Picture of Water Filtration using Fabric
In this instructable we will show how effective different types of fabric filter water while explaining the science behind the process.

This type of filter is a common solution to the problem of obtaining clean water in many parts of the world, especially rural parts of developing nations. It is a fairly simple process that involves only materials that are available in most parts of the world.

A friend of ours is away in Kenya working on various projects having to do with sustainability including filtering water for drinking.  Where he is now, "water guard" tablets are used to kill bacteria, but it does nothing to improve the clarity or taste of the water so he has been experimenting with different filtering techniques.  Unwanted clothes from all over the world are imported to Kenya so there is a wide variety of fabrics available which makes fabric a good option for filtration.

Note that this filter can only filter particles and color out of the water. It cannot filter bacteria or viruses. Water filtered through this filter is not meant for drinking, and should be boiled before being consumed.

This instructable is the culmination of a project for the Spring 2011 Stuff of History class at the Olin College of Engineering in Needham, MA.
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mjabeen2 years ago
what you used at the end of the bottle?
mjabeen2 years ago
can you tell me what are the materials you used? please tell me because i have to the project in it
Pingouine2 years ago
Super!An information I'll remember for sure, and will keep an old silk scarf handy just in case :) . This should be edited and reformated in a Kindle format with an added cover to be sold as a survival book - you could sell quite a few I think. It can't hurt to pay schooling fees right? In any case, good job!
ChrysN4 years ago
Great project and really well written!
Thank you!
jaysbob4 years ago
The highly magnified pictures of fabric weave were as interesting as the purpose they were going towards. Very thorough and well done instructable.

Did you guys do any subjective tests on taste?
Yeah, I love the microscope pictures, I might get them as poster or something.
We didn't test for taste in this project, although that would be interesting.
SHIFT!4 years ago
Danger, you never cease to impress me! Have you ever heard of a small project called LifeStraw? It's sort of a miniature filtration system built for personal water drinking usages for the middle east.
I haven't heard of that, but it sounds awesome.
Truehart4 years ago
Indeed, very well written. Also, I'd like to say informative. I've heard about using fabric to filter your water before boiling or using chemicals, just to get the particulates out. I had wondered which fabrics would be best for this, but never gave it much thought. Thank you for this 'ible.
Thank you, I'm glad it was informative for you!
lukeyj154 years ago
Very well written, and very comprehensive. Good job.