,While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought economy to a halt, it has also created opportunities for several new products. One of them creating hype is anti-viral fabrics. Apparel and textile brands are now launching fabrics that kill viruses.
Latest in the line is clothing and textile player Donear Industries. The Mumbai-based company, in collaboration with Swiss firm HeiQ, is launching the range of anti-viral fabrics under the brand Neo Tech that kills covid-19 virus within 30-minutes.
"HeiQ's Viroblock NPJ03 technology has been there for many years. It is not a new technology, only thing is that now they have got it tested against COVID-19 and they have received that certificate a week ago," says Rajendra Agarwal, Managing Director and CEO, Donear Industries.
He adds that they were already producing and supplying anti-viral fabric for some years. "Coincidentally, our company was working on such types of product pre-COVID-19 times also. We were exporting to a medical textile company in the USA and also supplied to several State police departments of India. Once its efficacy was determined against COVID-19, we ramped up the production for Indian market," says Agarwal.
As a start, they have launched their two best selling fabrics under this anti-viral range: polyester-viscose suiting and worsted suiting.
They can be used for various industries and for different uniforms and garments, whether it is jackets, suits, trousers, shirts.
But, will it last long? Agarwal thinks so. He explains that it is not coating, but a certain chemical is embedded in the structure of fabric while dyeing and finishing which then doesn't get washed off even after frequent use.
Agarwal claims to have got orders from over 1,000 retailers whom he will be supplying in the month of June. It will also be available in their retail counters across the country by the end of the month.
The price for the anti-viral fabrics will be 20 per cent more than their non-treated version.
The firm, which supplies fabrics to businesses and also to consumers directly, expects these two products to contribute around Rs 200 crore, at least 15 per cent of total sales revenue this fiscal. The textile firm claims it did sales of Rs 1,200 crore in FY20.
Donear will have the Neo Tech brand name in the selvedge of the fabric so customers are assured of its authenticity.
Tests to check its efficacy were conducted by the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne, Australia (Doherty Institute) which showed that treated fabric achieved 99.99 per cent reduction of the virus.
Recently, textile to retail firm Arvind too announced the launch of anti-viral textile under its brand Intellifabrix, in partnership partnered with HeiQ and Taiwanese specialty chemical major Jintex Corporation.