French scientists have devised a novel way of electroplating that could in theory lead to mirror-like garments made out of metal-coated fibre, the British science journal Nature reports on Thursday.

Traditionally, electroplating involves attaching a negative electrode to the substance to be coated, called a substrate.

The substrate is then immersed in a bath that contains a salt of the metal to be deposited and which has been given a charge from a positive electrode.

Attracted by the negative charge, metallic ions in the salt migrate through the liquid bath and are deposited as metal on the substrate.