Urbanproof Surviving Clothes




Introduction: Urbanproof Surviving Clothes

Hi guys, I want you to answer some questions:

How many times it was raining and you not had an umbrella?
How many times you were practicing parkour or you were skateboarding and you fell, with paintful consequences?
How many times you were snowboarding or skiing and you hurt yourself?

This Instructable will be the solution for who wants to be dry under raining and unbroken when playing.

We are going to transform some standard clothes into special protective clothes, for all uses, such as surviving, trekking, hiking, skating, snowboarding, and even working.


The author of this Instructable assumes no responsibility for any damage, injury or fatal and nonfatal consequence on humans, animals, and things resulting directly and indirectly from this article.


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Step 1: Waterproof Sweatshirt

The first survival stuff is a waterproof sweatshirt.
It allows you to run, work or simply stay under rain without getting wet.

The key of this work is silicone paint: it will be applied on the fabric, forming an insulating waterproof layer.

You don't have to buy any silicone paint, we'll make it in a cheap way.

You need:

-a sweatshirt (thicker fabric absorb more paint, on a thinner one the paint will pass through);
-silicone (use normal plumbing silicone, the cheaper will work);
-an empty paint can;
-toluene (flammable, handle with care, toxic, wear safety equipments);
-a paintbrush;

To make your waterproof sweatshirt, simply dissolve a silicone cartrige with a bottle of toluene in the paint can and apply the stuff on the fabric, especially on seams.

Let the paint dry for three or more days, a week will be enough.

If you want, you can add other layers of paint: adding more layers will keep you dry, but it will also keep the temperature higher, so isn't the best choice at summer.


I haven't tried this idea, so handle with care!
You can use an heat resistant silicone, applied directly on the fabric without dissolving (to form a thicker layer) to make a fire resistant sweatshirt; remember to add one or two fiberglass layers under the fabric, to insulate from heat.

WARNING: fiberglass MUST be enclosed using another dress, avoid any direct contact with skin and eyes.


Step 2: Impact Protection

This survival sweatshirt has been intended as a lightweight and resistant armor, that can be used in rescuing, skating, snowboarding or heavy working.

We will use a non Newtonian fluid as a flexible but strong impact protection: it will be like Silly Putty.

The Fluid will be composed of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), a viscoelastic compound, quartz and, if needed, a thixotropic compound to help keeping the molded form.

You can make the putty yourself or you can buy Silly Putty, or DOW CORNING® 3179 DILATANT COMPOUND.

If you want to buy the 3179, you can follow this link (i don't know if the procedure described at vern.com works, but it's better than nothing):


Step 3: Making of Boric Acid

To make  the putty, you need to terminate polydimethylsiloxane polymers with boric acid.
You can buy boric acid, or you can make it from borax, that can be easily bought at drugstores.
You will need:

-Borax (20 Mule works fine);
-concentrated hydrochloric acid;
-two glass containers;
-an heater plate;
-a pot;

Dissolve 7 grams of borax in 20 ml of boiling water;
add to the solution (still hot) 20 ml of hydrochloric acid;
place the glass container into an ice bath, boric acid will separate when it cools down.

You may have to repeat the process many times to get enough acid, your boric acid must be the 5% by weight of your silicone oil.

Step 4: Synthesizing the Putty

Now that you have boric acid, you can make your silicone putty.

You need:

-Boric acid (previous made or bought);
-silicone oil (make sure it's polydimethylsiloxane);
-heat transfer oil (any oil that don't decompose under 250°C will work fine);
-a mixing tool;
-two pots, one large and flat and one tall and tight);
-heat plate;
-powdred quartz (in facts, it's composed of silica);
-a thermometer (able to measure from 100°C to 200-250°C, you can use the thermometer that came mounted on your heat plate);
-any thixotropic silicon compound;

Silicone grease will work if it's composed of polydimethylsiloxane, but it contains also fumed silica as a thickener, that can make this preparation more difficult .

Place the small pot into the large one, fill the large pot with the heat transfer oil and the small one with silicone oil. Write down the weight of the polydimethylsiloxane. Heat up the apparatus to reach 180°C and start mixing the silicon oil. Add 5% by weight of boric acid: the oil become viscous. Keep it mixing from 1,5 to 2,5 hours, the longer the reaction, the better the product should be (i will make a stand for my mixing tool, hold it for more than an hour is so boring...). The silicone polymers are cross-linked by the boric acid, forming a non Newtonian fluid: now (if you have used silicon oil) you have to add the powdred quartz until your putty hold its form when molded; if you have used silicone grease, it can be unnecessary. If the putty comes a non Newtonian fluid, but it doesn't hold its form when molded, you have to add a silicon thixotropic compound.

Step 5: Testing

Now that you have your putty, test it to make sure of its features, and vary the proportions of the ingredients to find the best amounts.

When you have the best product, mold it into the form you want and put it into some sewed compartments on the neck and on the elbows.

Finish your sweatshirt with some metal plates, sewed on your chest and on your back.

Step 6: Use Your Immagination

Here you have two examples of survival clothes, that can be mixed to make one dress. This are a starting point, use your immagination to invent other special clothes, and share them with the Instructables community, if you want!

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    7 Discussions


    9 years ago on Step 3

    quick question, if its unlikely that I don't have any boric acid just chillin around...what are the odds that I'd have large quantities of concentrated hydrochloric acid?


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    You can use WallMart's hydrochloric acid, that is around 15%, than you can use it as it is or you can concentrate it boiling, but it's dangerous and have to be done outside.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Sorry, i have some corrections to make:

    the hydrochloric acid is added to the water, not the water to the acid;
    the acid is added t the water "still hot", not boiling but hot enough to keep all the borax dissolved;
    i know all the dangers related to toluene, i hope who is going to use it will know all the safety rules needed;

    all the ideas described in this instructables are tryed, only the idea of the heatproof sweatshirt isn't tested, because i had this idea while i wrote the final step of the Instructable;

    all the sweatshirt i used are 100% COTTON;
    the fiberglass was only an example of an insulating material, sure there are other better material to use in this situation;
    the heat resistant silicone have only the function to prevent burning the fabric, I haven't intended it as an insulating material.


    Sorry, Have to jump in here.
    Not only is toluene flammable and toxic. THE FUMES WILL FRY YOUR BRAIN.
    Remember Testors model glue???
    Boiling concentrated hydrochloric acid could also be somewhat hazardous.
    All in all a great idea but there are many other simpler less dangerous ways of achieving similar results.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I'm sorry I misread. But boiling water ADDED to Hydrochloric acid, Probably still not a good idea.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    CRAZY UNTESTED IDEAs are not what I want. Could you show us what you actually made with these things?



    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    "the ov-glove(?)" is what he is working toward. The fiberglass is a bad idea, and the high temp silicone isn't going to do much more than a good layer of cotton, wool or leather but might keep the plastic sweatshirt from melting to your skin : O