Teijin Cordley Limited of Japan’s Teijin Frontier Group has developed a new antibacterial and antiviral artificial leather incorporating a long-lasting antibacterial agent.

Teijin Cordley will commence sales of the new antiviral artificial leather in October this year.

Initial versions will be designed for the manufacture of children’s satchels, with subsequent versions suitable for sporting goods such as shoes and leather balls.

The sales target is 30,000 meters in fiscal 2021 and 580,000 metres in fiscal 2024, the company says.

Leveraging Teijin Cordley’s unique surface treatment technology, the new antibacterial and antiviral artificial leather can be treated with the same process as conventional artificial leathers such as natural-like, enamel, and nubuck artificial leathers, and can be used in a wide range of applications.

In addition, products using the new leather material can be classified as “environmentally friendly”, as it is created using recycled polyester raw materials. The long-lasting antibacterial agent on new artificial leather’s surface has led it to acquire SIAA (Society of International sustaining growth for Antimicrobial Articles) antibacterial processing and SIAA antiviral processing certification.

The technology in the long-lasting antibacterial agent was originally developed to control the growth of microorganisms such as mould in the confined spaces of submarines, and is effective against various kinds of bacteria, mould and viruses, according to the company. In addition, it is said to have the potential to treat a variety of materials such as fibres and hard materials, and has been used in applications including apparel, rush products, and humidifying filters for air purifiers.

“The spread of Covid-19 has enhanced general interest in infection control in daily life, and the need for antibacterial and antiviral processing is increasing,” the company says. “There is also increased focus on the need for hygiene measures during sporting events.”

In August, Teijin Limited announced a new set of strict CO2 emissions targets it needs to reach by 2030 as part of its plan to make its in-house operations and entire supply chain more eco-friendly.