Interview with Top executives

Topic

What is the trend in global technical textiles industry?

Technical textiles industry moving back to Europe
Ahead of Techtextil 2019-the leading event for technical textiles and nonwovens-to be held in Frankfurt, Germany, from May 14-17, Fibre2Fashion spoke to a cross-section of people seeking their views on the scope of the technical textiles industry.

 

The technical textiles market is one of the most innovative in the world. It is reported to be among the top five technology-intensive markets with a great potential for advancement. The industry accounts for about 30 per cent of global textile production and it is expected to expand at an annual growth rate of more than 4 per cent to $198 billion by 2022. The positive development of the industry is reflected by the large number of exhibitors and visitors at Techtextil and Texprocess, the leading events for technical textiles and nonwovens and the processing of textile and flexible materials.

For years, there had been a clear trend that the technical textiles industry was moving out of Europe towards Asia. You now see a clear reversal, partly because the wages in Asia are rising fast and lead times are getting longer. That is why the technical textiles industry in Europe is currently in a good shape. We don't see the number of players increasing, but the overall demand seems to be rising.

Most nonwovens manufacturers focus on specific mass markets like hygiene or apparel. Accordingly, they match technologies with market requirements. This focus often comes at the cost of limited technical capabilities. In many specialty and industrial markets, we see a trend that customers have been demanding solutions that combine different functionalities in one new product, e.g. nonwovens that offer breathability and at the same time have high water resistance. We see this as a big opportunity to support customers in several of our key markets and in new markets, like e-mobility.

Companies will look for ways to team up and work together as start-up partners with larger mills and manufacturers to commercialise their innovations, while larger retailers and brands look to universities and small research and development (R&D) firms in order to diversify their offerings and stay competitive.

Published on: 22/04/2019

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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