Global Waterproof Textiles Market
Waterproof textiles were first introduced in the mid-1970s. These are used to make garments that offer protection from the rain and wind as well as prevent loss of body heat. Also known as waterproof breathable textiles, these fabrics prevent the penetration and absorption of water and are actively ventilated. Repelling precipitation and providing an escape route for perspiration vapor are the two major requirements of waterproof textiles. Therefore, waterproof textiles are extensively used to manufacture sportswear and outdoor equipment.
Raw materials such as polymer and polyurethane, synthetic microfilament yarn, and others including expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) are employed in the production of waterproof textiles. These raw materials are hydrophobic. For example, pores in ePTFE are smaller than the size of the smallest raindrops. However, these pores are large enough to let water vapor molecules pass through. Nowadays, waterproof textile manufacturers are shifting from harmful but high-performance formulation of C8 perfluorinated compounds toward C6 perfluorinated compounds for rainwear textiles. However, the formulation of C6 compounds is not as durable as that of C8 compounds.
Based on outlook, waterproof textiles are classified into membranes, coated, and densely woven. Demand for membranes is significantly high in the market, as these offer protection against ultraviolet radiation, temperature variations, and airborne pollutants. Waterproof textiles find applications in the manufacture of work wear, sportswear, outdoor equipment, tents, leisurewear, and others. Increasing demand for antiviral, antimicrobial, and dirt/stain resistant waterproof textiles in the sportswear segment is fuelling the growth of the market.
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Global Waterproof Textiles Market: Overview
Rising consumer preference for comfortable and high-performance apparel has boosted the growth of the global waterproof textiles market. Increase in disposable income coupled with growing awareness about fitness has further augmented the market. Introduction of plasma- and silicon-based technologies for manufacturing waterproof textiles is expected to create new opportunities for the growth of the market in the near future.
Manufacturers are focusing on creating thin and light waterproof textiles with customizable properties such as waterproofing, windproofing, and insulation. Conventional waterproof textiles are composed of two layers, along with a liner as the third layer to improve durability. However, the presence of three layers of fabric in waterproof textiles makes them heavy. Some market players are devising techniques to create single-layered waterproof textiles that are lighter. Recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles are being increasingly used to manufacture waterproof textiles. As an initiative to counter environmental pollution due to the excessive usage of plastics, PET bottles are recycled to create polyester fiber that is further utilized to make waterproof textiles.
Global Waterproof Textiles Market: Region-wis Outlook
The global waterproof textiles market has been segmented into four key regions: Europe, Asia Pacific, North America, and Rest of the World. North America has been the leading region in the market due to the presence of some of the top players. In North America, Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. drive the demand for waterproof textiles. Expansion of the sportswear market in North America has played a pivotal role in the growth of the waterproof textiles market. Europe is also contributing significantly to market growth; the U.K., France, and Germany account for major share of the market in the region. Increasing demand for waterproof textiles in China, India, and Japan has boosted the market in Asia Pacific.
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Key players operating in the global waterproof textiles market include Heartland Textiles Co. Ltd., Columbia Sportswear, Dow Corning, Clariant, General Electric, Huntsman Textiles Co. Ltd., APT Fabrics, Archroma, Lowe Alpine, and WL Gore & Associates, Inc. These players are focusing on developing innovative waterproof fabrics to increase their market share.
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