The Italian Almanac

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Fruity Fashion

An Italian firm has fashioned fabrics that smell of strawberry, lemon and other fruit. The wearer can choose a permanent fragrance - proof against multiple washes - or decide to unleash the scent by rubbing the cloth. Fresh from patenting its Texaroma system, the Supercolor dye company said it had already scented scarves, shawls and blankets and had jeans and other more intimate items in mind.

Supercolor, which is based in Italy's textle hub Prato, said "the technique has two applications". "One gives fabrics a persistent and continuous scent and the other, via the use of microcapsules, allows the wearer to release intense scents which are detected if the fabric is rubbed". Inventor Riccardo Ciapini said: "We wanted the fragrance to be lasting. After quite a few tries we finally got what we wanted: it can take four or five washes at 30 degrees C without a problem".

"We started with woollen scarves but we've also achieved positive results with jeans and artificial fibres". His sister Roberta, head of the firm, said many clothing firms in Italy and abroad had already expressed interest in the new fabric. "It range of applications stretches from outdoor wear to underwear," she said.