Markets for technical textiles

According to Professor S. Anand of Bolton Institute, England, technical textiles account for approximately 21 per cent of all textiles. The main markets are: traditional industrial fabrics, for example, canvas, tents, etc. (43%); transportation and automotive (23%); leisure (12%); geotextiles (10%); medical textiles (10%); and protective apparel (2%).

Two-thirds of automotive materials go into 'interior trim' for seat covers, roof and door liners, and carpets, where woven fabrics still dominate [2]. Other uses include tyres, air bags and filters.

Although non-woven and woven fabrics account for the majority of technical textiles, warp knitted and, to a lesser extent, weft knitted structures have captured some special end-use markets. These are particularly where certain properties such as dra-pability, mouldability, knitting to shape, open-work, extensibility, strength, lightness of weight and cost are at a premium and can be tailored to requirements.

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