Environmental factors affect the choice of one's clothing. Clothes with antistatic and aesthetic properties are demanded in industrial fields. As apparels are soiled during their normal usage, it is required that these garments should be cleaned and reused without altering their functional and aesthetic properties. Performance apparels are used as windbreakers, for skiing, paddling, as a protective work wear and many more. These fabrics are superior over the normal ones in a way that it has special distinct features and a targeted end use.
Performance apparels are sold as sportswear to individuals in retail value, and as protective clothing in wholesale value which is used by industries. Sales activities of the wholesaler and the retailer are merged to gain economies of operation. Trends of consumers moving in for reputed brands and premium products are seen in the sportswear market thus making the latter quite favorable to the market for performance apparels. Over the past decade, sales of antimicrobial clothing have surged due to growing awareness among the consumers.
Market for Performance Apparels:
Performance apparel is one of the fastest growing segments of the textile sector. Growth is mainly attributed towards the changes in the lifestyle of people. At present, people tend to spend more on time and money recreational, and leisurely activities. Wide range of sports activities like aerobics, athletics, cycling, hiking, mountaineering, parachuting, skiing, etc are being practiced. Simultaneously, the requirement for related apparels to play these sports is also on an ever increasing demand. Exciting innovations in the field of nanotechnology has boosted the growth of performance apparel market. Performance apparel is a lucrative market in the retail segment. The market growth is fueled by invention of new fibres, fabrics and other innovative technologies used in garment manufacture, and are enhanced by changes in consumer lifestyles.
Asian Market for Performance Apparels:
As per a survey, performance outerwear is one of the fastest growing retail segments. On an average, more than 30 million units are sold account for average sales of $3 billion annually. It also provides ample employments opportunities for around 6 million jobs. They are specialty apparels manufactured with innovative technologies. Hence they require special machines and inputs that are mainly available in Asia. Manufacturers in Asian countries of India and China are benefiting out of the growing demand in developing markets, and lesser labor costs.
Fibre2Fashion had an exclusive interview with Mr. Dave Hill, Manager, Business Development of Technical Absorbents Limited (TAL) involved into the manufacture of Super Absorbent Fibre (SAF®). He gave a positive affirmation about the growing market for Technical Textiles, the potential of Asian industries, and the expansion of performance apparels into functional outdoor and sportswear sectors.
Where do you see the potential market for Technical Textiles?
"Asia especially China and India offers TAL exciting technical textiles market development opportunities. India has a high skill-set in terms of scientific and technical manpower and huge levels of expertise within the textile market. This means that the understanding of what SAF® technology can offer and the ease of its application for new product development is made that much easier.
Explain the uniqueness of Super Absorbent Fibre (SAF®)
SAF has been developed by Technical Absorbents Ltd to provide extremely high rates of saline and water uptake. As a fibrous super absorbent, it can be converted into a multitude of fabric and yarn structures by a diverse number of web-forming and yarn spinning techniques. It allows for ease of handling and gives rise to exceptionally substantive and even distribution profiles within final fabric and yarn construction.
What is your opinion regarding the Indian
"The Indian market is showing significant levels of interest in the potential of SAF® to offer a wide range of absorbency benefits to technical textiles. This has been aided by the country's huge textile industry and the sectors growing awareness of the applicability of SAF® usage in all key web-forming and bonding processes. In turn, TAL is forging close links with the manufacturers of fabric creation machinery, promoting their technology in the country.
The above is also made possible in India by the support of TAL's agent Business Co-ordination House (BCH). The experienced team has been the main catalyst for the development of SAF® in the country so far. BCH has not only introduced the technology to the country's technical textiles industry but also supported TAL at major industry exhibitions. This closer link with the market has broken down a lot of barriers that otherwise might have been encountered.
At TechTextil India 2009, it was clear that the knowledge of SAF® and its possibilities has rapidly increased in the last few years, with more in-depth specific application and associated commercial discussions than seen at previous exhibitions. There was significant interest in the use of SAF®in the manufacture of agro-textiles and performance apparel."
Which fields in your opinion has potential applications of Technical Textiles?
"TAL currently provides its customer base with a wide range of extremely high performance SAF® grades, which are suitable for a variety of applications in a number of new and established markets agro- and geo-textiles, cable yarns and tapes, food and freeze packaging; geo-synthetics, medical, hygiene, dental, and of course performance apparel."
Performance apparel is a potential market for garment manufacturers, fabric providers and fibre companies. Growth and expansion in this industry is a result of health and safety legislation, and increased global awareness for healthy and fit living which is to be welcomed.