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Technical Textiles Industry- An Overview


Technical Textiles are the high performance fabrics specially manufactured for various industrial specialized individual applications. These products are primarily preferred for their functional attributes. They are manufactured for 12 broad categories viz. agriculture and horticulture; architecture, building and construction; clothing technology; geotextiles; functional home textiles; industrial textiles; medical and hygiene; transportation; environmental friendly; packaging; safety and protection; and sports and leisure. These textiles are known as Agrotech, Buildtech, Clothtech, Geotech, Hometech, Indutech, Medtech, Mobiltech, Oekotech, Packtech, Protech, and Sporttech respectively. A new category of smart and intelligent textiles is also being developed.

World Technical Textiles Consumption Analysis by Application Areas 1995 - 2010
Volume in 1,000 tons
Application Area 1995 2000 2005 2010
Agrotech 1,173 1,381 1,615 1,958
Buildtech 1,261 1,648 2,033 2,591
Clothtech 1,072 1,238 1,413 1,656
Geotech 196 255 319 413
Hometech 1,864 2,186 2,499 2,853
Indutech 1,846 2,205 2,624 3,257
Medtech 1,228 1,543 1,928 2,380
Mobiltech 2,117 2,479 2,828 3,338
Packtech 2,189 2,552 2,990 3,606
Protech 184 238 279 340
Sporttech 841 989 1,153 1,382
Total 13,971 16,714 19,683 23,774
of which Oekotech 161 214 287 400

Traditional v/s Technical Textile Markets
Technical Textile Suit The market trends for traditional textiles is heavily inclined towards countries with cheap labor. In such an environment, technical textiles give an opportunity to the companies in the industrialized countries to survive the competition and to achieve sustainable growth due to their specialized skills, materials, processes and equipments.
There are certain basic differences between technical textiles and traditional textiles industries:
  • Technical textiles are preferred for their highly specific performance quality and as such they are more expensive than the traditional textiles.
  • Technical textile manufacturers have to use accepted testing methods in order to gain customers' faith regarding standard specifications.
  • Technical textiles are for a distinct segment of a market as opposed to mass market. This target market needs more flexible and smaller production spells. Thus the technical textile manufacturers too have to be flexible in their production schedules.
  • Technical Textiles survive on innovations. Thus, technical textile manufacturers must be ready to invest in research and development and newer equipments too.
  • In certain categories of technical textiles, the legal necessities have to be followed by the manufacturers.
Technical Textiles Industry- Market Trends
Technical Textiles Market Graph The global market for technical textiles is rising as never before. Although US and EU continue to be major manufacturers and consumers of technical textiles, the Asian countries like China and India have recently emerged as chief production centers of technical textiles. Russia is also an important market where the consumption of technical textiles is growing at a fast speed. Turkey's technical textiles market has also started to develop in the recent years. Some of the facts related to world technical textile markets will throw some more light on the issue:
  • The total global sale of technical textiles is expected to touch US$126 billion by 2010.
  • Asia is fast emerging as the chief producer and consumer of technical textiles.
  • The Texas Tech University has predicted the growth of nonwovens and technical textiles markets in India by 13.3% per annum during 2005-50.
  • The demand for filters in China is forecast to rise by 14.4% a year up to 2011 due to developments in motor vehicle production, manufacturing output, construction activities, and urbanization of the population.
  • Turkey is developing as an important center for technical textiles production and is exporting technical textile raw material and end products to the world.