Tests indicate that the antiviral finish is effective for up to 20 washes.
Spotted: By now, most people are aware that maintaining social distancing, washing hands frequently and wearing masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. A number of textile manufacturers, however, are taking preventive measures even further with antiviral fabrics that can be incorporated into clothing. One of the first to develop these fabrics is Brazilian technical textile company, Dalila Têxtil.
Dalila has created a fabric with a finish that can help destroy the protective outer layer of COVID-19. The technology embeds silver particles into the fabric, which attract the viruses and bind with sulfur groups on the surface of the virus. This, in turn, inhibits the growth of the virus by preventing it from binding with host cells. Tests carried out on the fabrics show that the antiviral finish is effective for up to 20 washes.
Italian Albini Group, which supplies fabrics to high-end brands like Armani and Prada, has also developed an antiviral fabric. Their process involves applying chemicals during production, in a method similar to waterproofing. The effectiveness of the treatment is still being tested.
André Klein, director of Dalila Têxtil, sees the use of protective textiles becoming “the new normal” in clothing manufacture. He suggests that: “This innovation impacts the fashion market for the better. Clothes begin to unite design and health care. In addition to fighting coronavirus, we will see this in fabrics with UV protection, anti-bacterials against odour [and that are] water repellent.”
As people become more accustomed to wearing masks and other types of protective clothing, we have seen several innovations aimed at making this easier and more comfortable. Springwise has recently covered several brands producing clothing that incorporates protection, including a hoodie with a built-in mask and a hooded jumpsuit designed to be worn over other clothing while commuting.
Written By: Lisa Magloff