Swedish odour control specialist Polygiene is launching an improved version of its ViralOff technology which it claims has a lifetime of garment washability.

The ViralOff application is an antimicrobial treatment added to textiles to protect the treated article itself from contamination. The technology has the capacity to disable over 99% of viral activity, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, within two hours of contact between pathogens and fabric.

This also results in longer-lasting products, which means a reduced impact on the environment, Polygiene says.

"There has been some confusion in the market as claims to washability wrongly rely on tests that are not antiviral, but rather antibacterial. We have therefore developed a treatment that provides an antiviral effect according to global test standard ISO18184:2019 (Determination of antiviral activity of textile products) and really meets the antimicrobial and antiviral claims that we make", says Daniel Röme, chief technology innovation officer at Polygiene.

CEO Ulrika Björk adds demand has been high from the fashion and lifestyle segments for an improved formula of Polygiene ViralOff that will have lifetime washability with a maintained high level of viral reduction.

"As the pandemic has evolved, there seems to be a consensus on the fact that antimicrobial materials will be the 'new normal' in products such as garments, bags, often-touched items, cleaning, and home products, and more, going forward," Björk says. "This regardless of the number of vaccines that are being developed, which we hope will put a stop to or slow down this global pandemic."

Polygiene recently partnered with fastener manufacturer YKK on a new line of zippers featuring ViralOff technology.

A slew of new solutions have been launched in recent months to provide textiles with antiviral and antibacterial properties. Among them are HeiQ's Viroblock NPJ03, which is said to reduce 99.99% of human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.