The awareness and functionality of fabrics is generating demand in the top 10 fabrics market.
Top 10 fabrics/textiles are used for various applications such as, automobile, medical & personal hygiene, sports & leisure, pollution control & filtration, agriculture, industrial, packaging, and clothing, among others. Smart textiles, non-woven fabrics/textiles and antimicrobial textiles are expected to witness the fastest growth from 2016 to 2021.
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Smart textiles are materials that have the ability to respond to environmental stimuli from mechanical, thermal, magnetic, chemical, electrical, and other sources. The growth of the smart textiles market is driven by the increasing demand for superior and miniature electronic products, and developments in material science & fiber technologies. Smart textiles have applications from the traditional consumer sector, to the next generation sectors such as, healthcare, sports & fitness, fashion & entertainment, military, and automotive.
Non-woven fabrics is another segment which is witnessing high growth on account of increasing applications, technological advancements, and growing demand. The growing awareness about the superior functionality and application of non-woven fabrics is encouraging the higher consumption of non-woven fabrics and related products. Non-woven fabrics are largely used in industries such as, hygiene, medical, automobile, and construction.
The antimicrobial textiles market is witnessing high growth owing to the increasing end-use applications such as medical textiles, sportswear, footwear, and outdoor clothing. Factors such as changing lifestyles and rising disposable incomes, coupled with the heightened interest in health has increased the demand for fabrics with antimicrobial properties which can inhibit or eliminate the growth of microorganisms.
A few of the major players in the fabrics market are, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (U.S.), Koninklijke Ten Cate nv (Netherlands), W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. (U.S.), Low & Bonar plc (U.K.), and Teijin Limited (Japan), among others. The major players in this market are experiencing various challenges such as, competition from new & existing players, pressure from environmental agencies, and demand for eco-friendly products.
New product launches is the key strategy adopted by leading market players
New product launches is the key strategy adopted by the leading players in the top 10 fabrics market. It accounted for a major share of all the growth strategies between 2014 and 2016. The rising demand for fabrics is attributed to the growth in the automobile, construction, healthcare, packaging, and various other sectors. Besides new product launches, companies have also adopted strategies such as expansions, and mergers & acquisitions to enhance their global presence in the top 10 fabrics market from 2014 to 2016.
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (U.S.), Koninklijke Ten Cate nv (Netherlands), and Teijin Limited (Japan) carried out the maximum number of strategic developments between 2014 and 2016.
In May 2015, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company signed an agreement with Reebok International Ltd. (U.S.) for the use of the DuPont Kevlar and Dare Bigger trademarks for Reebok’s spring summer collection. This helped the company to gain a greater market share.
In October 2014, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (U.S.) launched Nomex XF for the aerospace industry. Nomex XF is a novel material that provides a robust, durable, and light weight fire barrier that can prevent fire on the external side from entering an aircraft cabin, thus giving passengers extra time to escape in case of fire.
Koninklijke Ten Cate nv (Netherlands) is another active player in the fabrics market which launched new products. In May 2015, TenCate Protective Fabrics (Netherlands), a division of TenCate, launched a new TenCate defender thermal barrier and liner fabric with TenCate Coolderm technology. It is used in firefighting turnout gears. This combination of fabric and technology makes TenCate defender the most advanced layered system for firefighters available in the European market. These developments helped the company to expand its product portfolio.
Teijin Limited (Japan) is one of the leading players in the top 10 fabrics market and has launched new products recently. In February 2016, Teijin Limited (Japan) developed two new fabrics, Twaron and Technora para-aramid fibers. These fabrics are used to protect facilities from airborne volcanic fragments up to 10 cm. These developments helped the company to expand its product portfolio.