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Loyal Textiles launches world's first reusable PPE

Jul '20
Pic: Loyal Textiles Mills Ltd
Pic: Loyal Textiles Mills Ltd
Loyal Textiles Mills Ltd has collaborated with Reliance Industries Ltd and HeiQ from Switzerland to launch the world's first reusable personal protective equipment (PPE) with triple viral shield technology. Loyal has chosen Reliance’s R|Elan FeelFresh fibre, which is inherently anti-microbial inhibiting bacterial and viral growth, to blend with cotton fibre.

The blended fabrics have been specially treated with HeiQ Viroblock, which is the latest technology innovation from Switzerland. HeiQ Viroblock is proven and tested to have excellent anti-viral efficacy of 99.99 per cent against several viruses including coronavirus SARS-Cov-2 (COVID-19).

Besides this, Loyal has done Viral Barrier PU lamination on its intrinsically engineered fabric and innovatively brought out PPE medical gowns and other types of PPEs that have a triple level protection, viz.  (i) R|Elan FeelFresh fabric which is inherently anti-microbial inhibiting bacterial and viral growth, (ii) HeiQ Viroblock anti-viral treatment on the fabric and (iii) Viral Barrier PU film lamination for the first time in the world.

“Loyal Textile Mills Ltd has a heritage of 125 years of continuous existence in the Indian textile industry. Our R&D centre recognised by the Government of India and technical teams have 27 years of experience in technical textiles. During February-March 2020, Loyal management team felt the need to join the war against COVID-19 pandemic and designed reusable masks and PPE kits. Today, we have reached a stage of offering a range of PPE clothing, masks and a range of fashion wear and casual wear, which have a triple protection technology from viruses and bacteria,” said Valli M Ramaswami, chairperson of the company while launching the triple viral shield products from Loyal's signature brand Supera Shield.

“This is first of its kind in the world. Guided by the philosophy of our late chairman Manikam Ramaswami, we will continue to keep abreast of the technology and add several more firsts to our credit, as in the past,” she added during the virtual launch of the PPE.

"This reusable PPE products can be washed ten times and sterilized 10 times for reuse. Heat Sealing PU tapes have been used to seal the seams. All the three components of the PPE have been tested and passed for Viral Penetration test ASTM F 1671 – 2013, Synthetic Blood penetration test ASTM F 1670/F and the seams have passed SBPR test ASTM 1670-08 (2014),” said Loyal Textiles chief technology and business development officer Dhamodaraswamy Devadas.

Devadas said that Loayl's is the world’s first reusable PPE that has passed the Viral Penetration Test.  He also revealed that SS 95 medical respiratory type mask (launched with reusable PPE) is a reusable N95 type of mask with the same level of protection of 95% Particulate Filtration Efficiency and 99.9% Bacterial Filtration Efficiency. SS 97 medical Surgical Reusable masks also offer similar protection. Apart from these two, several community masks like SS 96W, SS 96K, SS 3D Premium masks are also offered with the same protection. All these masks are treated with HeiQ Viroblock, have the inner layers powered by R|Elan FeelFresh woven fabric that are inherently antimicrobial and blended with cotton. Loyal is also launching anti-viral t-shirts, trousers, leggings and innerwear both for domestic and export markets.

“We are pleased to join hands with Loyal Textile Mills Ltd, a pioneering player in Indian technical textile industry to support them launch masks and PPE kits powered by R|Elan FeelFresh fabric. This collaboration underlines the performance that R|Elan FeelFresh fabric provides to the consumer in improving wellness and hygiene apart from fashion through its inherent antimicrobial attribute,” said Reliance Polyester CMO Gujnan Sharma.

Carlo Centonze, CEO and co-founder of HeiQ, highlighted the special features of HeiQ Viroblock in terms of protection against different enveloped viruses and bacteria, particularly SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).  Lauding Loyal Textile Mills as a dynamic textile manufacturer, he expressed his pleasure in partnering with them in developing a new range of products from health and safety wear to fashion garments.

HeiQ Viroblock was recently tested at one of the world’s leading virology institutes and showed 99.99% reduction of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in 30 minutes. Its synergistic dual mode of action leaves viruses no chance and can enhance the protection factor of a mask by a factor 100. Tested repeatedly by industry standards such as the ISO 18184 and ISO 20743, it is effective against all enveloped viruses, bacteria and fungi. This novel Swiss technology uses 100% skin proved hypoallergenic cosmetic ingredients and features a 72% bio-based renewable content. HeiQ Viroblock respirator masks have recently been approved by the US FDA under EUA. The technology is registered by the US EPA (FIFRA), EU BPR (REACH) and JP MITI and is homologised with ZDHC, Oeko-Tex and Bluesign.

Explaining the salient features of the reusable PPE gown set, Prof. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, vice chancellor of World University of Design (WUD), said, "It has been carefully designed with a wrap-around design and an overlap at the back. The design features include: easy donning and quick doffing without any assistance and without any danger of touching the inner garments or skin; a full head cover offering full protection for head, face and neck region; and shoe covers up to the knee. Special ergonomic features have been incorporated to assist operations like thumb loops, side knots and longer length of the gown. A unique aspect of the design is that they have been sized as per Indian body shapes and so do not face any problem of bulk and overflowing as is faced in imported PPEs."

He talked in depth about various design aspects and how the field trials were conducted in various hospitals in Delhi and Chennai and a panel of doctors were consulted. WUD has been collaborating actively with the textile department of IIT Delhi in design and development of medical clothing for the past many years and this PPE was also developed jointly by the two institutes.

Valerio Cagnoli, director of Gruppo P&P Loyal S.p.A., Italy,  a joint venture company of Loyal Textiles, said: “We operate mainly in Italy with focus on European markets too. With the help of Loyal Textiles, we developed many technical fabrics which allowed us to get very important jobs. Some of our fabrics are totally a new experiment in the fire protection field. We succeed in such field mostly for the wish and will of former chairman of Loyal Textiles Manikam Ramaswami. I personally follow his philosophy not to be second to anyone in the safety of human workers. He always said we need as much we can to allow all workers to be back safely home every day. We need to highlight the HeiQViroblock and the R|Elan FeelFresh performance along with the opportunity of 10 times washes of the products. We may think also to use the HeiQ Viroblock and R|Elan for a line of garments to offer to the market to be used for particular jobs. We congratulate Loyal’s R&D team for their success in coming out with the virus penetration resistant PPE by using a special virus PU barrier film.”

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (RKS)

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