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HeiQ Brings COVID-Fighting Viroblock Tech to Yarn, Pillow and PPE Markets

Industrial thread company Coats has partnered with HeiQ, a Swiss technology company, to incorporate HeiQ Viroblock technology into its engineered yarns.

The agreement also gives Coats exclusive global access to the technology for use in sewing threads. HeiQ Viroblock is among the first textile technologies to be proven effective in laboratory testing against SARS-CoV-2, the virus from the coronavirus family that causes COVID-19. It has been shown to be 99.99 percent effective in 30 minutes in tests conducted with the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne, Australia.

The Coats Innovation Hub–America in North Carolina, is adapting HeiQ Viroblock technology to create a new range of threads and engineered yarns suitable for application across a wide range of end-use products. Non-toxic and hypoallergenic, HeiQ Viroblock merges microsilver technology to attract virus particles that then combine with vesicle technology to break down the viral membrane within seconds. The microsilver technology uses recycled silver to enhance its sustainable offering, while the vesicle technology is bio-based.

“The combination of HeiQ Viroblock technology with our specialist expertise in threads and yarns creates a unique and powerful textile solution for the challenges we see today,” Ronan Cox, president of performance materials at Coats, said. “The innovation infrastructure we have built at Coats continues to deliver exciting industry changing concepts that have real large scale commercial potential.”

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Coats’ three Innovation Hubs, in China, Turkey and the U.S., provide the opportunity for technical experts from the company to work alongside industry partners and customers on dedicated machinery to develop ground-breaking solutions for all the industries Coats supplies.

“We are certainly very delighted that Coats, the world’s leading threads and yarns producer, is adapting HeiQ Viroblock,” Carlo Centonze, HeiQ Group co-founder and CEO, said. “This technology can be applied to any fabric to add an antiviral efficacy to them. Now with Coats threads and yarns, it is even possible for every stitch holding the fabric together to deliver the same effect, leaving no chance for harmful microorganisms.”

This is just the latest step in Coats involvement in battling COVID-19. In April, it joined the Gerber Task Force as a coalition partner. Created by Gerber Technology, the Task Force empowers manufacturers to switch to personal protective equipment (PPE) production and match supply and demand for critically needed products.

HeiQ has also partnered with MAS+ to produce functional personal protective equipment (PPE) integrating HeiQ’s latest antiviral textile technology. In an effort to contribute to mitigating the spread of the coronavirus and other hospital infections, MAS+, one of Southeast Asia’s largest apparel and textile manufacturers, will create a range of functional and comfortable PPE products that integrate HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03. The wash-durable textile treatment will become a substantial addition to MAS+’s latest range of reusable medical supplies and PPE.

Bedding will benefit from HeiQ Viroblock technology, too. The company signed a strategic agreement with Hollander Sleep Products, a U.S. bed pillow manufacturer, to implement HeiQ Viroblock on basic bedding products for the consumer and hospitality markets in North America. Hollander and HeiQ began working on testing and development of anti-viral bedding applications in March and have validated third party lab testing results for anti-viral performance according to ISO 18184 testing method, in the most popular basic bedding fabrics.