Fibres and Yarns | News & Insights


Published: September 23, 2022

-Samuel Joseph

India’s economy is faring well, very recently giving the country’s economy the fifth largest place globally.  India is among the world’s largest producers of textiles and apparel. The domestic apparel & textile industry in India contributes 2% to the country’s GDP, 7% of industry output in value terms. The share of textile, apparel and handicrafts in India’s total exports was 11.4% in 2020-21. India holds 4% share of the global trade in textiles and apparel. India is the 6th largest exporter of textiles and apparel in the world.

The domestic MMF industry mainly comprises of two components i.e., polyester and viscose, which together accounts for about 94% (in volume terms). Under this, polyester accounts for about 77.5% while viscose accounts for the remaining share. MMF is primarily used to produce 100% non-cotton fabrics and blended fabrics, which are in turn used in ready-made garments, home textiles and other industrial textiles.

Overall demand for MMF and yarn (polyester and viscose) was estimated at ~6,066 ktpa in fiscal 2020. Overall PFY demand is projected to witness 15-20% growth in fiscal 2022. Overall PSF demand is projected to witness a growth of 14-19%. Global end-use demand for textile fibres is forecast to expand by an average of 2.80% per annum between 2015 and 2025, from 90.10 mn tons to 119.20 mn tons and global end-use demand for man-made fibres is expected to increase by 3.7% in 2025.

Factors such as increasing use in nonwovens and technical textiles, changing consumer trends including increasing emphasis on fitness and hygiene, rising brand consciousness, fast changing fashion trends, increasing women participation in workforce will further boost the demand of manmade fibres. Man-made textiles export was $ 6.3 bn with 14% share which shows a growth of 51% and 18% during 2021-22 over FY 2020-21 and FY 2019-20, respectively.

Innovations, eco concerns are the driving forces behind the fast pace of growth of MMF industry. Everyone knows that the percentage of synthetic yarns versus cotton is skewed in India, with agriculture base in the country favouring the latter. The fast-growing countries are progressing well in MMF, but it is miles to go for the Indian counterparts.

Man-made textiles export was $ 6.3 bn with 14% share which shows a growth of 51% and 18% during 2021-22 over FY 2020-21 and FY 2019-20, respectively. India is 2nd in fibre production worldwide and about 60% of the Indian textile market is cotton-based. Silk, jute wool, and other man-made fibres are also available in the Indian market.

During the recent Yarn Expo in Surat, one could see new products including anti-microbial yarns, imitated silk yarns, zero-impact yarns, granite yarns, recycled yarns, eco-gold biodegradable yarns, fire-resistant yarns, cool text yarns for sportswear and many more. One of the exhibitors, Mr Rakesh Rastogi, Vice President, Polyester Marketing, Alok Industries told TVC on the launch of an innovation, SUTA™ which is a polymer-based yarn with properties closer to cotton; the look, touch and feel are no different than cotton products. “This is the Future! Even though this product is accepted by many brands in their product line, our R&D teams are constantly working on improving this product for enhanced performance and feel.”

Mr Rajendra Gupta, CMD, Perfect Filaments Ltd, said that “We have launched new patterns for the melange products. We have also introduced biodegradable polyester and polyester yarn which gives cotton like feel. The latter is 100%polyester but it gives cotton-like feeling. This is mainly due to the increasing prices of cotton.”

Century Enka is the largest Nylon-6 producer in India. Mr. Sanjay Mehrotra, Senior Vice President Marketing (Textiles),Century Enka Limited, said: “Basically, we have two verticals, one is textiles and another is the tyre cord. We are manufacturing around 3500 tonnes of nylon per month and around 3000 tonnes of tyre cord yans monthly. Going forward, in this financial year of 2023-24, the company is on expansion mode and more than Rs. 200 crore investments are coming for expansion in nylon textiles, both industrial and regular textiles.This product gives an economic solution for the above-mentioned problem. The feel and other properties of this yarn are close to that of cotton, but it is 100% polyester.”

Speaking to the Textile Value Chain, Mr Abhishek Lath, Managing Director, Le Merite Exports, revealed about the company’s new products. “We have set-up two new spinning mills, where we manufacture synthetic products which include 100% polyester ring spun yarn, 100% viscose ring spun yarn, polyester and viscose double yarn. All these products have been launched for the Surat market and we are showcasing these in this exhibition.”

Sustainability, recycling, circular economy are the other forces exerting influence over the growth of the MMF Industry. It is high time India must focus on man-made textiles, along with cotton ones, to achieve the desired target of $300-billion market by 2025, says the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI). Cotton textile industry contributes 14% of the total industrial production; it provides employment to 35 million persons directly – the second largest after agriculture; it earns foreign exchange of about 24.6% (4% of GDP).

According to the European Man-Made Fibres Association, industry in general, and the Man-made Fibres (MMF) Industry in particular, have a long history in the pursual of initiatives which support sustainability.  Since 1992, the responsible care programme has been adopted in many countries, and has been applied by man-made fibre producers.


Just like for any other product, the consumption of energy, raw materials and all other resources, and also the emission of solid, liquid and gaseous waste determine the sustainability of man-made fibres, but we should certainly not forget the in-use phase, in which substantial environmental savings can be made, as well as the disposal or recycling phase.

Improving the sustainability of man-made fibres is the guiding principle to improve ecological, economic and social performance. MMFs are as such very diverse in their properties and performance, going through a wide range of processes, before being used in an enormous range of technical and textile applications. Measuring the sustainability performance can be made at production location or plant level.  The result of an evaluation indicates the potential for product and process improvement, with the ability to focus efforts on the portion of the product lifecycle likely to produce the greatest result. Consequently, Man-made Fibre producers are continuously active on all aspects of improving the LCA and sustainability of their product. Not only existing products are further improved, but research activities are now also focused on new products environmentally outperforming the existing ones.

Man-made fibres account for 75% of all fibres produced worldwide, and for circa 80% in Europe, including Turkey.World production was 76.5 million tonnes in 2019. European production was 4.6 million tonnes. Their principal end-use is in clothing, carpets, household textiles and a wide range of technical products – tyres, conveyor belts, fillings for sleeping bags and cold-weather clothing, filters for improving the quality of air and water in the environment, fire-resistant materials, reinforcement in composites used for advanced aircraft production, and much else. Man-made fibres come in two main forms: continuous filament, used mainly for weaving, knitting or carpet production; and staple, discontinuous lengths of fibre which can be spun into yarn or incorporated in unspun uses such as fillings or nonwovens.

Talking of big corporates in MMF, Reliance Industries Ltd is the world’s largest polyester fibre and yarn producer with a capacity of around 2.4 MMT across nine sites in India and Malaysia. The company is undergoing capacity expansion across the polyester chain to strengthen its backward integration and provide affordable raw materials to the Indian textile industry.

The Centre is giving a push to the textile and clothing industry to leverage the traditional strengths in the man-made fibre (MMF) sector. India had a long way to go to emerge as a leading manufacturer of MMF textile products globally. While the industry would face stiff competition from established players in the sector – China, Taiwan, South Korea, etc., increasing labour and manufacturing costs in these countries would give ample opportunities for Indian players. The Indian industry could attract global investments to produce high value-added MMF products.

When the worldwide population increased by 35-37% to 7.3 billion people in the last few decades, fibre consumption increased by over 140% to 84,870 KT. The market for textile fibres, both organic and man-made, is predicted to rise by roughly 60% as the world’s population grows, leading to increased MMF consumption. Raw ingredients for MMF manufacturing are predicted to be nearly inexhaustible for future decades and will also be substantially less expensive than plant fibres. These reasons will significantly drive MMFs within the immediate and longer terms.

The global synthetic fibre market size was estimated at US$ 62.93 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1% from 2022 to 2030. The increasing application in various industries including clothing, automotive, home furnishing, and filtration is expected to propel market growth. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the synthetic fibre market observed a fall in both volume and revenue due to the stringent lockdowns that disrupted the supply chain and shut down production facilities. However, after the lockdown, the garment manufacturers regained their operational activities and are searching for new opportunities such as face masks and personal protective equipment.

The U.S. market recently saw a boost in the demand for synthetic fibre owing to the rising demand for medical products including face masks, gowns, surgical cover drapes, blankets, and personal care wipes. The growing emphasis on health and fitness coupled with the popularity of outdoor sports in the country is expected to rise the synthetic fibre market demand in the coming years.The adoption of polyester fibre has been increasing in various industries on account of its advantages, including low cost, exceptional strength and flexibility, and recyclability, thus making it a popular choice in the textile business. It is used in the production of vehicle carpets, seating fabrics, sides, roofs, floorings, door panels, seat belts, tires, airbags, air purifiers, fuel filters, insulators, and other components.The emergence and progressive growth of the e-commerce industry are anticipated to augment the demand for apparel and simultaneously support the growth of the synthetic fibre market. In addition, factors like the digitalization of production facilities and the growing textile industry in emerging economies are expected to surge market growth for synthetic fibre in the forecast period.

Polyester is one of the types of fibres made mostly from petroleum. The fabric is among the most widely used fabrics globally, with thousands of industrial and consumer uses. Polyester was first commercially produced in 1953. Polyester was prominent and the 1970s because it washes and remains wrinkle-free. Polyester is a polymeric fabric mostly made up of compounds containing the ester group.

While certain types of polyester are sustainable, the majority are not, so polyester manufacture and use affects global pollution. Other fibres are frequently mixed with polyester, rendering identification much more difficult. In rare cases, polyester could be the only component of garment goods, although people more commonly utilize polyester with cotton or other organic fibre. In the United States, polyester is the number one synthetic fibre in use.

According to Global Market Insights Inc.’s recent study, the Polyester Market was valued at $91.7 billion in the year 2020 and is expected to approach US$160 billion by 2027, with a growth of 7.8% from 2021 to 2027. The point is transparent: polyester has surpassed all other fibres, both man-made and biological, in terms of market dominance. Also, anyone working in the fibre industry must know that polyester makers are continuously evaluating alternative fibres and the markets to see whether polyester may gain market share.

According to Global Market Insights Inc.’s most recent study, the Polypropylene Market was valued at $3.5 billion in 2020 and is predicted to reach $7.05 billion in turnover by 2027, with a growth of 3.2 percent from 2021 to 2027. The staple fibre segment’s polypropylene fibre market accounted for $ 2,135 million in 2020 and is predicted to increase at a 3.3 percent growth through 2027. Polypropylene core fibres are primarily utilized in creating nonwoven textiles, which people extensively use in construction, purification, and medical applications. Increasing consumption for these fibres will boost segmental expansion throughout the analysis period.

According to Allied Market Research, the worldwide polyamide market was valued at $25.4 billion in the year 2019 and is expected to hit $40.6 billion by 2028, rising at a CAGR of 5.4 percent from 2021 to 2028.

Overall, increased usage of MMF due to restricted cotton production and availability and other reasons is likely to generate a significant rise in global textile fibre demand in the future years. Process and product development in both classic and non-traditional fabric product categories employing MMF is also a significant driving element.

There is an emerging environmental awareness and social concern regarding the environmental impact of the textile industry, highlighting the growing need for developing green and sustainable approaches throughout this industry’s supply chain. Upstream, due to population growth and the rise in consumption of textile fibres, new sustainable raw materials and processes must be found. Cellulose presents unique structural features, being the most important and available renewable resource for textiles.

Birla Cellulose, the pulp and fibre business of Grasim Industries Ltd. a flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group, today announced its goal to bring down its net carbon emissions to zero across all its operations by 2040, with a possibility to reach it earlier by 2035. This is the most ambitious target set by any company in the Man-made cellulosic fibre (MMCF) industry globally.

Birla Cellulose’s net-zero announcement aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on climate change and affordable and clean energy.

Birla Cellulose, the pulp and fibre business of the Aditya Birla Group, is a leading sustainability focused Man-Made Cellulosic Fibres (MMCF) producer. Birla Cellulose operates 12 sites that apply environmentally efficient closed loop technologies that recycle materials and conserve natural resources. Its five global advanced research centers are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and pilot plants. Birla Cellulose’s fibres are made from renewable wood and are produced using a closed-loop process with significantly lower carbon emissions and lower resource consumption. Its eco enhanced fibres such as Livaeco viscose and modal, Birla Excel™ (lyocell), and Birla Spunshades™ are designed with superior sustainable credentials. LivaReviva is a circular viscose fibre made using pre-consumer cotton waste and provides a solution to recycle fashion industry waste into fresh fibres.

The versatility of viscose will see its demand grow in the near future. Sure, the pandemic left a mark on its production. But if market trends in 2021 are anything to go by, then this cellulosic material will see increased demand in the future. In India, it is set to capture more market share riding on the back of Grasim’s marketing initiatives. In the global context, it will see increased demand as global supply chains are re-established following the pandemic.

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