A Bangladeshi fabric manufacturer has claimed to have developed a fabric named "Corona Block Fabric" that can kill coronavirus or any other virus within 120 seconds.
Zaber and Zubair (Z&Z) Fabrics, a sister concern of the country's largest garment exporter Noman Group, made the disclosure at a press conference in its office in the city on Thursday.
The company developed a technology for the groundbreaking product with the technical support from its two Swedish partners, its officials said.
It can be used to make personal protective equipment, masks and woven shirts.
"We are pretty sure that many global fabric developers are working on developing such fabric. We are the first to make it possible," said Anol Rayhan, the brand manager of Z&Z.
They have already sent samples to all of its global partners (brands and buyers) and the innovation is getting massive response from their partners as the world may have to exist with the pandemic for long.
Zaber and Zubair fabrics Limited, the largest textile manufacturer in the country, is hoping that the country's readymade apparel makers could gain huge businesses both in local and global markets with their newly-invented coronavirus killing fabric.
"We hope at least 2000 of readymade garment factories in the country – which are facing big trouble due to the coronavirus fallout – will be able to revive their businesses with the new fabric as the solution will help the world fight coronavirus or any other virus or bacteria," said Anol Rayhan.
He said the treatment of the fabric had been tested and validated under test norm ISO 18184 and had regulatory coverage.
The fabric has been registered with different compliance bodies of the United States (US) and the European Union (EU), Rayhan said.
"We have started sending the fabrics to our buyers in the US and the EU from the first week of this month and received good response from more than 100 buyers as of today," he said.
Rayhan said they have received an order of 15 lakh face masks made with the fabric from a UAE buyer named United Global Holdings. Five lakh of masks would be delivered before Eid-ul-Fitr and the rest after Eid.
He said Z&Z has already started bulk production and seven million pieces of garment items would be produced by the next month for the domestic market.
Consumers will be able to buy the products from Blue Jens, an online shop of the Z&Z, and the prices would be 20 percent higher than the normal products, he added.
Raashid Asraf Khan, chief marketing officer of Z&Z, said the fabric is protected from all kinds of viruses and bacteria, and is wash durable, soft and breathable in 100 percent cotton and blends, and absolutely safe to skin.
"For the PPE fabrics, it is solvent and fluid repellent in 100 percent polyester composition, it has high tensile and tear strength and is wash durable up to 20 washes," he said.
Raashid said RMG makers could continue to manufacture as before with clothes that can protect customers from microbes and prevent from being affected by virus like Covid-19.
"This will definitely give our buyers much better leverage in selling the products at stores. At these times of crisis, and even for the future, the demand for such products is very high and customers may even be willing to buy at premium," he added.
Z&Z, a textile mill started its journey in 1994, thanks to the government's policy on supporting the home textile sector. On April 17, 2000, it made the first export shipment worth $0.6 million.
The company has stood as a proud winner of the"National Export Trophy (Gold)" for 10 consecutive terms, as the highest exporter in all sectors.
The company range of products include yarns, fabrics, towels, bed linen, denim, non-denim, knit, synthetic fabrics, home textile, bed covers, curtain, comforters, quilt covers etc.
They do business with more than 100 renowned retailers and fashion brands such as H&M, ZARA, Target, Walmart, GAP, JC Penney, Esprit, K-Mart, IKEA, Tesco, Li & Fung, American Eagle, Carrefour, Disney, Nike, PVH, Nitori, HEMA, Uniqlo and Mango.
ZnZ exports its fabrics to different markets, including the European Union, America, Canada and other North American countries.