Water Repellent Lotus Leaves

Lotus Leaf

While I was cleaning my pond the other day I paused to contemplate the amazing water repelling qualities of the lotus leaf. If you pour water onto a leaf it forms lovely globule shapes or just rolls off leaving the leaf completely bone dry. In case you have never seen this phenomenon here is a very short video of what I am talking about:

Waterproof Lotus Leaf

Wouldn’t it be great, I thought, to make hiking gear out of lotus leaves. Better than Gore-tex! But how? Once the leaves are cut they turn brown and lose their water-repellent capabilities. No, you couldn’t use real leaves. You would have to replicate their superhydrophobic attributes in a laboratory.

A quick search on the internet revealed that one or two companies have already done just that.

I’m sure this company must be onto a winner here. Unfortunately it seems to be a privately-held company and we cannot buy shares in them.

My daughter says why not just put some leaves in a blender and make our own waterproof lotus leaf spray? Good thinking.