the MIT team found to be room for improvement.
Is Vantablack Toxic?
Although it is a new science, nanotechnology is still relatively fresh. Since Vantablack is made up of nanotubes, there is uncertainty about whether it is harmful to humans.
Researchers performed a study in the UK in 2008 to see whether the nanotubes used in Vantablack harm mice. The tiny particles were tested on mice rather than humans. With the Vantablack tried, it was unlikely humans would come into contact with it.
A separate version of the substance, called Vantablack S-Vis, is used in areas where human contact is more likely. The jury is still on whether it is as toxic as the space-specific Vantablack.