Technical textiles possess superior functional & technical characteristics. Their purpose is different from that of traditional textiles which mainly cater to aesthetic demands. Contrarily, technical textiles meet mechanical, electrical, thermal, and other technical requirements.
The key raw materials for making technical textiles comprise natural fibers (cotton, jute, wool); regenerated fibers (rayon, acetate fiber); metals (steel, carbon); minerals (asbestos); and synthetic polymers. Technical textiles are used in the clothing, household fabrics, packaging, and automobile industries, among others.
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The technical textiles market is knowledge-driven, furthering the demand for intensive research. It would grow at around 4.7% CAGR from 2015 to 2020. Market volumes are predicted to exceed 42 million metric tons by 2020. This could be attributed to technological innovations, leading to better physical properties. Robust demand from the automotives industry also drives expansion.
However, the technical textiles market may face restrictions from high costs of finished products. High costs translate into higher product prices. The market is segregated on the basis of fibers, technologies, applications, and geographies. Fibers include natural, synthetic, and specialty fibers.
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Technologies are divided into weaving, nonwovens, knitting, fabric finish, fiber & spinning, and others. ‘Others’ comprises coating, knotting, and laminating. Applications are protech, agrotech, mobiltech, buildtech, hometech, meditech, packtech, sportech, clothtech, and others (oekotech, geotech). Geotech will witness the fastest growth in the coming five years.
Geographical segments of the technical textiles market include North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Rest of the World (RoW). RoW consists of Israel, UAE, Columbia, and Chile. Asia Pacific, with about 32% of the total shares, was the dominant region in 2014. It was followed by North America and Europe. Their respective shares were 29% and 25%.
Emerging economies like India, Japan, and China will drive Asia Pacific in the future. In fact, China would grow at the fastest pace (CAGR of 6% from 2015 to 2020). Its burgeoning population and industrial & technological advancements will be held responsible for the same.
Leading players in the worldwide technical textiles market cover Asahi Kasei Corporation, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc., Kimberly Clark Corporation, and E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. Their growth strategies include mergers, acquisitions, investments, new products, etc.
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