The global waterproof breathable textiles market size was estimated at USD 1.7 billion in 2019 and is expected to register a revenue-based CAGR of 5.7% over the forecast period. Rising product adoption in the sports apparel manufacturing industry owing to its lightweight, and durable properties are expected to positively impact market growth.
Growing awareness regarding fitness is favorably impacting the sport apparel industry, thereby boosting the demand for waterproof breathable textiles (WBT). Growing popularity of outdoor sports along with an increasing preference for comfortable and stylish sportswear and weather protection apparels are expected to positively influence the market.
The polyurethane segment emerged as the leader in the U.S. market for WBT on account of its low-cost and excellent breathability and waterproof properties. The ePTFE segment also held a significant market share owing to its wide ranging utilization in the footwear and clothing industry for making highly comfortable and flexible waterproof shoes and apparels.
Waterproof breathable textiles are witnessing a growing utilization in the manufacturing and design of uniforms and protective gear for military and law enforcement agencies. WBT exhibit a superior permeability to perspiration vapors and prevent rain and snow from getting in. Additionally, waterproof breathable textiles are extremely lightweight as compared to the traditional alternatives, thereby considerably reducing the weight of the uniform.
There has been a considerable increase in demand for environmentally sustainable apparels. As a consequence, leading industry players are progressively launching the bio-based waterproof breathable textiles. Apart from being eco-friendly, these products provide superior comfort as compared to their petroleum based alternatives.
The market for waterproof breathable textiles is characterized by certain risks as it involves companies to anticipate consumer preferences. Decisions regarding product designs are often made before consumer acceptance. Manufacturers also face issues pertaining to inventory management as a result of seasonal variations in demand. Therefore, any failure to anticipate or respond to consumer preferences may have an adverse impact on product demand.
Outstanding waterproofing performance and environment-friendly characteristics are the key factors driving the growth of the polyurethane segment. Furthermore, growing investments in research and development, marketing, and production of polyurethane-based waterproofing breathable textiles are expected to provide an additional boost to market growth.
Waterproof breathable textiles made by using polyurethane films offer outstanding breathability for user comfort and are being progressively used to create highly cost-effective waterproof breathable textile composites. Additionally, these films impart puncture, abrasion, and chemical resistance to the fabrics to which they are bonded, thereby improving the product durability.
Expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) segment is projected to attain 31.8% of the global waterproof breathable textiles (WBT) market by 2027 on account of its rising application in high performance winterwear and protective apparels. Furthermore, the growing popularity of winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating is expected to further the segment growth.
A growing emphasis on fitness and health coupled with the rising popularity of outdoor and indoor sports are generating ever increasing demand for sports apparel. Consumers are also seeking good quality at reasonable prices. As a result, the polyester-based waterproof breathable textiles segment accounted for 15.6% overall market in 2019 owing to its low-cost property.
The membrane segment is projected to witness a volume-based CAGR of 6.8% from 2020 to 2027 on account of its superior breathability and water resistance properties. The membrane-based textiles are highly efficient in maintaining the optimum body temperature thereby delivering superior comfort to the consumers.
Membranes are bonded to the underside of a garment's face fabric, resembling the application of wallpaper on a wall. Laminated waterproof breathable fabrics are made by the application of membranes to a textile product. These are thin membranes made from polymeric materials, which offer high resistance to water penetration and perspiration vapor permeability.
Densely woven waterproof breathable fabrics consist of cotton or synthetic microfilament yarns arranged in a highly compact weaving pattern. Densely woven waterproof breathable textiles are highly resistant to wear and tear. As a consequence, these textiles have emerged as the material of choice in several heavy-duty applications such as military and industrial work wear.
The coated fabric is expected to attain a 15.7% share of the global market for waterproof breathable textiles by 2027. The low cost associated with the product coupled with robust waterproofing and breathability performance is expected to propel product demand over the forecast period. Furthermore, growing product utilization in the manufacturing of rainwear is anticipated to positively impact the market for waterproof breathable textiles.
The protective clothing segment is expected to witness a CAGR of 5.0% in terms of revenue from 2020 to 2027. Growing focus on industrial safety is propelling the demand for a variety of protective apparel including industrial gowns and coats, boots, shoes, masks, and coveralls thereby positively influencing market growth over the forecast period.
The general clothing and accessories segment is expected to grow at a steady growth rate over the upcoming period. The waterproof breathable textiles based apparels are highly comfortable to wear during physical activities as it helps in maintaining the optimum body temperature by effectively dissipating body heat with its vapor permeability.
The sportswear segment accounted for 55.2% share of the overall market for waterproof breathable textiles in 2019 and is projected to grow at a significant pace over the forecast period. Rising awareness pertaining to the positive benefits of various fitness activities such as yoga, aerobics, cycling, and among consumers is expected to provide a significant boost to the market growth.
Rising participation of women in sports and fitness activities is exerting a significant impact on the demand for sportswear. Additionally, the aggressive market strategies adopted by sportswear manufacturers such as celebrity endorsements and huge advertisements budgets are projected to boost market growth over the upcoming period.
Asia Pacific emerged as the largest market for waterproof breathable textiles in 2019 with 39.4% of overall revenue owing to the presence of a huge population with increasing per capita income. Additionally, the region is witnessing rapid growth in the popularity of outdoor and indoor sports is generating a huge demand for sports apparels thereby driving the demand for the waterproof breathable textiles.
The waterproof breathable textiles demand in Canada accounted for 11% of the overall market North America in 2019. According to the Meteorological Service of Canada, seven major Canadian cities have an average of over 125 rainy days a year. Consequently, there is a constant demand for rainwear products such as jackets, pants, and weatherproof shoes within the country.
The sports goods segment within Europe is expected to witness a revenue-based CAGR of 5.2% over the forecast period. The region has a well-developed sporting culture with football being the most popular sport. Cricket, basketball, and rugby are also hugely popular in the region. The rising demand for the highly breathable and waterproof training gears and shoes from the outdoor sporting industry is expected favorably impact the market.
South America region is one of the most popular destinations for recreational and sports fishing activities. Kayaking and white-water rafting are particularly popular forms of water sports in Brazil and Argentina. All these activities are expected to generate significant demand for the waterproof breathable textiles products within the region.
The global market is characterized by high investments in product development and R&D activities. The major market participants are focusing on developing new fabrics, fibers, and production processes, which is expected to positively influence the market over the next few years.
Several companies are progressively using eco-friendly products to satisfy the rising demand for sustainable products. Major companies in the market include W. L. Gore and Associates, Inc., SympaTex Technologies; Mountain Hardwear; Polartec, LLC; Marmot Mountain LLC; The North Face; Schoeller Textil AG; and Toray Industries, Inc.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2016 - 2018
2020 - 2027
Volume in million square meters, revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2020 to 2027
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa
U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Spain, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Africa
Volume forecast, revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends
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This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global waterproof breathable textiles market report on the basis of raw material, fabric, application, and region:
Raw Material Outlook (Volume, Million Square Meters; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Fabric Outlook (Volume, Million Square Meters; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Application Outlook (Volume, Million Square Meters; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
General Clothing & Accessories
Regional Outlook (Volume, Million Square Meters; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Central & South America
Middle East & Africa
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