The waterproof breathable textiles market is expected to witness growth owing to increasing consumer preference for high performance and comfortable apparel. Growing fitness consciousness, rising disposable income, and growing popularity of sports apparel for women along with the trends towards comfortable and stylish sportswear is also expected to favorably impact waterproof breathable textiles market growth over the forecast period.
Technology is rapidly evolving in the areas of a cost-effective manufacturing process, controlling pore sizes and their distributions. This has helped enhance material formulation so as to improve the film's properties, and developing coating materials and improved monolithic film for an array of applications. Furthermore, emergence of smart breathable fabrics and fabrics based on biomimetics is also expected to drive waterproof breathable textiles market growth over the next few years. Change in membrane incorporation method, fabric substrates, coating techniques and lining materials play a crucial role in designing these textiles. Development of MMT Textiles’ Inotek fiber is also expected to improve product standards in terms of quality and functionality, and is expected to positively impact market growth over the forecast period.
The industry uses large quantities of clean, drinking water to finish and dye fabrics. This makes water unfit for re-use, and is discharged into public water systems or waterways after some level of treatment. However, this leads to water pollution, which may pose a challenge to waterproof breathable textiles market growth. In order to overcome the aforementioned issues, a group of Swiss textile chemists developed bluesign standard that seeks best practices for use of resources and chemicals in making fabrics and accessories.
Global WBT market by textile (USD Billion), 2012 – 2020
The waterproof breathable textiles segment includes densely woven fabrics, membranes and coated fabrics. Membranes are expected to emerge as the largest textile segment over the next six years. This can be attributed to its capability to protect from temperature variations, airborne pollutants or UV radiation while looking aesthetically pleasing. Membranes are usually made of PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene), ePTFE (Expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene), nylon or polyester. For instance, W.L. Gore’s GORE-TEX is a membrane made of ePTFE.
The product segment comprises garments, footwear and gloves. Waterproof breathable garment segment is expected to account for considerable market share over the forecast period. This may be attributed to surging demand for waterproof breathable textiles in active sportswear since provide high performance beyond traditional textiles, and benefit many consumers, particularly sports enthusiasts.
Waterproof breathable textiles are designed and used in garments that provide protection from the environmental factors such as wind, rain, UV radiation and loss of body heat. These textiles enable complete prevention from the penetration and absorption of liquid water or sweat during intense physical activities, and are thereby used widely across active sports apparel. Additionally, these textiles are primarily used in manufacturing casual, athletics, ski or outdoor apparel. All the aforementioned factors are expected to favorably impact waterproof breathable textiles market growth over the forecast period. The demand for sportswear that offer resistance to bacteria and help reduce odor is also on rise, and is further expected to spur market growth.
The European market is characterized by the presence of major industry participants; as a result, it is expected to remain a key regional market over the next six years. It is a sizable market for waterproof breathable textiles owing to surging demand for sports clothing and footwear. Further, the need for enhanced comfort expected to be the key driving force for continued adoption. The Asia Pacific market is expected to witness high growth over the next few years.
W. L. Gore & Associates was the market leader in 2013. Educating consumers through trade associations and media have been a part of company’s growth strategy. A few other market participants include eVent (General Electric), SympaTex and Polartec. Companies emphasize on providing eco-friendly, recyclable PFC-free and PTFE-free membranes, which is expected to favorably impact waterproof breathable textiles market over the forecast period.
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