The challenge for the textile industry: the anti-covid treatment
The demand for fabrics with antibacterial and antiviral finishes is rapidly growing, thus shaping the fashion of the future decade.
The spread of the coronavirus around the world is rapidly changing consumer behaviors and perspectives, highlighting new purchasing needs and approaches to the market.
In this phase of great change and transformation, industries have often been able to transform the crisis into virtue, seeing new opportunities for innovation in the emerging needs.
One of the most reactive industrial sectors in terms of Research and Development of new materials is undoubtedly Fashion & Textiles, whose greatest challenge today concerns the production of new protective surface treatments.
The trend for the new collections is therefore quite ambitious: the creation of covid-free fashion lines through the inclusion of antibacterial materials and finishes.
While antimicrobial treatments for clothes were partially widespread before the advent of Covid-19, marketed as a way in which consumers could reduce the frequency of washing clothes, the pandemic has certainly accelerated the demand for protective qualities of clothes and fabrics.
Looking at the intense research and development of antiviral solutions for fashion, it seems quite immediate to think that these treatments and finishes will be a regular feature in the clothing of the next decade.
New textile treatments effective against Covid-19
Even if to date there is no specifically certified solution against Covid-19, several brands and companies have made products with antibacterial yarns or finishes that screen against viruses and bacteria while resisting numerous washes. Experimentation and innovation take place above all in the fiber sector, upstream of the supply chain, where companies are making ‘smart’ fabrics with technologies and treatments that give antibacterial and antiviral properties to the finished fabric.
In Italy, in particular, we are witnessing important initiatives by leading companies such as Marzotto Group and Albini Group, but also by start-ups whose projects are linked to the theme of sustainability.
So let’s make an overview of the best effective treatments against Covid-19 on the market today:
01. Diesel – Protector Shield TM
For the ‘Upfreshing‘ capsule collection, Diesel focuses on safety, protection and durability of garments with the introduction of a very innovative technology: the Protector shield TM.
The technology, combined with the Zinc Pyrithione Based certification, gives the garments antibacterial and antifungal properties, creating a barrier effect against small drops, salivary secretions, molds and mites that can damage the tissues and cause odors, stains and skin’s reactions.
The collection is already available for purchase on the brand’s e-commerce and consists of a selection of t-shirts, sweatshirts and denim.
02. Marzotto Group & Polygiene – Viraloff
A creative synergy between Marzotto Group and Polygiene (active in the biomedical sector) has allowed the development of ViralOff, an innovative antiviral treatment that can also be applied to natural fiber fabrics, such as wool, linen and cotton.
The treatment, originally created for Norovirus and Sars, has been modified and adapted to the new Covid-19 strain and allows to reduce in a very short time over 99% of the viruses that could lurk on the surface of the tissue. Product performance is guaranteed and tested under ISO18184.2019 certification.
Marzotto Group will adopt ViralOff within all its divisions: Marzotto Fabrics, Fratelli Tallia di Delfino, Marlane, Estethia / G.B Conte, Opera Piemontese, Redaelli, Tessuti di Sondrio, Lanerossi, Linificio e Canapificio Nazionale, Nuova Tessil Brenta.
03. Albini Group – ViroFormula
Albini Group presented on the market the first ViroFormula fabrics with HeiQ Viroblock technology, a cutting-edge treatment that prevents fabrics from becoming a host surface for the propagation of harmful viruses and bacteria and which helps to reduce the risk and speed of contamination and transmission.
Released by HeiQ, a Swiss company winner of the Swiss Technology Award, the Viroblock NPJ03 fabric is currently certified as effective against the transmission of Covid-19 and is able to reduce the level of infectivity of the virus by 99.99%.
Specifically, it is a unique combination of vesicle and silver technologies, designed to combat lipid-coated viruses, such as coronavirus, providing rapid deactivation of its viral load. Particularly suitable for technical products such as masks, air filters, medical gowns and curtains, HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03 is rapidly spreading in the fashion sector, where safety and protection are becoming a priority.
04. Vollebak – antibacterial copper
The British startup Vollebak, already known for having launched a graphene jacket and a carbon fiber t-shirt for sports, has produced a bactericidal copper jacket.
‘Full Metal Jacket‘ is made with a flexible copper weave which, thanks to its intrinsic antiviral properties, is able to defend the body from external bacteria.
The transformation of a metal into a high-performance fabric is undoubtedly a very complex process. The first of the three layers of the jacket is made with a transparent lacquered copper yarn, while the outer one is laminated with a waterproof and breathable membrane. Instead of remaining static, the membrane can open and close to respond to varying weather conditions, while remaining resistant to rain and wind. Once worn, the jacket is light and comfortable and, over time, its fabric behaves like a normal denim, revealing – through fold lines and color variations – the fascinating and lively nature of raw copper.