The Interior Textiles segment of the home furnishings market includes household textiles viz. Carpets and rugs, bedding products, kitchen linen, bathroom furnishings, window treatments, hammocks, table linen, curtains, and upholstery fabrics
. It is directly proportionate to the number of houses and the countries having largest number of houses namely China, India and USA, in that order, are the largest markets for home furnishings. Europe also represents a significant market with Germany, France and the UK having biggest number of houses. In figures, about $30 billion worth of home textiles are imported by the US & EU
Home Textiles Production - The Global Players
The global trade of Home textile is expected to grow from $8.6 billion to $23 billion in 2010. The majority of home textiles are produced in Asia. Lower prices and high volume products have contributed to the expansion of exports particularly from China and India. This growth trend of China and India are predicted to continue till 2011. Other major producers of home textiles are Japan, Australia & New Zealand . The major producers of home furnishing items are China, India, USA, Portugal, Brazil & Turkey to name a few.
China leads in the bed linen exports having 95% share on both value & volume basis. The USA, India and Spain are the other top exporters of bed linen which is mainly exported to Japan. Pakistan, Bangladesh and Vietnam have emerged as major competitors of China and India.
Developments and Innovations in Home Textiles
A large number of significant developments have taken place in home textiles over recent years. The global market of home furnishings, also called soft furnishings, have a very wide range of fiber combinations, fabrics, designs, textures and colours to offer.
Performance apparel technologies are now successfully used in home textile products also. For instance, bed sheets
are being made from such fabrics which have a moisture management technology or insulation material and which were traditionally used for manufacturing active and outdoor performance wear. Home textiles are also being made from various functional materials including thermally adaptive bedding, environmental-friendly textiles, antimicrobial fabrics, stain protective treatments, flame retardant materials and fragrance encapsulating technologies.
As far as fiber usage is concerned, home textiles were traditionally made from cotton and wool but today natural fibers are blended with man-made fibers, in a variety of ways, to enhance the fabrics performance. However, Cotton still dominates the home textile market. It is often combined with polyester
to make a more durable fabric. Due to its qualities like strength, warmth, abrasion resistance and resistance to moths and mildew, polyester dominates the carpet and curtain segments. The share of cotton and man-made fibers in the total fiber
consumed in production of home textiles account for around 38% and 37% respectively.