Anti-bacterial properties of silver yarn
Earlier today I added 3 more products into our catalog. These are socks made of cotton with a mix of silver yarn (actual 99.9% pure silver, according to the product literature) meant specifically for diabetics who are in general susceptible to infections.
As I read (and wrote) about the special anti-bacterial properties of the silver in these socks, my skeptical nature raised a flag – “Is silver yarn really anti-bacterial in nature? Is this true?” I had never heard of this before (never having looked for such information before, that is not surprising! ), and I wanted to make sure that I was not propagating some “woo woo” pseudo-science just to sell a product. So I did what most lay people do – I google’d it! And here is what I found:
Silver yarn (usually wool or cotton yarn coated with silver) is actual highly anti-bacterial in nature. Not only that, it has long-term effectiveness and remains so even after multiple washes of the fabric. The Journal of Applied Polymer Science has a paper titled “Silver-coated wool yarns with durable antibacterial properties” that effectively states the following:
The use of fabrics with antibacterial properties for commodity applications can provide numerous advantages such as a reduction in the release of odors due to bacterial proliferation in sweat and a reduction in the development of skin hypersensitivity reactions due to microorganisms trapped into the fabrics. Silver is one of the most effective antibacterial agents used for the high degree of biocompatibility and for its long-term antibacterial effectiveness against many different bacterial strains. In this study, an innovative technique for the deposition of nanosilver antibacterial coating on woolen fiber was analyzed. In particular, fabrics woven with different percentages of silver-treated fibers were compared to determine the best ratio preserving the antibacterial activity and optimizing the cost-effectiveness of the final product. Scanning electron microscopy revealed a uniform distribution of silver nanoclusters on the fibers. The impressive silver coating stability and durability were demonstrated after several washing cycles through thermogravimetric analysis. The antimicrobial activity of the silver-treated substrates was evaluated by antibacterial tests on Escherichia coli. A very strong antibacterial activity was found even in presence of the lower silver content; therefore, a blend of coated and uncoated fibers is proposed for practical applications. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2012
So if you are a diabetic and want to protect your feet from infection go ahead and buy these socks for constant wear with the firm knowledge that the silver yarn in them truly has significant anti-bacterial properties. You can buy them here.
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