Researchers at the Hohenstein Institute in Bönnigheim and the Leibnitz Institute for Interactive Materials (DWI) in Aachen have developed an antimicrobial treatment for wool and wool blends. Antimicrobial treatments are typically effective on cotton, polyester and polyamide, but not many are effective on wool, which tends to be washed less frequently. The scientists studied the combined use of ionic biopolymers, cationic polyelectrolytes, silver and zinc, and technologies such as layer-by-layer coating. The new development is said to be particularly attractive for outdoor and sports companies, notably for manufacturers of high-quality functional textiles containing wool.