Technical textile sector is one of the most emerging and inventive industries of the world. It secures fifth place in the world for being one of the sectors which has high potential of growth in the textile industry. The technical textile industry is successful because of the fact that it continuously develops innovative textiles, fabrics that can be used for various purpose, and create yarns that have multi-utility and useful in almost all types of industries.


Textiles that are solely produced for technical purpose and the main concentration are on having functional utility are called technical textiles. Depending on the usage, technical textiles can be divided into twelve segments. Agrotech, Clothtech, Hometech, Meditech, Oekotech, Protech, Buildtech, Geotech, Mobiletech, Packtech, Sportech and Indutech. Considering the population of India, there is a major scope of growth and development in this sector.


In the domestic market of India, this industry is gaining popularity due its versatility, durability and cost-effectiveness. New innovations take place everyday therefore; in future the industry is expected only to strengthen. The number of different technical textiles produced in India has been growing gradually.


The annual growth rate of technical textiles is around 4% globally as compared to home and apparel textile which is around 1% per year. In India, technical textile is a valuable part of textile industry which is rapidly growing. According to the reports, in the eleventh Five Year Plan this sector has recorded a growth rate of 11% annually.


However, the 12th Five Year Plan predicts an annual growth rate of 20% for this industry. It is estimated to do a business of $36 billion by 2016-17, whereas its market was of $13 billion. The industry is growing mainly because of the business skill of the Indian industrialist plus the government aid for increasing the investment in this area.


In future, with growth in the income there will be an increase in the disposable income spent on technical textiles by the consumers. Market development support for export sales is necessary for the domestic technical textile firm to grow. Some technical textiles need support from the government or user industries while some are required to follow defined instructions.


The Ministry of Textiles introduced Technology Mission on Technical Textiles (TMTT) with the fund sanction of Rs. 200 crore during the year 2010-2011. Under TMTT two assignments were undertaken:


       

• The goal of the first assignment was to create and regulate testing facilities which have national as well as international approval.

• To maintain a supply centre and domestic development of prototypes.


The goal of the second assignment was to support indigenous and export markets of technical textiles. To implement these strategies following initiatives were undertaken:


        • Support given to new businesses in technical textile industry

        • Financial support given to conduct seminars/workshops

        • Market development support provided to buyers and sellers

        • Market development support provided to boost export sales

        • Research and development of products

        • Development schemes included in 12th Five Year Plan


Support given to new businesses in technical textile industry

In India technical textile industry is a fairly new sector. Hence, support is given to manufacturers especially from small and medium firms as they find it difficult to start the business in this sector.


To conduct seminars/workshops financial support was provided

It has been seen that awareness and exposure to technical textiles is quite low in India. Therefore, renowned national and international groups are invited to organize seminars, meetings, training session and workshops to improve the knowledge and understanding of the new innovations, market reports, global market situation of technical textiles. Under this program, 35 seminars/ workshops have been conducted till now.


Market development support provided to buyers and seller

This initiative facilitated buyer and seller meetings. It helped the local manufacturers to display their goods to established buyers and support the manufacturers to improve their marketing capabilities. Under this program, two international level buyer-seller meets have been organized, wherein many countries had participated.


Research and development of products

Technical textile industry is completely based on technological advancement and innovation. Major part of advanced products is imported from other countries in India. Therefore, there is an utmost need for research and development of products especially for local firms. 15 units have registered themselves for support under this initiative and five proposals have been approved.


Market development support provided to boost export sales

Many renowned technical textile fairs are organized globally. Local manufacturers can participate in these trade fairs and make connections to improve their export sales. Also, there are some textile firms which are taking part in trade fairs focusing on various applications used in technical textiles. Under this program, financial support is given to Indian manufacturers who wish to showcase their products in such exhibitions or trade fairs on an international platform.


Schemes included for development in 12th Five Year Plan

Various schemes have been planned and approved under the 12th Five Year Plan. Some of them are:

• Scheme to utilize agro-textiles to improve agriculture, horticulture in the North eastern region of India.

• Scheme to utilize geo-textiles to improve the infrastructure of North eastern states of India.

• Conduct a widespread survey that has information of all areas of technical textile industry in India.

• Promoting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in technical textile sector.


Technical textile has unending possibilities for development as it supports various industries but its potential in India has still not been explored. With various steps taken for the development of technical textile industry, this sector is slowly but steadily making a mark in India.


References:

1.      Apparel India

2.      Ittaindia.org

3.      Technotexindia.in