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Taiwan Textile Makers Showcase Covid-Friendly Innovations

Taiwan’s textile makers are serving up innovations that offer increased performance and functionality, as well as antiviral properties and sustainable inputs.

At an online streaming event hosted by the Bureau of Foreign Trade, the Taiwan Textile Federation (TTF) showcased the country’s latest product releases, which included skin-friendly masks that guard against microbacteria, polyurethane (PU) film made with recycled content and CBD-infused fabric that improves circulation and recovery. “Taiwan’s textile industry is a leader in eco-friendly textile innovation and sustainability, with continuous quality improvement,” TFF’s master of ceremonies, Angela Lu, said. “Over the years we have become the No. 1 choice of many international leading brands in sports and outdoor wear.”

“The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we dress and shop,” she added. “To keep one step ahead of this new normal, many Taiwanese textile companies have strived their best to bring their innovation to the next level.”

Outdoor material manufacturer GFun Industrial Corp., which services brands like The North Face, Columbia, Nike and Adidas, touts itself as the largest laminated coating manufacturer in the country. The company’s newest membrane technology, called GRX, makes use of plastic particles that occur as waste from the manufacturing of smartphone camera lenses by Taiwanese producers. The company adds the material, which is sloughed off in the grinding process, into its PU, using the substance to coat its high-performance fabrics. Color can also be added to the fabric coating, the company said, eliminating the need to dye the fabric underneath.

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Meanwhile, Taipei-based activewear supplier Eclat Textile Co., Ltd. has been focused on the development of textile masks throughout the pandemic, releasing a number of versions suited for everyday wear as well as strenuous athletic activity. The company’s polymer-based triple-layered filter mask is designed to catch fabric and dust, and is sewn with antimicrobial silver fibers, making it ideal for commuters spending considerable time in the proximity of other people. A soft inner layer with an antimicrobial coating protects the skin and eliminates odor throughout long periods of wear. Other versions of the masks include nose guards, adjustable ear loops, durable water repellant (DWR) treatment, and perforations for increased breathability during sport.

Also made to guard against the spread of illness, a daily protective jacket with eco-water-repellant HeiQ Viroblock technology was highlighted by Ruentex Industries Co., Ltd. The company spoke to the hooded zip-up garment’s protective qualities, which include a microbe and virus-blocking coating, along with a built-in face shield. The company’s TanaCare CBD-infused leggings and pillowcases, by contrast, are infused with cannabis-derived oil, which helps reduce inflammation, promotes circulation, and supports the skin’s healing process. The pillowcases, which are finished with a CBD coating, are made to promote restful sleep, the company added.

Performance fabrics remain important as consumers continue to spend ample time outdoors and engaging in athletic activity. Sunny Special Dyeing and Finishing Co., Ltd.’s Eco Pro line of yarns is made with recycled polymer materials like RPET sourced from plastic waste, providing water resistance for performance fabrics, the company said. According to the manufacturer, the supple textiles also hold up to repeated washing, making them suitable for use in the service industry and medical field. The company’s Solapel coating can be applied to enhance water repellence, while simultaneously limiting the release of fluorocarbons into waterways during washing. The PFC-free coating remains at least 70-percent efficient after being washed more than 120 times, the company added.

Finally, Tex-Ray International presented an energy-saving CO2 reduction technology dubbed Eco HD Print that allows colors to bond better on fabrics. The water-based ink transfers at low temperatures, the company said, saving energy and preserving the integrity of fiber filaments. The ink can provide sharp-lined patterns and a soft hand-feel on performance garments like leggings and bra tops, and unlike oil-based inks, does not release harmful chemicals into waterways during the production and washing process.