Spinning Cloth from Copper
By Tania Hershman

(Business 2.0) – Copper has long warded off corrosion in pipes. Now, thanks to Greensboro, N.C., startup Cupron, it's also preventing infection and wrinkles. By weaving the metal into fabric, Cupron is developing everything from antibacterial bedsheets to eye masks that combat crow's-feet and breast-milk filters for HIV-positive mothers.

Cupron was founded in 2000 by textile engineer Jeff Gabbay, who has perfected a method for binding copper oxide to textiles. (Several companies already make fabric with silver, but copper oxide is cheaper.) An Israeli hospital is trying the bedsheets as a weapon against a superbug, while the U.S. Marines are testing socks, designed by Cupron but made by Fruit of the Loom parent Renfro, to fight athlete's foot. Says Cupron virologist Gadi Borkow, "We want to be the Intel of fabric."