A new scent-infused “smart fabric” has been created that will permanently give off the smell of whisky.
The pioneering cloth, developed by Heriot Watt University's School of Textiles and Design in Edinburgh and Galashiels, will spearhead a new commercial tie-up between Harris Tweed and scotch brand Johnnie Walker.
Released in time for what is hoped will be seen as the perfect Christmas gift for the whisky-lover who has everything, the fabric will permanently give off the scent of Johnnie Walker’s Black Label whisky.
The effect is achieved by the fabric carrying a scent of Aqua Alba designed to replicate the scent of the famous brand.
According to Johnnie Walker’s, the tweed carries aromas of “rich malt, golden vanilla, red fruit and dark chocolate tones”, which it promises will withstand dry cleaning.
Donald Mackay, in charge of finishing at Harris Tweed’s Shawbost mill, said this was the first smart fabric he has worked with that had been successfully designed to withstand multiple dry cleans.
“I have worked with aromas in the past but they were only meant to withstand one dry clean. The process we have devised for Johnnie Walker means that this scent is layered into the fabric throughout the finishing process and is permanently imbued in the tweed,” he said.
Smart textiles are part of a “fast-developing sector” with “enormous potential”, according to Jim McVee, business development manager at Heriot Watt’s School of Textiles and Design.
A range of products utilising the whisky-scented fabric will be unveiled in Berlin before being marketed across the rest of Europe.