The global denim finishing agents market size was estimated at USD 1.19 billion in 2016. Increasing use of specialty formulations for manufacturing denim products including jeans, jackets, bags, trousers, and accessories has escalated the production of finishing chemicals. The rising demand for inventive finishes in the apparel products owing to increased fashion sense among the youth and middle-aged populations is anticipated to surge product consumption across the globe.
Various multinational denim companies are utilizing advanced technologies for the development of specialized fabrics to meet the rising consumer demands as per the changing fashion trends. The primary products that are responsible for the paradigm shift in the finished materials industry comprise providing unique properties such as softness, durable, denim fading, and stone washing. Moreover, implementation of innovative equipment to reduce water usage during fabric washing process is expected to influence the market in the coming years positively.
U.S. denim finishing agents market by product, 2016 (USD Million)
The market in the U.S. is expected to observe above average growth due to increase in demand for denim clothing and accessories which are a fashion and style statement among youth in the country. The local denim apparel sector has witnessed the introduction of innovative garments including water repellent & stain resistant jeans, five-pocket trousers, joggers, and stretchable jeans, which are highly popular for their comfort and quality.
Regular jeans are now being mostly replaced by super skinny jeans and stretchable tapered jeans. Other opportunities for market expansion include novel stain resistant fabrics and colored denims. All these factors are anticipated to augment the denim finishing agents industry growth during the projected period.
Growing awareness regarding the high use of water and toxic chemicals in wet processing of the fabrics is leading to the development of bio-based finishing formulations coupled with implementation of advanced technologies in mature economies. Abundant raw materials availability at low prices, low production costs coupled with lower carbon emissions during the processing cycle are some of the key factors that are likely to provide new avenues to invest for the industry participants over the projected period.
In addition, escalating consumption of some of the specialty finishes including enzymes, softeners, defoamers, bleaching, and resins is predicted to steer industry expansion over the next eight years. Increasing R&D investments supported by capacity expansions by major global players in emerging nations including Bangladesh, China, India, Vietnam, and South Africa is also estimated to facilitate the industry growth.
Softeners held the largest market share in 2016. These products are available in various types such as nonionic, anionic, cationic, silicone-based, and reactive softeners. Denim softeners provide a smooth and fluffy finish to the fabric and also prevent the static and the formation of dark blemishes on denim. Softeners help in preventing tangling and wrinkling of the materials. Moreover, these chemicals enhance abrasion resistance, increase tearing strength and diminish the risk of stitching thread and needle breakage during denim sewing.
Global denim finishing agents market revenue by product, 2016 (%)
Enzymes demand in the denim finishing process is expected to witness the fastest growth rate during the forecast period. Key enzymes used for washing process include amylase, cellulase, and laccases. They act as biocatalysts to degrade hard starch present on the denim fabrics. The process is less corrosive and eliminates the effluent problems.
Enzyme wash is an environment-friendly process that involves the application of organic enzymes to digest the fabric and impart unique effects to the material. Once the desired color is achieved, the enzyme's activity can be ceased by altering the alkalinity of their temperature. The last stage includes softening and rinsing cycle. The global industrial enzyme manufacturers such as AB Enzymes and Denimist Chemical Company are engaged in developing innovative enzymes with unique formulations, which are incorporated with different performance features for new and existing applications.
Anti-back staining agents were the second major segment and accounted for over 18% of the global revenue in 2016. Anti-back staining agents prevent the re-deposition of dyes or pigments on jeans materials during wet processing and help to bring high contrast in thick fabrics.
Bleaching chemicals, especially sodium hypochlorite, are used for bleaching jeans to obtain desired colors and fading designs. The process is cost-effective and involves the utilization of enzymes with bleaching agents for more effective results. Laccases are used as an environment-friendly alternative to chemicals for bleaching blue or indigo jeans.
Asia Pacific dominated the global denim finishing agents market with over 42% market share in terms of revenue in 2016. Substantial consumption of finishing products in emerging economies including China, Bangladesh, India, and Vietnam have contributed to a large extent for the demand of these specialty products over the last decade. Multinational companies are expanding their production units in Asian countries due to cheap labor cost, high economic growth rate, and favorable regulatory policies.
China’s denim industry is progressing at the highest growth rate, as a result of which many key clothing retail brands are establishing their presence in the country. Increasing demand for popular jeans products and the rising disposable income of the middle and upper middle class are some of the primary reasons for the changing market trends. China is the largest producer of denim apparel and fabric, which has supported in market penetration of these specialty finishes in the country.
Similarly, Bangladesh's industry is also expected to grow at the fastest growth rate due to cheaper labor costs, engaging in the production of expensive, high-quality jeans products by using eco-friendly and sustainable methods for exports. Key finishing agent manufacturers such as Azgard-9 Ltd, Shasha Denims Ltd, and Envoy Textiles are involved in using innovative advanced technologies for finishing such as Laser and Eco Dynamic’ technology.
Europe was another major consumer market followed by South America in 2016. Significant product utilization and using new biotech enzyme chemicals is anticipated to contribute towards the stable growth for the industry across both the regions. The leading countries including Germany, France, U.K., Turkey, and Brazil are most likely to be the frontrunners in the sector by 2025.
Turkey is a key player in the fashion apparel and jeans industry. Although labor costs have significantly risen during the last decade, Turkey remains a vital center for fashion jeans production and development centers. It has around five major completely integrated production units that supply the fabric to international brands such as Nautica, Levi’s, Zara, H&M, Dolce & Gabbana, Benetton, Gap, Guess, Lee, Wrangler, Diesel, and Replay. Thus it is anticipated to steer a significant growth in the coming years.
Some of the leading companies in the global denim finishing agents market include BASF SE, The Dow Chemical Company, Huntsman Corporation, Seydel Companies, Garmon Chemicals, and Asutex. The market is moderately consolidated with a very few industry participants occupying around 65% to 70% of the total market. Emerging markets including India, China, and Bangladesh are inevitable to provide ample opportunities to the industry participants over the next eight years.
Some of the other prominent players in the space include Rudolf GmbH, Ab Enzymes, Pulcra Chemicals, Americos Industries, Denimist Chemical, CHT Group, and Denim Care Sdn Bhd. Moreover, a significant number of regional players are also active participants in the market, which makes it a highly competitive.
These companies are regularly involved in expanding their product portfolio with constant innovations along with large-scale collaborations in the form of mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures globally.
Recently, the Textile Effects division of Huntsman Corporation and Jihua Group, based in Zhejiang Province, China, signed an agreement for a strategic partnership to cooperate in various areas and mutually capitalize on the rising need for chemical & dye solutions in the textile sector in China. The business is anticipated to assist the two companies in increasing their supply chains rapidly to fulfill customer demands and improve cost efficiency.
Dow chemical was another stakeholder in the industry, which is also involved in extensive product portfolio expansions along with focusing on the sustainability of the finishing specialties. The company has integrated both backwards and forward from basic chemicals to specialty finishes to sustain the tough international competitors and meet the escalating demand. Key companies have also penetrated into the distribution and end-user sectors to reduce the transportation costs, thus increasing profit margins.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2014 - 2016
2017 - 2025
Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2017 to 2025
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central America, South America & MEA
U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Poland, Russia, Turkey, China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, and Kenya
Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends
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This report forecasts revenue growth and provides an analysis on the latest trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this report, Grand View Research has segmented the denim finishing agents market on the basis product, and region:
Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million 2014 - 2025)
Anti-back staining agents
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million 2014 - 2025)
Middle East & Africa
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