Antimicrobial fabrics and textiles are fiber-based substrates to which antimicrobial agents have been applied at the surface, or incorporated into the fibers, rendering a product that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms.  Antimicrobial textile products offer protection against orders in shoes and clothing.  Odors in shoes and clothing come from microorganisms that feed on moisture, heat and humidity to survive.  Textile products offer antimicrobial protection stay fresh for longer.

What is antibacterial?

An antibacterial is an agent that interferes with the growth and reproduction of bacteria.  

Difference between Antibiotics, Antibacterials and :

Although antibiotics and antibacterials both attack bacteria, these terms have evolved over the years to mean two different things.  

·         Antibacterials are now most commonly described as agents used to disinfect surfaces and eliminate potentially harmful bacteria.  

·         Antibiotics are used as medicines for humans and animals.

·         Antimicrobial is an agent that kills microorganisms or inhibits their growth.  Antimicrobial medicines can be grouped according to the microorganisms they act primarily against. For example, antibacterials are used against bacteria and antifungals are used against fungi.

In regard to clothing and textiles, we are not concerned with antibiotics.  Our focus is on anti-microbial such as antibacterials found in products such as soaps, detergents, health and skincare products and fabrics. 

The use of antibacterial chemistries in textiles has grown dramatically over the last few decades. Today’s consumers demand enhanced aesthetics and comfort in apparel, as well as higher levels of protection, performance and easy-care properties.  That’s why consumers are spending their money on innerwear, socks and a variety of apparel goods containing durable antibacterial protection that controls odors.

Apparel can be a significant harbinger of bacteria because next-to-skin surfaces contain the right combination of organic matter, moisture and temperature to create the ideal environment to support odor-causing microbiological growth.  Wearing apparel that generates offensive odors is never a pleasant experience for the person wearing the apparel or for those nearby

Antibacterials are generally considered effective in killing bacteria, however, there is considerable controversy surrounding their health benefits.  Some antibacterial chemicals raise safety concerns that should be reviewed.

Find antibacterial fabric mills.

Resources of interest:

Microban® offers comprehensive antimicrobial apparel technologies that meet customer demands for antimicrobial efficacy, wash durability, processing conditions and cost effectiveness. Once we contact our customer, Microban obtains the information necessary to engineer an intelligent antimicrobial apparel technology solution. Factors such as antimicrobial performance, fabric properties that need antimicrobial treatment and available manufacturing processes are just a few steps we take to fully investigate ideal antimicrobial apparel solutions.

X-STATIC® fabrics promote a safer healthcare environment by permanently and continuously inhibiting the growth of bacteria and fungi on the fabrics. Wash after wash, X-STATIC® fabrics maintain their premier performance for the life of the product.  Soft surfaces made with X-STATIC® fibers are clinically proven in laboratory studies to reduce bacterial growth on textile surfaces by 99.9% within one hour. A global leader in antimicrobial fiber technology, X-STATIC® even inhibits the growth of multidrug-resistant strains of bacteria, including MRSA and VRE.

PureThread: Developed with manufacturers and product designers in mind, PurThread's innovative antimicrobial fibers and yarns enhance their partners' products with unsurpassed germ-fighting capability, durability, and freshness without any production hassles, design hindrances or performance let downs.  Their award-winning technology embeds pure, natural, recycled silver salts throughout their fibers, offering powerful, durable antimicrobial protection for fabrics: PurThread's silver salts have been reviewed and registered by the EPA as safe for people and the environment.  Powerfully effective at keeping fabrics fresh.  Stay-fresh fabrics = fewer cleanings = good for your customers and the environment

Suggested links of interest:

What is an antibacterial and how are antibacterials classified? (Tufts)

What is antibacterial fabric? (WiseGeek)

About Antibacterial Fabric (Google Scholar Search)

Triclosan Antibacterial Chemical Safety (New York Times)

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