Industry Insight | Antibacterial fabrics under the epidemic become the market "meat and potatoes", playing gimmicks or real ability?

Recently, there have been epidemics or aggregated outbreaks in many parts of the country. With the enhancement of people's health awareness, antibacterial fabrics have become the "meat and potatoes" in the textile market in recent times. The major textile enterprises have been testing the water, research and development of various antibacterial fabrics.

The global enterprises seize the "blue sea"


Since last year's epidemic, the figure of antibacterial fabrics in the textile market is becoming more and more common.

"The epidemic has made consumers no longer simply satisfied with wearing beautiful, but also to wear healthy. Antibacterial functional textiles have become a hot spot for textile companies to develop. We based on this demand, developed antibacterial fabrics made of durable antibacterial cotton yarn, Ivy antibacterial yarn, mint antibacterial yarn and cotton antibacterial elastic yarn." Weiqiao Textile Co., Ltd (national extra-wide printing and dyeing product development base), said the relevant person in charge of the enterprise to follow or advance perception of people's consumer demand, especially people's spiritual, psychological and cultural connotations and other aspects of the inherent demand. 

In response to the impact of the epidemic, the National Anti-Cold Clothing and Casual Wear Fabric Product Development Base timely launched a series of graphene antibacterial protective fabrics in order to meet the needs of clothing brands and the consumer market. The person in charge of the company's R&D center introduced that in 2020, the company increased the development of new products, developed "antibacterial and antibacterial" series of new products, and regularly launched quality products that lead the market consumption. At present, the company has reached a strategic partnership with a number of clothing brands, basically offset the overall impact of reduced export orders on business operations.

In order to meet the market demand of antibacterial and environmental protection, the national new fiber yarn product development base has focused on the development of antibacterial seaweed fiber series products. Li Yubin, executive vice president of the company, said: "With the change of domestic consumer philosophy and the improvement of consumer awareness of health, functional fabric products are very popular, and a variety of Huayuan products are in short supply, which also verifies our earlier judgment. In the future, we will continue to pay attention to the changing trends of the domestic textile market, select high-quality raw materials and develop products needed downstream."

Not only domestic enterprises, foreign fabric companies are also stepping up the development of new antibacterial fabrics. Albini Group is a large European supplier of shirt fabrics. The company's production department has developed a line of ViroFormula antibacterial fabrics in cooperation with Swiss company HeiQ. This technology helps reduce the risk and speed of contamination and transmission by preventing fabric surfaces from becoming breeding grounds for the spread of harmful viruses and bacteria.

Teijin Frontier, the fiber processing division of Teijin Group (Japan), has collaborated with Murata Manufacturing to develop a Pieclex piezoelectric fabric with antimicrobial properties. The product combines piezoelectric technology consisting of electronic components with fabric technology, enabling the fabric to convert motion into electrical energy through human movement, thereby generating antibacterial properties.

Product quality varies

There is no doubt that today, the demand for antibacterial textiles is increasing, antibacterial fabrics are receiving unprecedented attention, and clothing brands that use antibacterial fabrics are also emerging. According to a survey report on the global textile market, the market share of antibacterial and antiviral products has now reached $10.48 billion and is expected to grow to $20.5 billion in 2026, nearly doubling.


However, behind the rapid growth of antibacterial fabrics, there is a hidden worry of mixed fish and dragon.

Recently, Ningbo City, Zhejiang Consumer Rights Protection Commission released the results of a comparative test of functional clothing. The test results show that of the 12 antibacterial clothing tested, five failed, including four products whose antibacterial properties did not meet their expressed product standards.

No coincidence, the Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission recently also conducted a comparative test of 40 antibacterial underwear (pants) samples. The results show that although all samples have antibacterial effect to some extent, the antibacterial effect of these products in the comparative test showed a large difference. Among them, 8 samples met the antibacterial requirements of grade A, 2 met the antibacterial requirements of grade AA, and 10 met the antibacterial requirements of grade AAA.

Some industry experts analyzed the results and pointed out that the antibacterial effect of poor fabrics, usually using post-treatment technology way, that is, through the fabric follow-up shaping process to add antibacterial agent to the fabric. "Such a process is relatively simple. With the increase in the number of times the garment is washed, the antibacterial effect of such fabrics will be significantly reduced to the point that they can not play the antibacterial effect. Such products will eventually be eliminated from the market."

Cooperate together to break the situation

For fabric enterprises, research and development of antibacterial products is both a challenge and an opportunity for breakthrough development. Antibacterial fabrics are hot who want to "rub a dash", but some fabric enterprises due to the long-term lack of talent and other problems, the production of antibacterial fabrics gimmick more than the substance. How to deal with such a dilemma?

Last year's release of UCS Antebellum fiber is through the injection spinning technology will be active antibacterial substances evenly dispersed in the fiber surface and internal, to bacteria, fungi and viruses and other microorganisms have inhibitory effect. The person in charge of the product introduced: "Because of the use of pre-spinning injection technology, the active antibacterial substances are more evenly distributed, resulting in excellent antibacterial performance and more durable, and still maintain excellent antibacterial effect after 50 times of washing. The fiber is also conducive to reducing human body odor, effectively detoxifying odors, has better gas adsorption, and the antibacterial and deodorizing effect remains obvious after multiple washes."

"Last year, we joined the Sedeli BV Fiber Product Development Technology Innovation Alliance. As the preferred fabric partner of Ucox, this cooperation has brought rich development elements and space for value enhancement, driven the communication and interaction between fabric companies and upstream yarn mills, and strengthened the cooperation with suppliers." Yan Xinhua, general manager of the knitting factory of Xinsheng Printing and Dyeing (national printing and dyeing product development base), said in an interview, "In the post-epidemic era, antibacterial fabrics can hit consumers' pain points directly, which gives the company more advantages to convince customers."

In addition, scientific research cooperation with universities has become the choice of many fabric enterprises. Previously, in the new antibacterial anti-virus fabric research and development seminar held in Changzhou Textile and Clothing Vocational Technical College, the relevant person in charge of the enterprise are said, after the epidemic era, antibacterial, anti-virus fabric research and development has a broad market prospect, the future hope that through cooperation with the college, solve the technical problems in this area, the research and development tasks to the practical, as soon as possible to achieve technical breakthroughs, so that they can seize market opportunities.



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