Antimicrobial Textiles

Antimicrobial Fabrics and Non-Woven Textiles

Today’s consumers demand high performance from textiles, regardless of whether the fabric is for apparel, home textiles, or outdoor applications. A purchasing decision is often based as much on the functional aspects of a fabric as on colour and texture. For this reason, antimicrobial textiles can offer added value to many different types of goods.

Bacteria and fungi can degrade textiles in many ways. They create odors in intimate and athletic wear, proliferate in medical environments, and can be responsible for stains in upholstery and other household items. Microbial growth also attacks outdoor textiles such as awnings, tents, or lawn furniture and leads to discoloration and degradation.

Benefits of Antimicrobials for Textiles

Antimicrobial textiles treated with Ultra-Fresh or Silpure promise freshness, stain protection and an extended product life, even for heavy-duty outdoor applications. Formulated to provide excellent durability, fabrics treated with Ultra-Fresh or Silpure continue to offer performance after multiple cleanings or extended exposure to environmental stresses.

Simple Application

Ultra-Fresh and Silpure antimicrobial fabric treatments can be applied during normal textile finishing processes, meaning no special equipment or processing steps are required. When applying by coating, padding, exhaustion or foaming, the antimicrobial additive can typically be used in combination with other common auxiliaries such as softeners, moisture management systems, fluorocarbons or resins.

Antimicrobial treatments can be used in textile coatings by adding antimicrobials directly to the liquid prior to application.  Certain Ultra-Fresh treatments can also be included during the extrusion process of synthetic fibers such as polyester, polyamide or polypropylene.

Ultra-Fresh and Silpure antimicrobial products are applicable to a wide range of substrates, including cotton, viscose, polyester, nylon, acrylic, polyolefin, rayon, wool and their blends. By offering a broad selection of actives and formulations, you can be confident we will always have the right product for you, regardless of your end use. Our range of antibacterial and antifungal products for textiles ensures the proper protection and performance you need.

How is Efficacy of Antimicrobial Fabrics Measured?

Many test methods developed by organizations such as the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC); American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM); International Organization for Standardization (ISO); and Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) are available to evaluate antimicrobial performance. Such standardized test methods are often developed for specific types of materials, end-uses or antimicrobial technologies; therefore choosing the correct test method is crucial.

Common test methods used to assess antibacterial fabric include the ISO 20743 (JIS L 1902) or the ISO 22196 (JIS Z 2801).

Antimicrobial textiles exposed to outdoor elements, where antifungal protection is key, should be tested using the AATCC Method 30, Part III or the ASTM G21.  Other methods, such as the MIL-STD-810G, Method 508.6 Annex B are also used to assess antifungal fabric when specified.  Contact our labs to learn more about the tests we routinely run for our customers.

The photos below are an example of the benefit of adding antimicrobial additives to fabric. Under the right conditions, mold and mildew can flourish by using the fabric as a food source. Antimicrobials help make textiles resistant to microbial growth.

Both fabric samples were tested using the AATCC Method 30, Part III.  The test organism used was Aspergillus niger.

Ultra-Fresh antimicrobial fabric
Ultra-Fresh antimicrobial fabric
Untreated fabric
Untreated fabric









End Uses for Antimicrobial Textiles

Ultra-Fresh and Silpure are used in a vast range of antimicrobial fabric and non woven applications. We have listed a few examples below.

  • Housewares: towels, bedding, upholstery, carpets, curtains, pillows
  • Commercial: window coverings, military fabrics, uniforms, tenting, carpets.
  • Apparel: caps, jackets, work wear, sportswear, fleeces, intimates
  • Building Products: architectural fabrics, awnings, canopies
  • Healthcare: scrubs, masks, drapery, window coverings, bedding, filters, lab coats

Read our recent blog article to learn more about antimicrobials for textiles.

Learn more about our bluesign® partnership or visit bluesign®’s website directly.

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Why Choose Us:

  • • Can be applied during normal textile finishing processes
  • • Can be co-applied with other auxiliaries
  • • Can be used with natural and synthetic fibres
  • • Antibacterial & antifungal additive options available
  • • EPA registered, BPR listed and Okeo-tex certified
  • • We are a bluesign® system partner

Contact Us to Learn More