Smart fabrics, also known as smart garments, smart textiles, electronic textiles, or smart clothing are a type of fabric in which digital components and electronic devices such as LEDs, batteries, integrated circuits, conductors, and others are embedded to offer an added value to the wearer. Smart fabrics can be categorized as aesthetic and performance enhancing. Such fabrics can be made from various types of materials including cotton, polyester, nylon, and Kevlar, among others. Moreover, manufacturers are focusing on developing fabrics with electrical conductivity such as diodes, solar cells, transistors, conductors, and resistors. Smart textiles also incorporate smart materials, encapsulated phase change materials, electronic sensors, shape memory polymers, and communication equipment as well.
Market Dynamics for Smart Fabrics Market
Reducing size of smart electronic devices which can easily be embedded in smart fabrics is the major factor driving the market growth. Smaller size of electronic components not only reduces the weight of the fabric but also gives comfort to the wearer. These smart fabrics are used in various applications such as health management, communication, and actuation. For instance, D-Shirt offered by France-based Company, Cityzen Sciences, is an example of smart fabrics which is available with wide range of functions to record heart rate, GPS location, route, altitude, and speed. Increasing sale of sport equipment is expected drive growth of the market of smart fabrics as smart fabrics are widely used in sport industry to reduce potential injuries to professional athlete. As per Coherent Market Insights, in 2014, around 12 million sports-related injuries were observed, which led to economic burden of around US$ 33 billion, of which 50% of the injuries were estimated to be preventable by the use of smart fabrics. These performance enhancing smart fabrics are being used in extreme sports and athletic activities to regulate body temperature, control muscle vibration, and reduce wind resistance which may improve the work efficiency of athletics.
Growing applications of smart fabrics across various industries including health, beauty, entertainment, defense, healthcare, transportation, and food & beverages, among others is expected to offer lucrative growth opportunities for the electronic fabrics makers in the near future. Smart fabrics have considerable adoption in defense & military applications where it is used to protect the users from environmental changes. For instance, a bulletproof vest senses the bullets impact and stops penetration in the body.
Increasing number of people are becoming more health conscious and want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, demand for smart fabrics is increasingly significantly. These fabrics aid in providing real-time data related to heart rate, body fat, and others. Furthermore, photodynamic therapy uses light emitting textiles and this selective treatment has been used in cancer treatments.
However, high costs associated with materials and technologies being used in these fabric is expected to hamper the market growth. Additional costs of electronic devices, conductive materials, and smart materials increases the price of end products, which in turn affects the purchase behavior of the buyer. In addition to this, few categories of the smart fabrics may require frequent power supplies, which can further adds up to the maintenance costs.
Regional Analysis for Smart Fabrics Market
On the basis of geography, the global smart fabrics market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East, and Africa. North America and Europe are dominant regions in the smart fabrics market, owing to presence of large number of manufacturers of smart fabrics in these regions such as Bebop Sensors, Triton Systems, Vista Medical, Advanced Fabric Technologies (AFT), Loomia, Siren, and Grabit. Furthermore, increasing sales of the sports products and equipment is also, expected to aid in growth of these markets. For instance, according to report by Sport and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), sports equipment sales in the U.S. increased by 3.1% in 2018 as compared to the previous year. Asia Pacific is expected to show high growth in smart fabrics market, owing to significant rise in the standard of living in some of the emerging economies such as India, China, and Indonesia. Moreover, rising textile industry in this region is expected to aid in growth of the market. For instance, China was the third largest textile industry in the world in 2016-2017 by the records published by International Trade Organization (ITA) and is expected to be the dominant in the region throughout the analysis period (2017-2025).
Key players in the Smart Fabrics Market
Key players operating in the smart fabrics market includes AIQ Smart Clothing Inc., E. I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company, Google, Texas Instruments, Kolon Glotech, Interactive Wear AG, Ohmatex, Schoeller Textil AG, Sensoria, Textronics, Inc. Adidas Group, Outlast Technologies LLC, Milliken & Company, KCWW, and International Fashion Machines
Taxonomy of Smart Fabrics Market
The global smart fabrics market is segmented based on product type, functionality, end-use industry, and region
On the Basis of Product Type
- Active Smart Fabrics
- Passive Smart Fabrics
- Ultra-smart Fabrics
On the Basis of Functionality
- Thermo Electricity
- Energy Harvesting
On the Basis of End-use Industry
- Military & Defense
- Transportation & Logistics
On the Basis of Region
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Latin America
- Middle East