Technical Textiles: A Bright Future

3 Years agoThe textile industry is one of India's oldest. Read on to know more about the range of textiles under manufacture in the country.

The textile industry is one of the oldest in India and is intrinsically linked to a range of traditions and cultures that is a reflection of the diversity that prevails in our country. The industry has a range of segments under its umbrella – hand-woven, an unorganised segment on one end, to capital-intensive on the other. One of India’s biggest strengths lies in it being the largest producer of jute and cotton and the second largest producer of silk globally.1

One of the segments of this industry that has received significant attention across the world is technical textiles. Technical or engineered textiles are defined as products that are used for functional purposes. These textiles have applications in multiple areas of economic activity, such as aerospace, shipping, sports, agriculture, defense and health care.2

Technical textiles are segregated into 12 major segments:

The technical textiles industry is import-intensive. In the last few years, the industry has witnessed a rise in imports - it stood at USD 1.4 Billion in Financial Year (FY) 2014-15 with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8% since FY 2007-08. Though the country currently spends a significant amount on imports, the dependence can eventually be reduced by further investing in technology-heavy products. This presents a huge scope for import substitution.3

Among all categories, Packtech forms the largest segment and holds 42% of the market share. This is followed by Indutech, Mobilitech and Hometech. With regard to growth, Geotech is predicted to grow the fastest at a CAGR of 30%. Some of the examples of high-growth potential technical textiles include shade nets, crop covers, baby diapers, sanitary napkins and surgical disposables, among others.4

Taking into account the scope and opportunity in the sector, the Government launched the Technology Mission on Technical Textiles (TMTT) along with two mini-missions for a period of five years (from FY 2010-11 to 2014-15), with a total investment of USD 31 Million, which was earmarked to overcome the challenges faced by the technical textiles industry.5

Additionally, to drive further momentum in the sector, the Government also introduced a scheme for promoting the usage of Agrotextiles in the Northeast region, with a financial outlay of USD 8.5 Million aimed at tapping the potential of these textiles for agricultural and horticultural purposes. Furthermore, a scheme for promoting usage of Geotech textiles in the Northeast was also launched, with a financial outlay of USD 66 Million. The objective of the scheme is to use geotextiles to cater to the infrastructural needs of the region.6

The key growth drivers for the Indian technical textile market include a rising disposable incomes, growing end-user industries including automobiles, healthcare, sports and infrastructure and the ongoing industrial development. Apart from these factors, the country has witnessed growing awareness about the superior usage of these textiles.7


Government Support


With the Government’s consistent efforts, there has been an unprecedented growth in the technical textile industry in India. One of the most significant schemes has been the National Technology Mission for Technical Textiles, which was launched for a period of five years (2010-11 to 2014-15) and later extended until 2017. Under this, there are two mini missions – one primarily for standardization, creation of common testing facilities and establishment of Centers of Excellence, while the other mini mission takes into account the support for domestic and export market development of technical textiles by providing assistance to startups and research in the field.

Apart from the four Centers of Excellence that have already been set up, four additional centres are in the pipeline in various segments, including Non- wovens, Indutech and Sportech8. These centres will boast of state-of- the-art facilities for product testing and evaluation, a resource centre with the latest infrastructure, an incubation centre as well as a provision to regularly train industry professionals.9

The second mini mission focuses on Research & Development. Since technical textiles are linked to high-technology, it is imperative to indigenously produce these products. In order to facilitate the entry of potential investors in the sector, the Ministry of Textiles has set up Incubation Centres within the Centers of Excellence. As of 2016, a total of USD 2.7 Million has been reserved for this scheme.10

This Technology Mission is in addition to the inclusion of technical textiles in the Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS). Under this, the Government has made a provision of 15% capital subsidy and 5% interest reimbursement on specified technical textile machinery. So far, 2,036 UIDs have been issued under ATUFS with expected employment generation of 45,659 against investments reported of more than USD 770 Million. Additionally, an online tracking platform ‘i-Tufs’ has also been launched for the ease of the stakeholder.11

The Government has also created Special Economic Zones (SEZs), with the objective of attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). There are 14 SEZs in the country that specifically focus on textiles.12

India continues to be the preferred destination for textile manufacturing and provides a whole lot of advantages in the area of technical textiles. With growing awareness and consumption of technical textiles, greater innovation in the field and demand from end-use industries, the country is a promising destination with an increasing demographic dividend and consumption scenario.

1 2016-Knowledge- Paper.pdf
2 2016-Knowledge- Paper.pdf
3 2016-Knowledge- Paper.pdf
4 2016-Knowledge- Paper.pdf
6 Scheme%20for%20Promoting%20Usage%20of%20Agro%20textiles%20in%20North%20Eastern%20Region_0.pdf
7 2016-Knowledge- Paper.pdf
8 2016-Knowledge- Paper.pdf
9 2016-Knowledge- Paper.pdf
10 2016-Knowledge- Paper.pdf
11 2016-Knowledge- Paper.pdf
12 2016-Knowledge- Paper.pdf

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