Home >Lounge >Features >A new anti-viral fabric by Arvind Ltd is here

The disruption caused by covid-19 on fashion has resulted in many proactive contributions by the industry to tackle the problem. A novel solution by textile and material innovation brands seems to be the antiviral fabric.

In India, textile and retail conglomerate, Arvind Ltd. has partnered with Swiss textile innovator HeiQ Materials AG and Taiwanese speciality major Jintex Corporation to manufacture HeiQ Viroblock. It claims to be one of the first textile technologies in the world to be proven effective against covid-19 in the laboratory. The textile technology, which will be introduced under Arvind’s Intellifabrix brand, tested successfully for antiviral properties against viruses, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had shared that, “current evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials." Chief Marketing Officer, Arvind Ltd., Pranav Dave said, “The idea behind this innovations was to make the textile and apparel category in the current situation serve the needs of the consumer. The scare of the virus and its infection is so widespread that there was the need to come to a solution that would help consumers step out confidently."

The textile technology is an applied chemical that’s made up of HeiQ’s “silver and vesicle" technology that penetrates through the virus’ protein envelope to immobilises its growth on the fabric and inhibits any transmittance onto other surfaces, which HeiQ claims to be to the extent of 99.99% within minutes.

Dave says, “We were concerned whether the chemical would either change the texture of the fabric or more importantly, counter-react when it comes in contact with human skin, but neither of these have happened as the chemical has undergone multiple rounds of testing and certifications, such as EU Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) and EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) compliant that ensure its safety."

The technology has been designed to stay active on applied garments f 30 washes. While the chemical can’t be reapplied on the garment, Dave assures that the 30-wash life indicates that the chemical is a good performer, compared to how long chemicals usually last on fabrics. “The fabric’s optimal functionality for the consumer was kept in mind while designing it, so there’s no questions of it being under or over-engineered with the chemical."

As Arvind Ltd. plans to launch the fabric in the market in July, Dave says that the chemical can be applied on all kinds of fabrics, and will be offered similarly across the country, as well as on retail garments such as men’s shirting and suiting, available at Arvind’s dedicated stores. The brand is also making protective masks out of the fabric.

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