Technical Textile Markets

Four times a year, Technical Textile Markets provides an overview of the global man-made fibre, nonwoven and technical textile industries. It provides market data and analysis of new and established markets for technical textiles, and is essential reading for senior executives in (or supplying) the man-made fibre, nonwoven and technical textile sectors – as well as for those who are not involved in the industry on a day-to-day basis, but who need an authoritative source which helps them to quickly gain an understanding of the key issues facing the companies which are actively involved in this fast-growing sector.

So whether you are involved in man-made fibres, nonwovens or technical textiles – in manufacturing, converting, import/export, or end use – or if you are in education or consultancy or investment or finance – a subscription to Technical Textile Markets will tell you what you need to know about the key trends in the industry.

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Advances in Technical Textile Technology

Advances in Technical Textile Technology provides comprehensive coverage of technical textile materials available for commercial use and how to explore the full potential of new technical textile technology. Includes the latest on state-of-the-art technology for technical textile applications direct from the companies and research institutes at the forefront of the latest research programs.

Each issue covers materials developments, new processes and equipment, safety and protection, testing and standards, environmental issues, together with new patents and international industry and market news.

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Applications Of Technical Textile

Applications of technical textile products can be explained depending upon its classification as follow:

1. Agro Tech

Technical textile has extensively used in food production mostly by the fishing industry in the form of nets & ropes. But also used by agriculture and horticulture for a variety of covering & protection application. In agriculture base industry knitted, woven & non-woven products are used for wind and hail protection. Polyethylene sheets are laid on the ground for weed control. Altra high molecular weight polyethylene (Dyneema & Spectra) are finding their way in fishing, mainly due to its light weight & ultra strong strength.

2. Build Tech

Technical textiles are used in many ways in the construction of building both permanent & temporary phase. Dams, bridges, tunnels & roads in this structures technical textiles are used extensively. Temporary structures such as tents are most obvious and visible application of technical textile. Initially, these products were used to be heavy cotton fabric but nowadays cotton is replaced by lighter, rot proof, strong, UV-proof, weatherproof synthetic material.In Japan, carbon fibers are used as reinforced fibers for earth quick prone building.

3. Cloth Tech

This category includes fibers, yarns & textiles used as technical components in the manufacturing of clothing such as sewing thread, interlinings, wadding and insulations etc. other products used in clothing are press canvas, zipper used in trousers, buttons, cuff & collar canvas. Also, some decorative products used in women’s & kids garments like lace, embroidery etc. are included in this category.

4. Geo Tech

Geotextiles are generally used for four applications i.e. separation, filtration, drainage & reinforcements. The wide use of geotextiles is under the structure of road due to which life of road increases. Geotextile is also used for preservation of riverbanks, coastal protection, dams, water canals etc. geotextile is also used under the structure of railway tracks as a shock absorber in order to improve the life of railway tracks.

5. Home Tech

Technical textile products which are included under home tech are door mats, curtains, sofa covers, carpets, filters used in domestic vacuum cleaners etc. It also includes bedsheets, pillow covers, beds etc. textile materials are also used for filtration of tea granules, flour of wheat, etc.

6. Indu Tech

This includes textiles used in industrial products such as filters, conveyor belts etc. priorly cotton materials are used for this purpose but nowadays cotton replaced by synthetic materials. It is reinforced in printed circuit boards (PCB) for better workability. These are also used as different seals and gaskets. The driving belts are used for transmission of drive in various machinery.

7. Medi-Tech

The largest use of textile is for hygienic application such as wipes, baby diapers, sanitary napkins etc. These applications account for over 23% of all non-woven production.

The other sophisticated textile material used in medical are artificial ligaments, skin replacements, hollow fibers used for dialysis, artificial levers etc. even with the help of tissue engineering human organ can be grown with the help of textile fibers.

8. Mobi Tech

The products range from carpeting of a vehicle, tyre cords, air bags etc. Composite reinforcements are used for manufacturing civil and military aircraft bodies, wings, and engine components etc. The textile fabric is used as acoustic material in the silencer of vehicles. It is more helpful in vehicle air conditioners for filtration purpose. Carbon composite materials are used for manufacturing of Formula 1 racing cars, because of its light weight & high strength.

9. Oeko Tech

These includes the material used for protection of environment and ecology. The products which are used for filtration of toxic gasses and waste water filtration medias are included in it. It also includes the products which are used as acoustic material in order to reduce the noise pollution due to various causes. Also biodegradable, one time usable (use & throw material) textile materials are included in it such as non-woven jute carry bags, coverings etc.

10. Pack Tech

These includes the bags & sacks traditionally made from cotton, flax & jute but nowadays bags are made from polypropylene (pp) which is very cheap & strong. This is used for efficient handling, storage & distribution of powdered or granular material like sugar, fertilizer, cement, flour, etc.

11. Protech

The various textile materials used in the protection of human beings & their property. The various jackets used to protect harsh atmospheric conditions, bullet proof jackets and various gloves used in various industries, face masks used in chemical industry etc. are included in the protective textile. The suits of soldiers fighting in various conditions such as forest, deserts, and higher altitude snowsuits. These all fabrics will be required in camouflage properties.

12. Sports Tech

The various products used in sports application are included in it such as playing turf of hockey ground, nets used in various games like football, tennis, table tennis, basketball, hockey, etc. The sports tech also includes the different types of protective materials used in various games such as gloves, helmets, safety pads, etc. Also, the playing equipment such as rackets, balls of various games like football, tennis, cricket, volleyball, etc. the carbon fibers are used for manufacturing of frames of the bicycle, the body of formula1 racing cars, sports bikes which are stronger than metal & lighter than metal.

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World Markets for Technical Textile

A Technical textile is a textile product manufactured for non-aesthetic purposes, where function is the primary criterion.

It is a large and growing sector and supports a vast array of other industries.

Technical textiles include textiles for automotive applications, medical textiles (e.g., implants), geotextiles (reinforcement of embankments), agrotextiles (textiles for crop protection), and protective clothing (e.g., heat and radiation protection for fire fighter clothing, molten metal protection for welders, stab protection and bulletproof vests), and spacesuits).

Over all, global growth rates of technical textiles are about 4% per year greater than the growth of home and apparel textiles, which are growing at a rate of 1% per year.

In present market opportunities and in free quota system the importance of technical textile materials is increasing to accommodate the needs of requirement. Nowadays the most widely technical textile materials are used in filter clothing, furniture, hygiene medicals and construction material.

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Introduction to Technical Textile

The definition of technical textiles adopted by the Authoritative Textile Terms and Definitionspublished by the Textile Institute is “textile materials and products manufactured primarilyfor their technical and performance properties rather than their aesthetic or decorativecharacteristics.”

“Technical textiles” is the term given to textile products manufactured for nonaestheticpurposes, where function is the primary criterion. Technical textiles consist of all those textile-based products, which are used principally for their performance, functional characteristics,technical properties, and used for non-consumer (i.e. industrial) applications rather than for theirappearance, aesthetics, and decorative characteristics.

The Technical Textile and Nonwoven Association (TTNA) of Australia defines technical andnon-woven textiles industry as a supply chain that covers the manufacture of high performanceoften customized fabrics, for various industrial users (such as the automotive, sanitation andconstruction industries) and for individuals with specialist personal use requirements (such assports and leisure equipment and clothing).

In many cases it has been replacing the conventional materials with low cost, high efficiencymaterials along with many other features. Other terms used for defining technical textiles includeindustrial textiles, functional textiles, performance textiles, engineering textiles, invisible textiles,and hi-tech textiles. Here one should note that “industrial textiles” is a category of technical textiles used as a part of an industrial process, or incorporated into final products.

The basic and main characteristic of technical textiles that differentiates it from ordinary ortraditional textiles is its purpose, i.e., functionality and performance. Technical textiles couldbe made from both natural and synthetic fibres. It can be used by both individuals for specialistpersonal use and requirements of industries. Terms such as performance textiles, functionaltextiles, engineered textiles, and high tech textiles are also used in various contexts sometimes asa substitute for the world “technical textiles”.

Technical textile can be made from natural, man-made, inorganic fibres.

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Sustainable Technical Textile Solutions

Sustainable Technical Textile Solutions is dedicated to assisting brands, retailers and industry partners implement sustainable technical textile production that is meeting quality and eco-requirements and makes more efficient use of resources. The STS programs focus on three main components: consultancy, auditing and capacity building. These are built bespoke to meet the individual requirements of every client.

We are an industry leader in providing multiple markets with technical textile solutions. Our market segments include Consumer, Industrial / Automotive, Medical and Military.

We engineer many innovative fabrics with both synthetic and natural fibers. These substrates include both circular and warp knits, regular / stretch wovens and light to heavy weight non-wovens. We can provide waterproof barrier films, coatings and multiple other finishes such as nano water resistant repellants, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial.

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Development of a process for technical textile recycling of blended fabric

A new approach of technical textile recycling is developed at ITA within the project ‘Development of a Process for Recycling of Blended Fabrics’ (PolyCotton) to address challenges in environmental protection. Each year 14-16 mio tons of PET/cotton blended fabrics are generated as wastes by the fast moving fashion industry. PET is made of fossil resources and for each kilogramme of cotton, around 10,000 litres of water is needed.

The project aims to generate staple fibre yarns of fully recycled PET staple fibres. The materials used are fabrics of blended cotton and PET staple fibre yarns. First, the cotton is removed and subsequently the PET staple fibres are opened by carding. Larger fabric/yarn remains are removed from the opened fibre material. Then recycled PET fibres are blended with virgin cotton fibres in a 50/50 ratio to identify appropriate parameters for rotor spinning. Thereafter, the PET amount is increased up to 100%.

Laboratory tests are carried out (tensile, hairiness, evenness). The new PET yarn is dyed and further processed into a knitted demonstrator (see figure). The demonstrator is evaluated with a fabric of virgin PET staple fibre yarns. The possible end applications include apparel, work wear or home technical textiles.

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What is Technical Textile

In the initial time of textile products manufacturing, men used to produce clothing which were required to be civilized. They used to put emphasis on decorative and aesthetic properties of clothing during manufacturing.

But, day by day their demand changed dramatically. They began to put emphasis on technical and functional properties along with decorative and aesthetic properties. So, Textile can be can be classified into two sectors according to its applications.

They are traditional and Technical Textile. The industries which produce traditional dresses, curtains, blankets, lingerie etc. products to fulfill general and aesthetic demands are called traditional Tex. industries and this sector is known as traditional Tex. sector.

On the other hand, the industries which produce products that can meet up specific demand like protection from cold, bad weather, extreme situation etc. are called technical Tex. industries. This sector is known as Technical Tex. sector.

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Design of functional technical textile products

Within the Minor Design of functional technical textile products, students of different disciplines will develop together concepts and applications combining the properties of technical and functional textiles with their own expertise and skills.

What is this course about?

Developments in materials science, polymer chemistry and biotechnology have increasingly lead to new (textile) materials with new and innovative functionalities. In addition, developments in the field of microelectronics and ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) enable the development of various types of smart textiles. These new materials (whether or not in combination with electronics), are increasingly being used in building construction, civil engineering, automotive, defence, medical applications, transportation etc. Technical and functional textiles can be used in the form of fibres, yarns and /or textiles or incorporated in a composite (fibre reinforced materials). The end applications area is truly multidisciplinary.

In the first phase of the minor, there will be three short individual assignments related to the markets and applications of functional and technical textiles. Following, within this minor, students will work in a multidisciplinary team (of course depending on the entries!) of 3-4 students. They will design a textile product in the area of functional and/or technical textiles belonging to a specific market segment and develop a prototype of this product. The multidisciplinary team of students will function as the product development team of a company which is responsible for the entire development of a new technical and functional textile product. It starts with description of target group and it goes up to prototype development. The market segment and end-users for the selected product will be identified. Thereafter, the wishes and needs of the end users have to be formulated. This will lead to formulation of the user requirements at the product level. The formulated properties and functionalities of the proposed product should be optimally matched to the user requirements. This will lead to a functional design of the product using the concept of a product breakdown. The design will ultimately lead to a working prototype, which has to be validated.

Most assignments originate from industry and the multidisciplinary teams operate in close cooperation with industry and the research chair Smart and Functional Materials.

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Handbook of Technical Textile Design

20161103A new book entitled ‘Handbook of Technical Textile Design’ has been launched by authors Michael and Matthew Litton; two well known Ayrshire, Scotland, based technical textiles designer/ developers.

This book is aimed, firstly, at helping those textile companies who are already involved with technical textiles and would like a more structured approach to the design of new products and, secondly, to those textile companies who have toyed with the idea of entering the field and have wondered what the reality may be like.

Taking innovative products to market

The problems of taking innovative products to market for new entrants to the field are not extensively covered here but the authors offer helpful suggestions for this situation. The assumption is made that readers have a good working knowledge of textile operations.
“There are as many definitions of technical textiles as there are writers on the subject. For this book, we use the definition that a technical textile is one where ‘the performance properties are of greater importance than the aesthetics’,” says author Michael Litton.
For many years the authors have been designing textile solutions for a very wide range of industrial problems. They have a combined experience in excess of 40 years and have agreed to requests from many people to put on record their experiences of working in this field.

Successes are counted in dozens and include such items as the one-piece automotive airbag, various woven and knitted cardio-vascular accessories and tethers for the retrieval of space dèbris. These items are patented and therefore in the public domain whereas the majority of the authors’ former customers would prefer that they do not publish names or details of solutions developed for them.


The book is divided into two sections. In the first section, (Chapters 1 to 4) the general principles for technical textile designs are discussed.

“We recommend that this section should be read before starting any new technical textile project. We cannot, obviously, guarantee that by reading this book you will be able to design great products but we hope that we can ensure that you will not waste time or money on multiple no-hopers. We aim to add realism to projects and to ensure that projects which are undertaken have a realistic chance of success for the technologies available at the time,” Michael Litton says.

“Sampling is a major obstacle and we give several guidelines on how to minimise this hurdle.”

Textile physics

“Finally in this section, we cover some essential textile physics. We have found over the years that very many technical textiles are copies of, or amendments to, other fabrics. It is often only luck that ensures that they perform! Our aim is that it will be possible to have confidence in the performance of a fabric even before it leaves the drawing board. The tables in chapter 4 provide starting points on the path to a successful development.”
In the second section (chapters 5 to 11), the authors consider various textile types (e.g. tubes, flat cloth, and nets) and suitable fibres.

Yarns and fibres

“Chapter 5 discusses yarns and fibres in which we have covered all the common fibres plus a few more but not the truly exotic ones. For each type of fabric, we have listed the options and the relevant merits and demerits of the possible routes to manufacture,” Michael Litton explains.

When compared with the total volume of technical textiles used, knitting is a minority player. In this book, however, it has a disproportionate amount of space because, according to the authors, the scope for new woven solutions for speciality items is more limited whereas the design potential of warp knitting is well beyond the imagination of most textile professionals.

“Since textiles have been around for thousands of years expertly practised by millions of people, many specialist innovations have been accomplished. Our comments will thus have to be general. We are aware that there are exceptions to our statements and we use the words “could”, “would” and similar words with care,” Michael Litton sums up.

This article comes from innovation-in-textiles edit released