Tuesday 9 June 2020
Could fashion be the answer to this pandemic? Photo: Unsplash

How do you stay fashionable and safe at the same time? While hazmat suits might offer the best protection, they’ll also set alarm bells for the fashion police on social media. Thankfully, a pair of Japanese companies are coming to your rescue, with their set of electric fabric that kills bacteria using your clothes. 

Murata Manufacturing and a subsidiary of materials maker Teijin recently launched their bacteria-snuffing material. The companies have developed a clothing fabric that kills germs with tiny electric shocks generated by the wearer’s movements. Known as PIECLEX, the material carries low voltages that does not affect the wearer. 

piecelx electrci fabric that kills bacteria
Style and substance with PIECLEX. Photo: Murata Manufacturing


According to the manufacturers, the product has been effective on 99.9% of bacteria and viruses tested. The fabric has also shown promise for products like sportswear, sanitary items including diapers and masks, as well as filters in industrial products. According to Nikkei Asian Review, Murata and Teijin Frontier are looking to commercialize the fabric by next year, with a sales target of US$92 million in fiscal by 2025. 

Additionally, the companies are also looking to use the electric fabric to help kill the coronavirus. However, it will be some time before that goal is accomplished. According to Popular Mechanics, biological and chemical protective coatings like PIECLEX are extremely difficult to develop because the lack of access to samples of viruses or bacteria, in this case, the COVID-19, makes it impossible to determine the efficiency of the fabric. 

Therefore, for now, it’s best to practice social distancing and keeping our hands clean, to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

Source: AFP Relaxnews, Popular Mechanics, Nikken Asian Review