An increasing number of textile manufacturers are submitting fabrics for display and testing at Interstoff Asia's Pavilion for Functional Fabrics. The pavilion returns for the third time in the upcoming spring show. A total of 250 fabric samples have been submitted by about 40 companies worldwide for display in the pavilion. The authority in charge of testing, Taiwan Textile Federation (TTF), will select those materials it believes are suitable for a live demonstration to ascertain whether the tested fabrics work as claimed by the manufacturers. Last autumn, 15 companies submitted 21 samples for display and testing at the pavilion. Commenting on the increased interest in fabric testing, TTF's manager Jeff Chan said: 'It is a sign that there is significant increasing demand from the buyers, and that the manufacturers are also increasing their production.' The submitted textiles are mainly synthetic materials that have been processed to enhance the qualities of comfort, safety and performance. For the first time, TTF will offer exhibitors the chance to use the equipment to test on site the functions of their fabrics for their buyers, said Katy Lam, Messe Frankfurt's director, trade fairs. 'Anyone is free to submit fabric if they are confident their fabrics will stand up to the tests,' Ms Lam says. The pavilion will also be equipped to test whether submitted textiles are oil repellent and provide electromagnetic shielding, in addition to the nine functions tested last year. Textiles submitted last year were tested for their ability to breathe, absorb moisture, dry quickly and resist fire. Mr Chan says such textiles, which are also waterproof, quick drying and sun protective, are used for active wear. Fabrics that are anti-static and oil and water repellent are ideal materials for workers requiring industry wear. Materials that provide electromagnetic shielding can be used in maternity wear for working mothers who require protection from computer radiation. Mr Chan says a revolutionary fabric being developed in Taiwan is treated with nano photocatalyst for sterilisation. The fabric, submitted by Litten, was introduced to Taiwan from Japan as an environmentally friendly alternative for fighting bacteria and viral contamination. Japan-developed nano photocatalyst chemical ARC-FLASH can be coated on or added to fabrics. Litten manager Rebecca Yang says the chemical, through exposure to light, activates 'a strong oxidation-reduction reaction to decompose organic matter and achieve functions of sterilising, deodorising, self-cleaning and anti-moulding'. Litten plans to apply the chemical to several fabrics set to enter the function textile market. In Japan, fabrics treated with ARC-FLASH have been in use for 10 years in the making of uniforms, medical clothing, towels, socks and T-shirts.