The segment of technical textiles is one of the fastest growing sectors of the textile industry indeed. These special kind of textiles can be referred as functional fibers and fabrics that can be used in an array of applications across several industries like automobile, construction, healthcare, agriculture, clothing, transport, armed forces, aero scope etc. These are usually made up of microfibers or synthetic polymer such as Nomex, Kevlar, Spandex, Twaron. They possess certain functional properties such as chemical & thermal resistant, insect repellent, odor resistant, UV resistant, flame retardant, excellent insulation, high strength, antibacterial and antistatic etc.
Recently, James Heal, part of PPT group of companies, has launched the new microsite that contains a range of performance testing instruments and technical textiles. This microsite is built for moisture management, dry rate testing, water repellency and wet absorption. It can offer a wide usage in numerous applications including sportswear, active wear, outdoor wear, nonwovens, military apparel, bedding & mattresses, tents & awnings and many more.
Moreover, Andrits Group has lately acquired Laroche SAS in order to enlarge the Andritz Nonwoven product range. Only recycled fibers can be used to manufacture nonwovens fabrics, which is why, this product range needs complete recycling lines and industrial textile waste to fabricate nonwoven. Industries that are involved in interior designing of cars, construction, production of synthetic leathers for clothing and furniture, carpeting, filtration etc. require application of nonwovens fabrics. Also, the carcass inside the conveyor belt is made with layers of woven fabrics bonded together.
H&M, a Swedish multinational clothing retail company and Sabyasachi, an Indian fashion designer brand have recently tied up for global collaborations. The motive of this collaboration is to spread the man-made fiber apparel and technical textiles to a wider audience.
Shawmut Corporation, a US based fabric finishing company announced few modernized technical textile facilities on Park Avenue including efficiency in production, customer collaboration and enhanced sustainability practices. In addition, it includes offices, labs, manufacturing space and warehouses.
Types of technical textiles and their industrial applications:-
- Agrotech: These are agriculture textiles that offer resistance to weather and microorganisms, thus is beneficial to use for crop protection in horticulture, aquaculture, forestry, gardening etc. Few examples of aggrotech are windsheilds, plant nets etc.
- Buildtech: Tarpaulins, scaffolding nets are some types of construction textiles that are used for building safety, interior construction, proofing substances, foundation systems etc.
- Medtech: Medical textiles contain fibers with laminated and coated materials that can provide protection from several infections and can fill out human organic tissues. These are used in healthcare applications, usually in medical devices & smart technologies in order to maintain hygiene and infection control. It is also used in surgical clothing and drapes, facemasks, gloves, head caps etc.
- Clothtech: These are used in ordinary clothing applications, especially for functional parts including zippers, labels, shoelaces, elastics etc.
- Indutech: These are industrial textiles that are used in electrical and chemical applications such as melting processes, silk screen printing, sound proofing components, plasma screening, grinding technology etc.
- Mobiltech: These technical textiles are used in automobiles, aircrafts and ships. Coated materials for engines like air ducts, air filters etc. and interior of cars like seat covers, safety belts, airbags etc. are made up of mobiltech.
- Protech: These are protective textiles especially designed for workers to improve their visibility while protecting them from any injuries and harsh operating environments at workplace.
The current market scenario of technical textile:-
According to a report published by Allied Market Research, the global technical textile market size is projected to reach $274.1 billion with a considerable CAGR from 2020-2027. Factors like industrialization, wide array of application, steady pace of advancements in technology, demand for wearable technology and increasing adaptability due to awareness of the products are driving the global market growth in more than one way. The technical textile manufacturers across the regions are expanding their production capacity by investing in top end machineries. The technological enhancements are going to decrease the production cost and are going to make manufacturing process more feasible.
Furthermore, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to expand the global healthcare sector to a great extent, which sequentially, has increased the demand for medical apparels such as facemask, gown, gloves etc. in large quantities. This in turn, has called for medtech i.e. medical technical textiles even more. However, the pandemic has disrupted the supply chain management, due to which the arrival of raw materials got delayed, especially in the initial stage. Thus, it can be stated that the pandemic situation have had a mixed impact on the global technical textile market.
In the post-COVID era, the automotive and construction industries in emerging economies are expected to grow slowly & steadily, which will further fuel the demand for agrotech and builtech respectively. At the same time, rise in defense spending has led to more production of fire retardant clothing and chemical protective clothing, thus driving the growth of protech. Geotech products, on the other hand are also expecting to have a lot of scope because the government and private organizations in certain countries are planning for significant investments in infrastructure.
In addition, the major players are constantly trying to stay competitive in the market by adopting various latest strategies like new product launch, business expansion, partnership, acquisition, collaboration & joint ventures etc. China is currently dominating the global technical textile market with the largest production and consumption volumes. Also, while the cost of labor is gradually increasing in China, other significant players in India are trying to grab the opportunity to step up and fill the gap with its large labor force and vast domestic market. In a nutshell, with the constant growing demand for technical textiles in the end use industries, the global technical textile market is expected to have a long term sustainable future.
Author’s Bio – Suchita Gupta is an explorer, musician and content writer. While pursuing MBA, she found that nothing satisfies her more than writing on miscellaneous domains. She is a writer by day, and a reader by night. Besides, she can be found entertaining her audience on social media platforms. Find her on LinkedIn & Instagram.