Viruses and microbial pathogens can survive for hours on fabrics. This paper reports that copper-doping of natural and synthetic fabrics inactivates, within minutes, a human COVID surrogate pathogen. The fabric is embedded with copper particles by twin-wire arc thermal spray. The long-lasting fabric surface simultaneously provides good breathability, it is scalable and cost-effective. Virucidal activity is not affected by repeated washing of the fabric. Importantly, copper-embedded material will provide effective protection against all classes of pathogens, regardless of their mutation rates and infection strategies. It also can provide protection against all classes of pathogens, regardless of their mutation rates in industrial and residential filters.