Lyocell Fabric Market - Insights
Lyocell fabric, also known as dissolving pulp, is a type of rayon which contains cellulose and is produced from bleached wood pulp. The fabric was first developed in 1972 by using dry-jet wet spinning process. Lyocell is a breathable, lightweight, wrinkle-resistant, absorbent, and durable fabric. This fabric is capable of imitating a range of textures such as leather, silk, and suede and can also be dyed in various colors. Currently, producers of lyocell fabric are focusing on adopting natural practices for manufacturing lyocell by eliminating, or reducing, the use of chemicals to obtain organic certifications.
Due to its versatility, lyocell fabrics can be used as a substitute for rayon or viscose, silk and cotton in various applications such as bed linens, sportswear, trousers, denim, shirts, T-shirts, towels, etc. For instance, a report published by Textile Exchange in 2016 stated that lyocell fabric is a better substitute to replace rayon/viscose fabric as it had less negative impact on the environment. Lyocell fabrics have application in several industries which include textile, healthcare, hygiene, and automotive among others. Moreover, lyocell fabrics have a high absorbency profile which makes them an ideal material for medical dressing applications.
Among applications, the apparels segment is expected to witness significant market share in the market over the forecast period. Lyocell fabric is soft, lightweight, comfortable, and breathable in nature and has a very smooth surface. Due its high elasticity and strength, it is widely used for producing sportswear. Moreover, lyocell fabric has excellent moisture absorption properties which makes it a preferred choice for people with sweating problems or those living in rainy weather regions. The absorbing properties of lyocell help to keep the skin dry and are also suitable for sensitive skin. Various advantages offered by lyocell fabric make it a preferred fabric in the apparel industry. Growth of the global apparel industry is expected to increase demand for lyocell fabrics over the forecast period. For instance, according to the European Apparel and Textile Confederation report of 2017, the value of the textile and clothing industry in the EU increased to US$ 206.9 billion in 2017 from US$ 200.4 billion in 2016. Moreover, according to India Brand Equity Foundation, India’s textile and apparel industry was valued at US$ 150 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach US$ 250 billion by end of 2019.
Moreover, key players in the lyocell fabric market such as Lenzing AG are focused on expansion strategies in order to enhance their market share. For instance, in March 2017, Lenzing AG started expansion of its TENCEL fiber plant at its Burgenland (Austria) site. The expansion was completed in 2018 following which the capacity of the plant was increased by 25,000 tons. The decision was taken in order to meet the increasing demand for lyocell fabrics.
Lyocell fabric has relatively low surface energy, which makes it difficult for dyes to bind to it. Moreover, dyes required for binding in lyocell fabric are relatively more expensive, which has led to a shift in consumer preference towards substitutes such as synthetic fabric, natural fabric, and cellulose fabric. These factors are expected to hamper growth of the lyocell fabric market over the forecast period.
The global lyocell fabric market was pegged at 415.6 kilo tons (KT) in 2018, and is expected to register a CAGR of 6.8% in terms of volume to reach 745.9 KT by 2027 over the forecast period (2019 – 2027).
Figure 1. Global Lyocell Fabric Market Share, By Region, 2018
Source: Coherent Market Insights, 2018-19
Asia Pacific is expected to hold dominant position and account for a market share of around 51.7% in the global lyocell fabric market. Lyocell fabric has application in several end-use industries such as healthcare, hygiene, apparels, home textiles, automotive, etc. The growing textiles market in emerging economies such as India, China, and Thailand among others is expected to drive growth of the global lyocell market over the forecast period. For instance, according to the India Brand Equity Foundation, textile and apparel exports from India were valued at US$ 36.66 billion in 2017, and are expected to reach US$ 82 billion in 2021.
Players operating in the global lyocell fabric market are focused on strategies such as product development in order to expand their product portfolio and strengthen their presence in the market. For instance, in 2017, Lenzing AG launched a new lyocell filament, TENCEL Luxe, which marked Lenzing’s entry into the filament market. The product offers superior performance, high comfort, and better aesthetics. The launch of this product has enabled Lenzing to enter the premium fabric market.
Major players operating in the global lyocell fabric market include Lenzing A.G., Aditya Birla Group, AkzoNobel N.V., Baoding Swan Fiber Co. Ltd., Qingdao Textiles Group Fiber Technology Co., Ltd., and China Bambro Textile (Group) Co., Ltd.
Global demand for lyocell fabrics has been on the rise due to their applications in various industries such as textiles, healthcare, hygiene, automotive, and others. Lyocell fabric is a natural, manmade fiber made from wood pulp. This regenerated cellulose fiber is usually sold under the brand name, Tencel, in the U.S. Lyocell fabric is a biodegradable fiber made with wood pulp from sustainable tree farms using a solvent spinning technique. Major applications of lyocell fabric are in the garment industry. It is also used in various other products such as ropes, bandages, abrasive materials, automotive filters, and protective suiting materials.
The main component of lyocell fabric, cellulose, is obtained from forests and its production does not result in by-products which are harmful for the environment and human health. Owing to rising environmental concerns, the demand for lyocell fiber is increasing across the globe. Furthermore, rising technological advancements have paved way to produce lyocell fiber using cutting-edge N-methyl morpholine-N-oxide (NMMO) technology. This technology is resource-conserving, simple, and environment-friendly in comparison to conventional manufacturing processes.
Lyocell fabric offers various properties such as softness, strength, absorbency, and wickability compared to other cellulosic fiber which makes it a preferable choice in hygiene sector for manufacturing products such as wet wipes and sanitary napkins. Factors such as rising health & hygiene awareness among people, coupled with increasing disposable income have led to increasing demand for lyocell fabrics for manufacturing hygiene products. For instance, the Office for National Statistics has stated that the median household disposable income in the U.K. was US$ 38,288.2 in the financial year 2019, which was an increase of 1.4% (or US$ 520) compared to 2018. Thus, increasing demand for hygiene products is expected to drive demand for lyocell fabric over the forecast period.
Players operating in the global lyocell fabric market are adopting business strategies such as partnerships & collaborations, in order to expand their product portfolio and market presence. For instance, in January 2019, Lenzing announced a partnership with Hof University of Applied Sciences (Germany). Under the partnership, Lenzing will use the Technology Center for Nonwoven Applications located in Hof University’s Münchberg (Germany) campus in 2020. The center will be utilized for developing and testing new fibers. The partnership is expected to help the company expand its portfolio of hygiene, cosmetics, and medical products.
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