The technical textiles industry was valued around USD 143.75 billion in 2014, owing to increasing diverse end use applications. Technical textile is mainly developed to fulfill non-aesthetic functions such as safety and comfort. Molded with advanced technology to perform the specific function such as a shield for humans in extreme weather conditions, these types of textiles are named in various ways such as technical textile, industrial textile, and functional textile.
Major factors that are expected to influence the industry include the technological breakthrough in medical textiles to amplify opportunities for surgical and diagnostic tools. Also, growing demand for geotextiles in anticipated to be yet another driver for the market.
Developing markets of the Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Latin American region are expected to drive product demand, especially in the automotive industry in the regions. Technical textiles are used for the construction of transportation system accessories such as airbags, air balloons and seat covers.
Specific characteristics of the product such as high durability, adaptability, and superior performance make this technology attracted by various textile manufacturers. These textiles owing to their superior properties over traditional textiles are being used to provide special functions.
Increasing R&D investments by the industrial participant in the past few years have been the main factor in the development of various novel products. As product demand have been seen increasing significantly in the past few years the industry players have been seen taking serious steps to develop novel applications in accordance with demand from the consumers. These trends are anticipated to drive the market over the forecast period.
The versatility of technical textiles has made them applicable to various fields in the textile industry. High raw material cost including both natural or manmade is anticipated to be a major challenge for industry participants. The absence of sufficient skilled workforce globally for manufacturing of these products is expected to be yet another factor to restraint the industry growth over the forecast period. The reinforcement of embankments is presumed to offer sufficient opportunities for the industry participants over the forecast period owing to the fact that it is global accepted. Emerging need of quality products and services in Latin America and Asia Pacific is anticipated to witness fast acceptance of these products across various industries.
Apart from natural fibers such as cotton and jute artificially developed fibers, filaments and yarns are some prominent raw material used in the manufacturing of technical textiles. Technologies such as 3D knitting, thermoforming, 3D weaving, heat-set methods, finishing treatments, nanotechnology, hand-made methods, and others are the leading manufacturing technologies in the present scenario. Thermoforming, 3D knitting, and 3D weaving are the mainly used methods towing to better quality in the end product. Nanotechnology being the new process in developing technical textiles are expected to witness higher acceptability over the forecast period.
Textiles thermoforming is a heat treatment process that is used to mold composites that contain fabric layers. Indutech, Mobiltech, Hometech and Packtech, segments majorly use this technology. Products such as conveyor belts, spacer fabrics, surgical implants geotextiles, and webbings are manufactured using 3D weaving process.
The heat-set process is a thermal process which is carried out either in moist or dry heat atmosphere. Three-dimensional knitting technology can give an accurate measurement. It results with minimum requirements for cutting the final product and is used to manufacture complete garments. The innovation of this technology led to the minimization of post labor work, with more efficiency regarding time and productivity.
The global technical textile industry has been divided into various segments that include indutech(Industrial Textile), mobiltech(automobile), sportech(Sports Textile), hometech(Domestic Textile), buildtech(Construction textiles), clothtech(Clothing textile), agrotech(agro textile), packtech(ackaging Textile), meditech(Health Care Textile), protech(Protecting Textile), and others.
Owing to the rapid and constant advancement in automobile technology, mobiltech has the largest share in the overall market in the recent past which was followed by the Indutech technology.
Asia Pacific industry dominated the industry in 2014. It is expected to account for around 43% of the overall demand by 2022. North American market is expected to decline moderately in the next few years owing to moderate growth of the end-use industries. Various countries in the Asia Pacific region such as India and China are expected to be some of the leading markets in the region.
Increasing infrastructure development in Asia Pacific and Central & South American regions owing to various initiatives taken the respective governments and the developing healthcare industry in these region is expected to augment demand for these products in the next few years.
The market is fragmented with numerous multinationals such as Strata Geosystems Ind. Pvt. Ltd., DuPoint, Johnson & Johnson, Ibena Textilewerke GmbH, SRF, and Ahlstrom. These industry participants are involving in various acquisitions with various other multinational or local manufactures and even distributors with the aim of increasing their annual production and also enhance product range.
Industry players such as Avintiv have recently increased its product prices and have also taken over Duonor S.A.S as a strategic move in order to meet regional demand and acquire substantial market share with the integration of novel technologies.
Global Technical Textiles Technology Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2012 - 2022)
• 3D Weaving
• 3D Knitting
• Heat-set Synthetics
• Finishing Treatments
• Hand-made elements
Global Technical Textiles End-use Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2012 - 2022)
Technical Textiles Regional Outlook (Volume Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2012 - 2022)
• North America
• Asia Pacific
Research Support Specialist, USA