Technical textiles are textiles produced primarily for their technical performance and functional properties rather than for aesthetics or decorative functionalities. Thus, function and performance are important characteristics of technical textiles. Properties such as high strength, versatility, and superior technical performance make them desirable in numerous industrial, commercial as well as domestic applications.
Technical textiles find applications ranging from simpler uses in agriculture, clothing, packaging, and furnishing to more complicated applications in automotive, filtration, construction, and environmental protection. The high raw material costs associated with technical textiles is expected to remain a major challenge for market participants. The environmental effects of technical textiles is another major drawback associated with them. However, novel technologies enable the manufacturers to develop textiles, which pose less effects on the environment.
Technical Textiles Market Taxonomy
On the basis of technology used, the market is segmented into:
- 3D Weaving
- 3D Knitting
- Nano fibers
- Heat-set Synthetics
- Finishing Treatments
- Hand-made elements
On the basis of end use, the market is segmented into:
- Agrotech (Agro-textiles)
- Buildtech (Construction textiles)
- Clothtech (Clothing textiles)
- Geotech (Geo-textiles)
- Hometech (Domestic-textiles)
- Indutech (Industrial-textiles)
- Meditech (Medical-textiles)
- Mobiltech (automotive-textiles)
- Oekotech (Ecological protection textiles)
- Packtech (Packaging-textiles)
- Protech (Protective-textiles)
- Sportech (Sports-textiles)
3-D knitting technology is used to produce whole garments with nominal or no cutting. This advanced know-how eliminates post labor work, thus saving manufacturing time along with decreased costs. Thermoforming in textiles is a heat treatment process that is used to transform composites containing fabric layers into various shapes. This technology is widely adopted in the indutech, mobiltech, packtech, and hometech segments. Use of technical textiles in mobiltech segment is noteworthy, as it reduces the weight of vehicles by offering light advanced material that is strong and durable. Various government regulations regarding the use of geosynthetics in infrastructure development projects have led to an increased use of technical textiles. Growing awareness pertaining to environmental protection is expected to augment the growth of the oekotech market segment.
- Asia Pacific dominates the global technical textile market due to the multifarious uses of technical textiles in various industries. Promising government programs and strategies boosting the infrastructure and construction spending, production, and healthcare industries are projected to play a key role in shaping the market. Countries such as India and China are dependent on agriculture for the growth of the economy, which is further expected to augment the use of technical textiles in this region. The growing construction and housing activities in emerging economies such as India and China have fueled the growth of hometech textiles for household application
- North America is a leading player in the technical textile market. The booming automotive sector due to the presence of leading players has augmented the use of technical textiles in this region. The emergence of North America as a leading global food exporter has resulted in an increasing use of agrotech products in this region. The deteriorating economic conditions in the European countries hinder the growth of technical textiles market in this region
- In Latin America, technical textile market is witnessing growth due to the robust development of industries such as construction, especially in countries including Brazil and Argentina. This is expected to augment the growth of the technical textile market in this regions. Also, dependency of Latin American countries on agriculture would enhance demand growth of technical textiles in the forecast period. Use of geotech and hometech for development of roads and houses is expected to increase the production of technical textiles
- In September 2018, Asahi Kasei Corporation acquired Sage Automotive Interiors, manufacturer of high performance technical textiles and microfiber suede for automotive industry. The acquisition will help Asahi Kasei Corporation to expand its presence automotive technical textiles market.
- In March 2019, Asahi Kasei Corporation started expansion of its spunbond nonwovens capacity through addition of a new production line at its plant based in Thailand. The new line will have a production capacity of 15,000 tons/year, taking the total capacity of the plant to 50,000 tons/year. The expansion is expected to be completed by July 2021. The decision was taken owing to growing demand for spunbond nonwovens for diaper applications in Asia Pacific region.
- In November 2018, Ahlstrom Corporation launched ViroSel , its new breathable viral barrier surgical fabric. ViroSel is a tri-laminate fabric constructed to be breathable, impervious and comfortable. The new product launch will help Ahlstrom to expand its product portfolio in medical textiles market.
- In September 2019, Freudenberg & Co. KG made an offer to acquire 100% of the shares in Low & Bonar PLC (UK based manufacturer of technical textiles). The acquisition will help Freudenberg to expand its market presence in technical textiles market & would allow Freudenberg to offer its customers broader product portfolio especially in building interiors, construction, automotive and home textile sector.
The major players of the textiles industry are E. I. duPont de Nemours and Co., Asahi Kasei Corporation, Kimberly Clark Corporation, Hohenstein group, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc., and Freudenberg & Co. KG.