As the pandemic takes over the country, anti-viral fabrics seem to gain popularity in the textile industry. Studies indicate that antiviral fabrics restrain the spread and transmission of harmful viruses through textiles. These claims have been tested on international standards. However, the Indian government provides no such guidelines.
Companies such as Donear Industries, Welspun India Ltd, RSWM Ltd, Arvind Ltd, Vardhman Textiles, and D’ Decor in partnership with international textile technology players have launched apparel and home furnishing products that are priced 15 to 20 percent higher than their average products.
The ministries of Health or Textiles have given no guidelines for these textiles, despite their growth in many companies claiming to be resistant to bacteria.
Officials state that while the antimicrobial fabrics slow down the growth of microbes to an extent, their protection against the cover-19 would be insignificant and the fabric would not be able to provide a shield against the virus.
Social media users recently questioned the clothing company Zodiac based on the claims of its antiviral shirt under the brand Securo. The company ensured its customers that the range of shirts by Secure was certified by Swiss company HeiQ. However, the company clarifies its claims by stating that the products are not a cure and do not guarantee against infection.
Industry experts believe the antiviral and anti-microbial textiles were in circulation before the cover-19 pandemic and were heavily used by doctors and health workers.
Rajendra Agarwal, managerial director, of Donear Industries claims to be in the business of the anti-viral fabrics in the USA from the past three years and felt the need to introduce these products in the Indian market. They partnered with HeiQ as the HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03 is among the first textile technologies to have proven and obtained certification for its effect against SARS-CoV-2. Donear claims to have invested ₹10 crores to modify their manufacturing capabilities to produce the fabrics.
Many other Indian based companies that have partnered with HeiQ have released statements confirming that HeiQ Viroblock has been tested and certified by various international labs which include ISO 18184 rapid test.
In order to introduce anti-viral fabrics in the Indian market under the brand ‘Intelliafabrix’, Arvind has partnered with HeiQ Materials AG. The spokesperson for Arvind states that the fabrics treated with HeiQ Viroblock obstruct the entry of the virus and kills them upon contact. This aids in the prevention of potential re-transmission of pathogens through the fabric.
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