Waterproof Breathable Textiles (WBT) Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Waterproof Breathable Textiles (WBT) Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Textile, By Raw Material (ePTFE, PU, Polyester), By Product, By Application (Protective Clothing, Sports Goods), And Segment Forecasts, 2019 - 2025

  • Published Date: Mar, 2019
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2018
  • Report ID: 978-1-68038-316-4
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2014 - 2017
  • Number of Pages: 301

Industry Insights

The global Waterproof Breathable Textiles market size was valued at USD 1.67 billion in 2018 and is expected to register a CAGR of 5.5% over the forecast period. Increasing product penetration in the sportswear industry owing to the rising demand for multifunctional and lightweight fabrics is expected to boost WBT market growth. Rising demand for antiviral, antimicrobial, and dew-, stain- and dirt-resistant WBTs is also expected to have a positive impact on the product demand.

In addition, advent of resins and fibers, which repel stains, offer low fabric-to-skin friction, and manage moisture is likely to augment the market growth further. Polyurethane (PU) segment led the market in U.S. owing to high demand for these products on account of their low-cost and excellent mechanical and waterproof properties. Increasing penetration of the product in outdoor sports products including backpacks, footwear, tents, and other fabric-based gear or garments owing to its characteristics, such as excellent durability and sturdiness, is anticipated to drive the market growth.

U.S. Waterproof Breathable Textiles market

This trend is aligned with the growing demand and popularity of adventure sports market. High product demand from various application areas including medical and military sectors also offer lucrative growth opportunities for the market. Moreover, increased R&D activities have led to the development of new fabrics, fibers, and innovative processes, which is expected to have a positive impact on the product demand over the forecast period.

In addition, rapid developments, in terms of cost-effective manufacturing processes, controlling pore sizes, and their distributions, are anticipated to drive the product demand over the forecast period. Technological advancements of anti-bacterial, anti-UV and anti-viral waterproof breathable fabrics are further expected to have a positive impact on the market expansion.

Raw Material Insights

Polyurethane (PU) membranes and coatings are widely used in the manufacturing of rainwear, sports garments, and accessories owing to their low cost, resistance to water, and breathability. Hydrophilic PU are commonly used in the production of highly breathable monolithic films and have a significant market share in the breathable application as a result of superior mechanical properties. Expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) is projected to witness a CAGR of 5.6%, in terms of revenue, from 2019 to 2025 on account of its extreme resistance to water, dirt, and contaminants. In 2014, the global fiber consumption was estimated at over 85 million tons, of which manmade fibers accounted for over 70%.

The polyester segment was estimated at USD 382.4 million in 2018, out of which, filaments held a share of 68% and the rest was accounted for by staple fibers. Changing consumer lifestyle coupled with increased emphasis on health and fitness is expected to drive the demand for polyester-derived fibers. Rising demand for sports apparel is also boosting the demand for polyester-based WBT products. Furthermore, consumers are seeking good-quality products at affordable prices, which is prompting manufacturers to invest significantly in R&D of superior products to suit consumer preferences. 

Textile Insights

In terms of revenue, membrane is anticipated to witness the highest CAGR of 5.8% from 2019 to 2025 on account of its high resistance to water penetration, as the layers permit water vapor to escape. Densely woven WBTs comprise of cotton or synthetic microfilament yarns with a dense weave structure. Ventile, a widely used fabric, is manufactured from long staple cotton with very less inter-fiber spaces. These fabrics are widely used in industrial, military, and medical applications. Coated WBTs constitute of polymeric material applied to one surface of the structure. Hydrophilic membranes constitute of chemically-modified PU or polyester thin films.

Product Insights

Footwear segment held 26.5% of the global share in 2018 owing to wide product usage in this sector as WBT garments prevent the penetration and absorption of water, which makes them highly utile in the footwear industry. These garments include waders, shorts, jackets, trousers, and t-shirts. Moreover, increasing popularity of various global sport events will ensure a constant demand for such textiles, thereby propelling market growth over the forecast period. In terms of revenue, the gloves segment is anticipated to witness a significant CAGR of 5.6% from 2019 to 2025.

The product is used in the production of waterproof gloves on account of its characteristics, such as high comfort, weather protection, moisture management, and balanced heat transfer in extreme climatic conditions. Moreover, reduction in the manufacturing cost of these garments has resulted in a decrease in the prices of final products, which is also a major contributor toward the segment growth.

Application Insights

The protective clothing is anticipated to witness a CAGR of 5.5%, in terms of revenue, from 2019 to 2025 on account of increasing number of clean rooms and stringent government regulations pertaining to a sanitary work environment in healthcare and chemicals industries. High demand for chemical- and fire-resistant clothes, medical gowns and coats, boots, shoes, masks, carpets, and coveralls is projected to boost the segment growth over the forecast period. In addition, rapidly expanding construction sector, industrialization, and urbanization are contributing to the segment expansion.

Global Waterproof Breathable Textiles market

Active sportswear segment also accounted for a significant market share in 2018 and is projected to witness notable growth over the forecast period. Increasing product usage in military is anticipated to have a positive impact on the segment growth. Rising number of small-scale companies in the sportswear industry in Asia coupled with shifting consumer preference toward quality products is expected to drive the product demand in sports goods.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific accounted for the largest market share in 2018 owing to the presence of developing countries with a rising consumer disposable income, increasing population, and other factors, which positively influence the consumption trends and patterns. Manufacturing capacity expansion by major companies in this region is anticipated to drive the growth further. Shifting preference toward multi-functional apparel and footwear made from high-quality fabrics and materials will also have a major impact on the region’s growth. Rapid industrialization and increasing R&D efforts by regional firms to develop unique materials with multiple benefits is further anticipated to augment the Asia Pacific market growth.

In North America, PU film segment is anticipated to witness a CAGR of 5.8% from 2019 to 2025 on account of increasing demand for films, which offer favorable thermal and waterproof properties. In addition, growing awareness regarding maintaining an active lifestyle is projected to impel the market growth in this region. Germany is the largest economy in Europe, which is characterized by the presence of growing automotive, power, and oil & gas industries, which, in turn, is expected to drive the WBT market in the years to come. Rapidly expanding chemical industry in the region is also likely to trigger product demand over the forecast period.

Waterproof Breathable Textiles (WBT) Market Share Insights

The global market is anticipated to witness inorganic and organic growth through mergers & acquisitions as well as from capacity expansion. Companies in the market invest heavily in R&D and innovation centers for the development of eco-friendly products to cater to the increasing demand for sustainable solutions. Major companies in the market include General Electric; W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc.; SympaTex Technologies; Columbia Sportswear; Mountain Hardwear; Clariant; Polartec, LLC; Marmot Mountain LLC; Patagonia, Inc.; The North Face; Schoeller Textil AG; and Toray Industries, Inc.

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual estimates/Historical data

2014 - 2017

Forecast period

2019 - 2025

Market representation

Volume in Million Square Meters, Revenue in USD Million, and CAGR from 2019 to 2025

Regional scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Spain, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, South Africa

Report coverage

Volume forecast, revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue and volume growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global Waterproof Breathable Textiles (WBT) market report on the basis of raw material, textile, product, application, and region:

  • Raw Material Outlook (Volume, Million Square Meters; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • ePTFE

    • Polyurethane

      • Film

      • Coated

        • Waterborne

        • Solvent borne

    • Polyester

    • Others

  • Textile Outlook (Volume, Million Square Meters; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Densely Woven

    • Membrane

    • Coated

  • Product Outlook (Volume, Million Square Meters; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Garments

    • Footwear

    • Gloves

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Million Square Meters; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • General Clothing & Accessories

      • Garments

      • Bags & Briefcases

      • Footwear

      • Gloves

    • Sports Goods

      • Garments

      • Footwear

      • Outdoor gears and accessories

    • Protective Clothing

      • Garments

      • Footwear

      • Gloves

      • Others

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Million Square Meters; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • U.K.

      • France

      • Italy

      • Spain

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • Japan

      • India

      • South Korea

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa

      • South Africa

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