Antiviral fabric is the new normal

Antiviral fabric is the new normal

COVID 19 pandemic has raised the awareness about safety and hygiene with companies fast-tracking their product development processes to meet evolving market needs. Clothing brands are also snapping it up to protect fashion consumers from COVID19.

COVID 19 pandemic has raised the awareness about safety and hygiene with companies fast-tracking their product development processes to meet evolving market needs. Clothing brands are also snapping it up to protect fashion consumers from COVID19.

Many research studies have found that the coronavirus is more likely to be transmitted through airborne respiratory droplets, and that they can be more dangerous than contaminated soft surfaces such as clothing. So, is antiviral fabric enough to safeguard the wearer from a severe virus like SARS-CoV-19? Of course not. Antiviral fabric is one factor in keeping people safe, but it needs to go hand in hand with other measures, such as wearing a face mask in crowded areas, practising social distancing and washing hands regularly.

This has not stopped brands from introducing clothes and accessories they claim will stop viruses. With apparel spending down sharply, textile firms and retailers are willing to try almost anything to lure anxious shoppers back. Tackling their fear of germs head-on is one way to woo them. Even Indian textile players like Donear, Siyaram, Welspun, Arvind, and D’ Decor in partnership with international tech companies have launched antiviral fabrics that claim 99.99 per cent protection against COVID19.

Many companies are using Swiss textile technology called HeiQViroblock for giving their fabrics antiviral property. Since the launch of HeiQViroblock NPJ03 in mid-March, more than a hundred brands have incorporated the antiviral treatment technology into their textile products. This speed is unprecedented in the industry, according to HeiQ CEO.

Antiviral fabric technology can be a more long-term solution to enhance the hygiene and protection factor on a number of products even when the COVID 19 pandemic has settled down. There are strong indications that antimicrobial wear will be the new normal in numerous applications, going forward.

The global antimicrobial textile market is estimated to grow $ 9.5 billion in 2019 to $ 12.3 billion in 2024, at a CAGR of 5.4 per cent during the forecast period. This was before COVID 19 hit us. Now, as per reports the overall antimicrobial textiles market is projected to surpass $20.5 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 9.8 per cent from 2020 to 2026. The use of antimicrobial textiles in the health care industry for the prevention of Hospital Acquired infections (HAIs) that not only cost lives but also result in enormous losses for the healthcare industry. The use of antimicrobial textile in medical applications is projected to grow to be the largest application segment during the forecast period. Medical textiles include attire, sheets & blankets, surgical supplies & wipes, and other such applications. The exponential rise of the coronavirus infection across the world and the need for smart medical textiles from healthcare services, globally, are demanding more amounts of fabrics for the medical staff. Various manufacturers are increasing their production capabilities in order to support regional and other governments in the course of the pandemic.

But, will consumers buy into the hype remains to be seen.

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