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Cotswold Rolls Out SilverGuard Line of RFID-Blocking Fabrics

Cotswold Industries is introducing a product that reflects the times–a SilverGuard line of RFID-blocking interior fabrics such as pocketing and jacket linings that CEO James McKinnon said is designed as a deterrent or protection against ID theft.

According to Cotswold, this includes security against theft of information on credit cards, health insurance identification and other cards or information people might carry in their pockets that contain RFID chips. SilverGuard is made with 99 percent silver, which makes it suitable for clothing, Cotswold said, since it contains antibacterial, odor-inhibiting and anti-static properties. McKinnon noted that the SilverGuard is made by Haama Europe GmbH.

“All experts agree that the signal range of these cards to normal reading devices is low, but that data can be retrieved by special scanners from distances of up to five meters,” Cotswold noted. “This data theft is increasing and the innovations to protect against such scanners are on the rise in clothing, wallets, handbags and many other areas.”

According to a report from Javelin Strategy & Research, 16.7 million people in the U.S., or 6.6% of the population, were victims of identity fraud in 2017. Credit cards were the most commonly compromised account type, although that fell to 26 percent from 30 percent year-to-year thanks to increased usage of chip-enabled cards at point of sale.

Cotswold noted that knit products in this line provide softness and are suitable as an extra layer in security pockets. These include Saturn, which contains 34 grams per square meter of SilverGuard and a shielding effectiveness of 450 to 5,800 megahertz (MHz), and Venus, which has 62 grams per square meter of Silverguard and a shielding effectiveness of 30 MHz to 10 gigahertz (GHz).

The woven versions are tear resistant and are used in pocket lining. Jupiter has a smooth woven structure and contains 46 grams per square meter of SilverGuard and a shielding effectiveness of 450 MHz to 5,800 MHz, while Pluto has a non-woven structure, with 16 grams of SilverGuard per square meter and a shielding effectiveness of 30 MHz to 10 GHz.

Cotswold Industries is a vertically integrated manufacturer, converter and distributor specializing in the development and distribution of technical textiles and apparel fabrics, with plants in Georgia and South Carolina. McKinnon noted that Cotswold will contract manufacture this line at various mills.