Utenos trikotažas implements antimicrobial technology in textile manufacturing
With a rapid increase in COVID-19 infections in Lithuania and the world, Utenos trikotažas of the SBA Group joined efforts with the Swiss textile innovation company HeiQ and successfully applied its revolutionary HeiQ Viroblock technology to its textile manufacturing. This unique technology has been proven 99.99% effective against SARS-CoV-2 - the strain of coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
“We are indeed proud that HeiQ Viroblock has resonated so well with textile manufacturers around the world and that it continues to be adopted for all manner of textiles. Being one of the most powerful antimicrobials currently available that is also certified as safe and sustainable, it supports our mission of enhancing the everyday lives of people everywhere, especially during these trying times. It is our pleasure, as a leading textile technology innovator, to enjoy a successful partnership with Utenos trikotažas who have managed to adapt the technology in their production,” said Carlo Centonze, CEO of HeiQ Group.
According to Petras Jašinskas, Managing Director of Utenos trikotažas, the demand for innovation in textiles is huge today. “Customers worldwide are interested in the latest technologies, especially when it comes to textile hygiene and additional protection. Back in spring we became interested in the innovation developed by HeiQ and its application opportunities. We performed countless tests and trials until we have successfully adapted this textile technology in our production,” Jašinskas said.
If the surfaces of textile products, particularly those of the face masks that have become popular during the pandemic, are not cared properly, they promote the accumulation of viruses and bacteria. At room temperature, microorganisms may persist on various surfaces from days to weeks, even months. With the application of advanced HeiQ Viroblock technology, the textile acquires additional protection against various infectious microorganisms.
Currently, Utenos Trikotažas is producing its first large export orders. In December Utenos trikotažas will offer new face mask models enhanced with HeiQ Viroblock technology to the Lithuanian market. Final tests are currently in progress.
“First of all, we are producing face masks with HeiQ Viroblock technology, the demand for which is rapidly growing across Europe, but we are seriously considering the application of this technology in garment production too. The pandemic is inevitably causing changes in many areas of life and business, and the fashion industry is no exception,” Jašinskas added.
Over 50 new types of fabric are developed at Utenos trikotažas in a year and the collection consists of over 8,000 various articles. Natural, biodegradable, and environmentally friendly organic or recycled fibres are the priority of recent years. Utenos trikotažas offers its customers materials from fibres with soybean, seaweed, coffee ground, and recycled land and ocean plastics. So far customers have been opting for technologies that give fabrics antibacterial and fast-drying properties. Mineral-enriched fabrics are also popular in textile production. It is likely that in the post-pandemic reality, the textiles treated with agents that neutralize various infections may come to the fore.
Founded in 2005 as a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH), HeiQ is a leader in textile innovation creating some of the most effective, durable and high-performance textile technologies on the market today. HeiQ’s purpose is to improve the lives of billions of people by perfecting an everyday product: Textiles. Combining three areas of expertise – scientific research, specialty materials manufacturing and consumer ingredient branding – HeiQ is the ideal innovation partner to create differentiating and sustainable textile products and capture the added value at the point of sale. With a total capacity of 35’000 tons per year HeiQ manufactures in the USA, Switzerland and Australia serving its chemical specialties in over 60 countries worldwide. HeiQ, Viroblock and HeiQ Viroblock are trademark(s) or registered trademark(s) of HeiQ Materials AG. The use of these trademark(s) is subject to approval from HeiQ.