The Israeli company Argaman Technologies recently unveiled a new fabric that is flame-proof, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral. The “permanently self-sterilizing” fabric can potentially be used to protect medical workers against Ebola, a major breakthrough.

The company’s home web page reads, “We’ve reinvented cotton.”

Other uses include keeping astronauts’ clothes clean in space, preventing laundry from smelling, and curing athlete’s foot with socks made from the new fabric.

“When astronauts enter outer space, muscular atrophy and bone thinning begin immediately,” Jeff Gabbay, the founder, CEO, and textile engineer of Argaman explained. “To reduce these effects, they must do high-level aerobics at least two hours a day. You want to control their core body temperature as they do these aerobics, and you want their clothing to stay dry and odor-free because they can’t do laundry in space. That’s what you get with our shirts.”

“We’re going to improve people’s lives and relieve suffering,” Gabbay said. “With these new textiles, we can reduce infection rates and bring down the cost of patient care significantly—by 27%, according to hospital tests in Israel. I’m willing to give every hospital these fabrics for free. Just give me back half the money you save on antibiotics and patient care.”

Gabbay’s short-term goal is to sell the socks as cures for athlete’s foot. “The longer-term goal is to prove that they also close diabetic foot ulcers and will allow diabetics to keep their toes on their feet,” Gabbay added. “We will go through the regulatory process to make those claims.”

Argaman, Hebrew for “crimson,” has this mission statement: “We develop and manufacture in Israel and are focusing our energies to become Israel’s leading textile manufacturer and the world’s most innovative name in permanently self-sterilizing, flame-proof, multifunctional yarns and fabrics.”

Argaman’s process is also unique. According to the company’s website, “Argaman uses ultrasonic waves to blast natural compounds into fibers so that a permanent mechanical bond is formed between the compound and substrate.”

Argaman has found that ultrasonic waves provide better performance and efficiency than conventional treatments, which can cause environmental issues. The company’s process also recycles all the water and chemicals it uses.

“I do not ever seek to be alone in a market and I’m never afraid of competition,” Gabbay said. “The issue is how you compare to your competition. We have a superior product with better technology, better quality and fewer environmental concerns. This is one of those rare opportunities in life that, if you handle it correctly, just think of all the good we can do.”

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Besides writing, R. McKinley loves reading (especially historical fiction and science books), playing piano and flute, being involved in politics and community, working out, enjoying nature, and hanging out with four wonderful cats.