The global technical textile market size was estimated at USD 176.6 billion in 2019, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.5% from 2020 to 2027. Rising awareness regarding the benefits of technical textiles is projected to propel its demand across various end-use industries including agriculture, construction, aerospace, medical, and packaging. Advancements in biotechnology have led to a rapid change and evolution of traditional farming methods to a more scientific approach. The implementation and employment of highly-efficient technologies in the agricultural industry are expected to increase crop yield, thereby influencing the overall productivity and the demand for technical textiles.
Factors such as improving the economic conditions of countries, technology advancements, and increasing end-use applications are the major drivers of the technical textiles market. The health & safety, cost-effectiveness, durability, high strength, lightweight, versatility, customization, user-friendliness, and eco-friendliness of technical textiles components & techniques have helped towards its acceptance and penetration in the global market. Several innovations and R&D in designs, fiber, and technological advancements have been witnessed by the industry in the last decade.
Advancements in the functionality of technical fibers and yarns including low elongation at break-high tenacity, low thermal shrinkage, high modulus, high resistance to corrosion, higher thermal stability, etc. which were the outcome of significant investments in R&D by industry participants have been helpful in increasing its applications in numerous industries.
The technical textiles include around 51 potential products for high growth that accounted for over 25% of the industry size in 2017. A few of these include mulch mats, shade nets, anti-hail, crop covers, anti-bird nets, incontinence diapers, baby diapers, sanitary napkins, surgical disposables, artificial heart valves, bulletproof jackets, disposable bed sheets, nuclear protective clothing, chemical protective clothing, industrial clothing, etc. These products represent multi-disciplinary segments with several application sectors
In the U.S., the market for technical textiles is anticipated to witness a CAGR of 3.8% from 2020 to 2027 and reach USD 39.3 billion in 2027. Expansion of industries including automotive, medical, construction, agriculture, packaging, and aerospace is anticipated to propel market growth in the country.
3D weaving manufacturing technology accounted for a market share of 23.9% in 2019 and is projected to witness a CAGR of 4.2% from 2020 to 2027. Many application industries including agriculture, medical, industrial, packaging, aerospace, and automotive are implementing 3D weaving manufacturing technology, which is likely to result in segmental growth.
3D knitting manufacturing technology helps in controlling the 3D-shaped weft knitting and the dimensionality found in knit structures. In addition, the technology also allows alterations and improvements in the user interface resulting in more efficient and high-performing knit product designs. This is anticipated to propel the growth of the technical textile market over the forecast period.
Finishing treatments are increasingly used in the manufacturing of the product in order to improve the appearance, sizing, affecting touch, and treatments that add properties to enhance the performance of the product. In addition, it eliminates impurities and additives, thereby increasing product acceptability across the application segments.
The use of nanomaterials such as nanoparticles and nanofibers in the production of technical textiles helps in manufacturing products with superior mechanical strength, antibacterial properties, chemical resistance, and water repellence. In addition, the use of nanotechnology in product manufacturing improves their properties such as durability, texture, and color.
The home tech textiles segment accounted for the highest market share of 19.8% in terms of revenue in 2019 and is projected to witness a CAGR of 5.2% from 2020 to 2027. This segment includes products used for household applications including furniture, cushion materials, fireproofing, floor and wall coverings, and textile-reinforced structures that provide decoration, comfort, and safety.
Agro textiles are extensively used in the agriculture sector for their functional benefits, including superior weather resistance, protection from micro-organisms, protection from solar radiation as well as ultra-violet radiation, and water conservation. These products offer superior crop protection, thereby increasing overall yield and improving crop quality.
Buildtech textiles are used to support the construction of both temporary or permanent buildings and infrastructure. The product is used for residential and commercial construction, and for the construction of infrastructure. In addition, it is used in a wide range of applications including thermal and acoustic insulation, concrete reinforcement, structure foundation, interior construction, and material proofing.
The MedTech textiles are being extensively used in hygiene, personal care, surgical, and healthcare applications including baby diapers, sanitary napkins, and adult incontinence products. The rising birth rate, growing aging population, and rising awareness regarding menstrual hygiene in developing economies are expected to drive the product demand for hygiene applications over the forecast period.
North America was the leading regional market in 2017. Along with increasing penetration of these products, consumption of technical textiles is increasing, and several nations cater to their demand by mainly importing these smart textiles from the U.S.
The primary export markets of the U.S. include India, Vietnam, Brazil and Taiwan. Taiwan and Korea have emerged as a potentially powerful competitor to the US. The Asia Pacific market is projected to grow at a faster rate compared to other regions.
Asia Pacific dominated the market, accounting for 45.9% of revenue share in 2019. The region’s dominance trend is expected to continue over the forecast period. The growing demand for apparel and functional clothing is expected to propel industry growth over the forecast period.
Expansion of residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, on account of sustainable economic growth in the region, is expected to boost construction activities, thereby driving product demand over the forecast period. In addition, flourishing tourism has led to an increasing requirement for restaurants, resorts, and food chains, thereby fueling the growth of the market for technical textiles.
In Europe, the market is anticipated to witness exponential growth over the forecast period on account of the rising product demand in household and fashion and clothing applications. In addition, increasing healthcare activities, medical tourism, and the rising aging population in European countries are expected to drive the market for technical textiles in the region.
Growing residential sector on account of increasing rate of immigration is anticipated to drive demand for build-tech textiles. In addition, rising investments in the development of infrastructure is likely to promote the demand for tarpaulins, awnings, and canopies in new construction as well as renovation activities.
Key Companies & Market Share Insights
Key participants are engaged in enhancing their product portfolio and introducing new advanced products to gain a higher market share. For instance, in 2017, Ahlstrom-Munksjo launched a breathable impervious fabric for bloodborne pathogens and cleanroom apparel protection named PureArmor. This helps the company to establish a prominent position in the market for technical textiles. Major players have benchmarked based on their geographical reach, product portfolio, distribution networks, innovation, operational capabilities, strategic developments, and the market presence of their brands.
Some of the leading industry participants currently operating in the industry include DuPont De Nemours & Co., Royal Ten Cate, Johns Manville, Ahlstrom Corporation, GSE Environmental Inc., Proctor and Gamble, Freudenberg & Co., Hindustan Technical Fabrics Limited, Huesker Synthetic GmbH and 3M.