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Garmon’s Safe Wear Textile Finishes Designed to Offer Protection Against Coronavirus

Garmon has introduced Safe Wear, a line of products that offers extra protection to garments.

As the textile auxiliaries unit of Kemin Industries that provides chemical solutions for the denim and fashion industry, Garmon says the Safe Wear line marks its first stab at performance finishes, provides solutions for the industrial laundry, and offers manufacturing processes that address consumer demand for safety, given the current health concerns in the world. The goal of Garmon’s new Safe Wear line is to make people feel safe and comfortable living their lives outdoors again.

“In a few months, the world has changed in a way that no one expected, and things we once considered normal, like eating in restaurants or taking public transportation, are now considered risky,” Kimberly Nelson, president of Kemin Textile Auxiliaries, said. “Being based in Italy and San Marino, we have seen first-hand the tremendous impact of the pandemic. People want to protect themselves as much as possible and that includes the garments they wear.”

To make this happen, the Safe Wear line was designed to include different technologies, levels of protection and price points to suit the textile industry’s, and consumers, diverse needs.

The Safe Wear product line includes HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03, Garmon Sani-tex and Garmon Elam Sani-tex. HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03 has a patent-pending antiviral and antibacterial effect against enveloped viruses, including coronaviruses, and bacteria.

Research shows that viruses and bacteria, such as SARS-CoV, a similar virus to the one that causes COVID-19, can remain active on textile surfaces for up to two days, Garmon noted. Garments treated with HeiQ Viroblock actively inhibit viruses and kill bacteria upon contact, helping to minimize the potential for textiles to re-transmit harmful pathogens.

HeiQ Viroblock has been designed to stay active on treated garments for 30 gentle domestic washes, offering textile protection that lasts for a good part of the garment’s life. Thanks to the partnership between Kemin Industries and HeiQ, Garmon extensively tested HeiQ Viroblock on garments to optimize dosages and application for garment finishing, ensuring that treating textiles does not alter the apparel’s properties and look.

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Sani-tex and Elam Sani-tex are solutions to remove germs and bacteria from garments. Both are designed to guarantee an effective, immediate action. Due to their composition based on versatile active sanitizing contents, the application of Sani-tex and Elam Sani-tex on garments removes a variety of micro-organisms and different types of viruses, in particular lipophilic viruses such as herpes simplex, vaccinia, influenza and adenovirus. Using Sani-tex and Elam Sani-tex helps laundries and brands provide consumers a finished product that is safe and respectful of their health.

All the products in Garmon’s new Safe Wear line have been designed for application in the final phase of garment finishing, either alone or in combination with a compatible softener. Safe Wear products have been tested to be suitable for any kind of fiber, including natural, synthetic or blends. All of the Safe Wear products also work with Garmon’s Smart Foam, a water-saving system in garment finishing.

In a similar development, the LAMP Lab at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering has created a textile coating that can repel liquids like blood and saliva and prevent viruses from adhering to the surface. The coating also has the ability to withstand ultrasonic washing, scrubbing and scraping.

“The durability is very important because there are other surface treatments out there, but they’re limited to disposable textiles. You can only use a gown or mask once before disposing of it,” said Paul Leu, associate professor of industrial engineering, who leads the LAMP Lab. “Given the PPE shortage, there is a need for coatings that can be applied to reusable medical textiles that can be properly washed and sanitized.”