Monday 22nd March 2021
It seems 2020 may well go down in history as 'the year of the virus'. However, there are encouraging signs that 2021 will be all about the anti-viral measures that defeated it. The different COVID-19 vaccines that have been developed are clearly at the forefront of this. But, at Matthew Wailes, we determined to play our part too. So, we have developed a revolutionary new anti-viral and anti-allergy collection called SoteriaAV.
Gridlock is a new design you will find in our new SoteriaAV collection
As a company, we are renowned for designing distinctive, handmade, bespoke rugs and carpets. And you'll find them in discerning households and businesses all around the globe. However, we also have a well-deserved reputation for innovative, ethical and eco-friendly creativity. This is evident in our groundbreaking LuxuryEco collection. It features yarn that we recycle from discarded plastic bottles recovered from the ocean in Thailand. We are also a proud licensee of GoodWeave International. This non-profit organisation is dedicated to ending child, forced and bonded labour in supply chains.
So ,when the coronavirus came, it is perhaps not so surprising that we put our heads together, in a bid to develop a new anti-viral collection. Our hope was that this could potentially help to protect against transmission and infection. We are, therefore, thrilled to introduce SoteriaAV.
The name itself is symbolic – and overwhelmingly appropriate. In Greek mythology, Soteria was the goddess (or spirit) of safety, salvation, deliverance, and protection from harm. In Roman mythology, Soteria is known as Salus (Preservation), which symbolises physical wellbeing and health.
How does the new SoteriaAV collection work?
Our new Magma rug from the SoteriaAV collection not only looks stunning but comes with anti-viral and anti-allergy benefits too
Anti-viral rugs and carpets might sound like science fiction, but this new collection incorporates advanced, tried and tested technology. The key component is the unique SoteriaAV fibre, which basically works by stripping off the virus protein coat. This neutralises the majority of the virus. So this means that the remaining live virus is no longer able to replicate itself. In technical terms, AVA™ technology renders viral genome transcription inactive; viral protein translation inactive; and viral poly-processing inactive. In more simple terms, this means that our AVA™ technology gets to work destroying the virus from the very first contact. However, it continues to work until it inactivates the virus. And it doesn’t just work on COVID-19. Our AVA™ technology has also shown itself to be effective against other coronaviruses. This includes SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).
But you don’t just have to take our word for it! Specialist microbiological labs in the US and UK have independently tested all of our new SoteriaAV products to ISO18184 standards. These confirm that our groundbreaking AVA™ technology is 90% more effective at rendering viruses inactive than comparative non-AVA products.
Why is this launch so significant?
Compared with measures such as vaccines, lockdowns and social distancing, an anti-viral carpet or rug collection might not sound like the most obvious or even effective mechanism against virus transmission. After all, COVID-19 primarily spreads from person to person via small droplets from the nose or mouth. These spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes or exhales.
But airborne transmission isn’t the only way that COVID-19 proliferates. Unfortunately, these virus particles are resilient. In fact, in certain temperatures, they can survive on specific surfaces for an alarming length of time. Some studies suggest that, at room temperature, COVID-19 remains detectable on fabric for up to two days. Meanwhile, on plastic and metal, the virus can last for up to seven days.
Fractured rug from our new SoteriaAV collection is a striking design which you can choose in a multitude of colourways
In other words, viruses can survive on shoes, which then walk into a building – and all over its floor coverings. This is where our new anti-viral SoteriaAV fibre comes in. To recap, the AVA™ technology this fibre incorporates kills bacteria, fungi and viruses, and also inhibits virus replication. We combine our SoteriaAV fibre with our other manufacturing materials, too. These include wool and our Upcycle products, so that we can include it in absolutely any of our bespoke hand-tufted and woven products. It’s important to emphasise that our AVA™ technology is fully incorporated into the fibre itself. So, it's not simply layered on top of it. This means that the anti-viral protection it offers is long-lasting, and able to withstand extended periods of wear. It even remains effective after professional wet cleaning.
SoteriaAV overpowering allergens
There’s even more good news. Our new SoteriaAV collection isn’t just anti-viral: it’s anti-allergy too. In addition to rendering viruses inactive, our SoteriaAV fibre can also disrupt the food chain of dust mites. These are, after all, a prime culprit in terms of asthma allergies. Another bonus? The AVA™ technology in our SoteriaAV collection is also effective at preventing the growth of bacteria and fungi, each of which can also trigger distressing allergic episodes.
Facing the future with confidence
At Matthew Wailes, we are keen to make our new AVA™ technology available to as many people as possible. That’s why we won't limit its use exclusively to our high-end rug and carpet collection. We have also just launched a new SoteriaAV Face Mask collection. We will manufacture these masks using a combination of our SoteriaAV and our Upcycled LuxuryEco fibres. So, they offer a proven layer of protection against airborne virus particles. These particles neutralise on contact with the fabric. However, the Upcycled LuxuryEco fibres in our masks will also help to reduce marine pollution and plastic waste.
Importantly, our new SoteriaAV face masks also feature an innovative collagen layer. This aids moisture absorption and act as a natural deodoriser, for enhanced comfort and cleanliness.
We are hugely excited about the additional layers of protection against viruses and allergies, our new SoteriaAV products offer. However, we have not designed our face masks to replace medical grade PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). We continue to recommend that all local and national government COVID-19 guidelines are strictly followed. Together, we are confident that we can defeat this virus. In fact, we look forward to a phased return to normality as 2021 unfolds.
Our new SoteriaAV collection also includes a line of face masks, which feature the same advanced anti-viral AVA™ technology that’s featured within our groundbreaking new SoteriaAV rug and carpet collection