Coronavirus continues to affect the world, with a 2nd wave of the virus placing many counties into lockdown and closing industries again. With businesses struggling to adapt to the new working environment, some industries are looking at alternative ways to operate or create new products to aid the fight against Covid-19.
The sportswear industry has been hit hard, with retail and gyms being closed for months and team play being postponed and now subject to strict rules about sanitation and contact.
Development continues however and some of the most innovative fabric mills have started to develop unique fabrics that fight viruses in an effort to protect customers from Covid-19 and other viruses.
Some fashion brands have already launched clothing items made with fabric treated with antimicrobial technology that stops viral activity once the virus hits the surface of the fabric. These antiviral treatments work by keeping viruses from attaching to the fibres of the textile via interacting with the key proteins on the fibres. This technology has been used before in the medical industry and therefore makes the use of this technology on activewear a viable next step.
A technical Brazilian fabric mill has developed a material with a finish that can help destroy the outer layer of the Coronavirus. The use of silver particles within the fabric attract the virus and bind with the sulphur groups on the surface of the virus, stopping the growth of the virus by keeping it from binding with host cells.
Another mill applies chemicals to the surface of the fabric during the finishing process of the material, similar in nature to the water-proofing process, however, both methods claim to only have a wash life of 20 wash cycles.
While this breakthrough is encouraging, only lasting 20 washes doesn’t make this particularly commercial or sustainable unless this can be improved, or the treatments can be reapplied by the consumers in some way.
We can also only hope that the chemicals used to prevent the breeding of the virus are not harmful to humans or the planet and even if they are friendly, is the short lifespan of this technology worth the impact to the environment if clothing needs to be replaced after 20 washes.
Research is still being carried out about how Coronavirus interacts with fibres and fabrics and if so, how long-lasting is this interaction. Until conclusive evidence is confirmed, these new technologies may be a little pre-emptive and it will be interesting to see where these technologies go and evolve or whether they become part of the Coronavirus history as a trend that happened to help prevent the pandemic.
As the technology improves and more mills start to develop anti-virus fabrics, we will update our sportswear library so we can offer our clients the latest fabrics with the best performance and durability.
If you are interested in anti-Virus or sustainable sportswear then please get in touch for a free quotation.