COVID-19 impact: The age of antiviral apparel

A slew of textile and garment options that help combat the coronavirus

Published: 13th September 2020 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th September 2020 05:02 PM   |  A+A-

Sudha Anand (left), co-founder, Swaas 

Express News Service

Maninder Singh Nayyar, a 36-year-old businessman based in Delhi, chanced upon a video of a smart jacket called CoVest that promised an anti-viral finish. Impressed, he ordered one for himself. He had just recovered from Covid-19 and thought of the jacket as a reliable layer of protection. Disease-resistant garments are changing the way we look at clothing. The future of clothing is practical, functional and anti-viral. 

Craft Meets Technology

The phone hasn’t stopped ringing since Somesh Singh, co-founder, Craft Village and India Craft Week, and Former Professor at National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, developed CoVest. The jacket has a body temperature display, SD+ Sensor that alerts you every time you’re at a distance of two metres from someone. It also has pockets that sanitise your phone, watch, rings and others. 

One of the technologies used in CoVest is N9 XTS-18, a custom blend of Sanitized® T20-19, a patented Swiss quaternary silane technology. It creates a durable, highly cationic charge density on the textile’s surface, deactivating the spread of virus and bacteria on contact. It thus minimises the chance for re-transmission of the virus and bacteria. The lining of the jacket gets a fragrant finish that works on the olfactory and keeps one relaxed through aromatherapy. This technology releases a whiff of fragrance as soon as there is friction on the surface of the jacket. 

The jacket has an inbuilt protective face mask in the collar. “I have chosen handmade fabrics to create a sustainable option as most of the PPE kits and safety gear are creating a huge environmental concern. Also, because I am a patron of the crafts, I used this as an opportunity to combine technology and craft which to me is an ideal combination. I decided to integrate and begin with the CoVest (Ajrakh) that is made with Ajrakh block printed fabric. It’s developed by UNESCO award-winning craftsman Abdul Jabbar Khatri, who achieved it for his contribution towards the revival of traditional Kutch fabrics.The vest will retail by the end of September and will cost `4,999 onwards. There will be three variations—casual, formal, and ethnic CoVest, in full and half sleeve options. 

Safe Sleep

If you don’t want to wear it, spread it. Anti-microbial bed sheets are sustainable and protect from infections. “The fabric used is treated with a special chemical from Switzerland-based Sanitized Ag, which prevents bacterial growth. The chemical finish lasts till 15 washes,” says Sudha Anand, co-founder, Swaas. These sheets have a 300-thread count and come in cotton sateen fabric with a weight of 125 grams/square metre. It’ll cost between Rs 2,500-Rs 3,000. A note of advice: Wash these in cold water at home. Medium iron should help in easing out the creases. Bleaching or dry cleaning is not recommended.

Nano Technology

PPE’s may have their benefits but they’re bulky and uncomfortable. Looking at this, Sasha Bose, CEO, Nano Chemiqs, decided to harness nanotechnology to launch an AntiViral JumpSuit that can be worn for long hours without sweating or dehydration and can be reused 30 times. “The design of this unisex jumpsuit is similar to regular ones you get at any store. The only difference is that this one is treated with nanotechnology embedded fibres that offers sterilisation. The best part is that you can wear it on top of your regular clothing,” says Bose. It costs `1,250. Feeling protected enough? 

“I’ve chosen handmade fabrics to create a sustainable option as most of the PPE kits and safety gear are creating a huge environmental concern.” 
Somesh Singh, developer of CoVest 

“The fabric used in the bedsheets is treated with a special chemical from Switzerland-based Sanitized Ag, which prevents bacterial growth. The finish lasts until 15 washes.” 
Sudha Anand (left), co-founder, Swaas 


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