A decade long collaboration has helped Swiss textile innovator HeiQ and Spanish premium synthetic fibre manufacturer Nylstar fast-track the development of a new antimicrobial textile aimed at end-uses including sportswear.

The two firms pooled resources to create HeiQ Viroblock Permanent, a new technology that adds silver particles directly into the raw polymer of the yarn to keep its antimicrobial properties active for the lifetime of the garment. 

The solution is used exclusively on Nylstar's Meryl Skinlife Force, a hi-tech fabric whose hydrogen-based technology allows the creation of yarns with a very strong molecular cohesion structure. The hydrogen molecular structure gives good moisture management and breathability, a natural stretch without elastane, and durability thanks to its continuous and high tenacity filaments. 

Fabric samples successfully demonstrated a very strong antimicrobial efficacy with over 99.99% reduction of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria after 100 washes, the companies say. An antiviral test is underway.

"With the launch of HeiQ Viroblock Permanent on this premium fabric, HeiQ and Nylstar aim to make a strong social contribution to stemming the spread of the global pandemic and for post-pandemic use," said Carlo Centonze, co-founder and CEO of HeiQ.

Meryl Skinlife Force HeiQ Viroblock Permanent hi-tech fabric is certified by Standard 100 Oekotex as being free of harmful substances.