Where is fashion heading? In days when Covid-19 is not beaten, brands, fabric and chemical specialists are hyping aspects like protection, wellness and health, as topics that can help consumers gain new trust.
The Corona-virus is not a living cell; it is a parasite that needs a human cell to live inside. That means that the potential time to deactivate takes no more than three to four days and the potential danger of non sanitized fabric is very minimal risk. Despite this, textile and apparel companies generally think it’s time to reassure consumers and encourage them into buying products that are sanitized as much as possible.
Although not all products have been medically tested or certified by third party entities, SI has selected some examples, also including partnerships with biomedical key players, showing how the apparel and textile industry is evolving in this direction.
There are products that to some extent guarantee protection from viruses and bacteria.
For s/s 2020, Diesel has launched Diesel Upfreshing, a new 20-piece capsule collection of denim models, T-shirts and sweatshirts added with an extra layer of freshness and anti-microbial protection. Items have been added with a protector shield, a new technology by Nearchimica, which is a combination of certificated anti-bacterial and anti-microbial product and droplet barrier.
The technology provides a series of treatments that function as a wearable safeguard against bacteria and germs. As bacteria, fungi and dust mites can wreak havoc, cause odors, set off allergic reactions, and can be responsible for creating stains, this technology can help avoiding all these inconveniences. Moreover, as these items need to be washed less often, also water and energy consumption could be reduced prolonging garments’ lifecycle while preserving the environment.
The HeiQ era
HeiQ viroblock NPJ03 is a new textile technology by HeiQ, a Swiss technology manufacturer. The technology is added to the fabric during the final stage of the textile manufacturing process and has strong anti-viral and anti-bacterial effect against that has proven effective against human coronavirus in face mask testing. It is suitable for all fiber types, from medical nonwovens, like face masks, to fabrics for clothing and home textiles and lasts at least 30 gentle washes at 40°C. Its residual virus infectivity was tested according to a modified ISO 20743 method and its rapid anti-viral effect demonstrated within two to five minutes. The treatment is hypoallergenic, provides a self-sanitizing and germ resistant surface and can be applied to all fiber types.
Among fabric manufacturers and specialists who use the HeiQ technology there are, for instance, Bangladeshi fashion maker Zaber & Zubair (Z&Z) Fabrics Limited, a sister concern of the country’s largest textile exporter Noman Group, one of the largest Bangladeshi conglomerates in the textiles and garments sector as it employs about 90,000 people.
Z&Z Fabrics has claimed that its fabrics can destroy the deadly virus or any other ones within in a very short time by combing together advanced silver and fatty spherical vesicle technologies.
“The silver delivers anti-viral and anti-bacterial effect by attracting the oppositely charged viruses and binding permanently to their sulfur groups, while the vesicle works as a booster that helps to deplete the viral membrane in seconds, thereby destroying the virus,” Anol Rayhan, brand manager of Z&Z Fabrics, explained while underlining that the new fabric obtained certifications from compliance bodies of the United States and the European Union, allowing the product to be marketed as a “non-toxic and environment-friendly product.”
Also Italian cotton specialist Albini Group has launched its newly developed Viroformula fabric family with anti-bacterial and anti-viral protective properties also obtained by using HeiQ Viroblock. These fabrics can be used for any garment type such as shirts, jackets and trousers but also for medical masks and overalls.
Products used for Viroformula are certified by HeiQ according to ISO 20743, ISO 18184 and AATCC 100 for their anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Albini Group’s Viroformula’s fabrics have also been tested for their effectiveness by 3A Laboratories and by Microbe Investigations.
Garmon, Kemin Industries’ textile auxiliaries business unit, has also launched Safe Wear, a new line of products devised to give garments extra protection. This family of performance finishes provides solutions for the industrial laundry and manufacturing processes. “People want to protect themselves as much as possible, and that includes the garments they wear,” said Kimberly Nelson, president of Kemin Textile Auxiliaries.
The Safe Wear product line also includes HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03, as Kemin Industries is a shareholder of HeiQ. Part of the Safe Wear line are Sani-tex and Elam Sani-tex, too. They are alternative solutions to remove germs and bacteria from garments, ensuring hygiene standards. Both have been designed to guarantee an effective, immediate action while maintaining a very competitive price point.
Italian hosiery specialist Pompea has produced P.Mask, special masks that are water repellent thanks to eco-friendly technology HeiQ Eco Dry and, once more, added with the HeiQ Viroblock treatment. The mask can be washed and reused more times and is made with a special knitwear from a bacteriostatic yarn Q-Skin by Fulgar. The yarn is a nylon 6.6 fiber incorporating a silver ion ingredient which makes the yarn bacteriostatic.
Biomedical for everyday
Another anti-viral technology that can be used for almost every wearable product but also bed sheets and furniture is Viraloff, produced by biomedical Swedish company Polygiene. This technology is a brand for a treatment of textiles and other products that reduces viruses by over 99% over two hours.
Marzotto Group has recently signed a partnership agreement with Polygiene to adapt the ViralOff treatment to be used on fabrics made with natural fibers such as wool, linen and cotton. The treatment developed by Polygiene for A BirdFlu, Norovirus and SARS has been modified and adapted to the new Covid-19 and can reduce in very short times over 99% of viruses that could linger on the surface of fabrics.
The power of ozone
Ozone is a gas that has been used for over 100 years to disinfect, sterilize, render non-toxic water, air, and surfaces in the fields of food, medicine and pharmaceuticals. This gas is lethal for various pathogens and for most viruses because it alters their RNA and DNA, and, at high concentrations, it also undermines the capsid, viruses’ external protein shell. Several authoritative scientific studies showed that it is effective in 99% of cases.
Since 2010 Tonello has been producing technologies that use ozone reliably and safely. These technologies are also used to sanitize and disinfect garments, accessories and equipment.
Tonello ozone sanitizing system for clothing stores
Today, within the global emergency caused by the Coronavirus Tonello offers a sanitizing range that can be applied in different segments of the value chain–from production to the shop as it can be installed on all of its washing and dyeing machines, but also for the treatment of denim to also allow sanitizing and disinfecting. Also new is SaniCare, a new range of static cabinets for sanitizing and disinfecting garments, accessories and protective devices. It’s available in different sizes and adaptable to all commercial environments.
Also Jeanologia is using ozone treatments and recently applied them for the sanitization of plastic masks (also read here), but recently announced a new partnership in collaboration with Evlox in order to guarantee the sanitization of fabrics after production before they are shipped to clients.
Fight the virus
Silver is used as an effective bacteriostatic agent in the most diverse fields. For 15 years German chemical specialist Rudolf Group has devised different fields of application of the precious metal. Among them there is Silverplus, a proprietary technology where silver is applied as an innovative microstructure coating. Silverplus has a powerful antimicrobial effect and its highly durable microstructure lasts up to 100 washes at high temperature. The technology is extensively used to prevent infections in fabrics used in clinics and hospitals. In addition, an increasing number of sportswear, casual apparel and fashion brands are embedding it in their production processes to protect their garments. Among others, PG Denim, an Italian denim collection produced by Berto, has developed a capsule collection whose fabrics incorporate Silverplus and are meant to protect people who wear them.