Technical Textiles- Smart Future

Technical Textiles- Smart Future:

The Industrial scenario of Technical Textiles is looking up and gearing to meet the Challenges in future.

Technical Textiles:

The Term : “ Technical Textiles” is well defined as all those textile based products which are basically for their performance or functional characteristics rather than for their aesthetics or are used for Non-Consumer ( i.e., industrial ) applications. This is one of the fastest growing sector of the Textile Industry which is manufacturing high tech, high performance fabric designed not just to look attractive, but to present a significant added value in terms of functionality. The textile industry is not only experiencing for clothing application but also continuing a major outlook towards non-clothing application of textiles known as Technical textiles. The distinctiveness and confrontation of technical textiles lies in the need to understand and apply the principles of textile science and technology to give solutions, in the main technological problems but also often to engineering problems as well. With the emphasis on measurable textile performance in a particular field of application, this requires the technologist to have not only deep knowledge of fibers and textile science and technology but also be aware of the application and the scientists, technologists and engineers who service it. Thus, the producer of geotextiles requires core knowledge of the world of civil engineering, and the home textile producers, need deep knowledge about the field of home furnishing, home decoration and floor coverings. This chain endeavors to bridge a gap between producer and end-user.

Smart Textiles :

Smart textiles represents the next generation of textiles with use in several fashion products, furnishing and technical textiles applications. The basic concept of smart textiles consists of a textile structure that senses and reacts to different stimuli from its environment. The development of smart textiles are the result of new type of textile fibers & structure, miniaturization of electronics and wireless wearable technologies. India’s smart textile market is at a nascent stage with a few start-up companies testing the waters. Further focus is needed in research & development and foreign investment in the sector to boost this sector in India.

Domestic scenario:

Technical textiles in India continues to grow along with the growth of end user industries. Technical textiles currently contributes around 12% of the Indian Textile Market, which is less as compared to the other developing countries like China where Technical Textiles accounts for 20% of the Total textile Industry. India’s technical textiles market size accounts for around 4% share in the world’s market. The key growth drivers for Indian market include increasing consumer profiles and income levels, growing end user industries like Automobiles, Healthcare, Sports etc. and overall infrastructure and industrial development in India. Apart from this, the initiatives taken by the Government in attracting investments in technical textiles will also drive growth of the industry.

Classification of Technical Textiles: The classification is based on its functions.


Mechanical FunctionInvolves mechanical resistance reinforcement of material and elasticity
Exchange FunctionInvolves filtration, insulation, drainage, impermeability and absorption
Function of living beinginvolves antibacterial, anti dust mites, biocompatibility and bio degradability.
Protective functioninvolves electrical insulation. Infrared radiation (IR) and UV rays. Nuclear Biological and Chemical (NBC), high visibility and electromagnetic fields.


Following are the growth drivers for some of the key technical textiles segments:


Mobiltech• Growing Automobile industry • Growing usage of products like seat belts, airbags and automotive carpets
Sportech• Increasing National and International tournaments in India • Government Schemes such as subsidies to university/colleges to improve sports infrastructure • Increasing popularity of sports and sportswear
Buildtech• Demand is expected to increase on account of increasing spending on infrastructure • Increasing awareness and usage of products like architectural membrane, scaffolding nets
Meditech• Growth of Healthcare industry • Growth in population and product acceptance
Protech• Increase in Defense spending • More and more hazardous industries are making use of fire retardant clothing & chemical protective clothing
Geotech• Significant investment in infrastructure is being planned in India by Government; on its own and in Public-Private-Partnership mode where Geotech products will have a lot of scope


The Global technical textile market is growing along with new innovations and developments. While a large part of the demand comes from developed countries, the increasing industrialization and development of emerging countries is driving the growth of the overall market. USA is the largest market for consumption of technical textiles products accounting for a share of 23% followed by Western Europe, China and Japan with a share of 22%, 13% and 7%, respectively. In terms of product segments Clothtech, Packtech and Agrotech have the largest share of global technical textiles market. Non-woven, Composites, Fibers and Meditech segments had a significant share of about 75% in the global technical textiles market, but the rapid growth of automobile industry in market and growing acceptance of geotextiles is expected to drive the growth of Mobiltech and Geotech segments.

Overall technical textiles and smart textile market has bright future in India. Overall consumption in India is expected to grow and the growth of various end use industries offers good potential for the technical textiles industry. India also offers many benefits for manufacturing of technical textiles including availability of raw materials, competitive labour cost, modern production facilities etc. Besides this favorable Government policies and support can further boost investments in technical textiles in India. This knowledge paper further details the overall market scenario for technical textiles and the potential for smart textiles globally and in India.

Reference: Hand book of Technical textiles, Published by “The Textile Institute”, CRC press, New York, Washington, DC.

About The Author

N. Pradeep Kumar

AVP - System Certification & Training,Tamil Nadu Region