Indian textile industry is one of the largest in the world, with traditional textiles occupying the lion’s share in the market. India is the largest producer of cotton and jute, and the second-largest producer of silk, polyester and fibre across the globe.
Since the focus has been on the conventional textiles till now, technical textiles has remained largely untapped in India. In fact, technical textiles is one of the most unexplored segments in the Indian textile industry. Technical textile products have been gaining a lot of attention recently in the world.
Technical textiles refer to textile products manufactured for non-aesthetic purposes with functionality as a primary criterion. The global technical textiles market is projected to become USD 220.37 billion by the year 2022, growing at a CAGR of 5.89%, according to a report by the Markets and Markets. While India is one of the largest producers of traditional textiles in the world, India’s share in the global technical textile market is less than 5%. Currently, the global technical textile market is dominated by western countries. The US is both the largest producer and consumer of technical textiles in the world with a share of 23%, followed by Western Europe with a share of 22%. China and Japan accounts for a share of 13% and 7% respectively in the global technical textile market.
India’s Shift Towards Technical Textiles
APAC region accounts for around 40% of total consumption of technical textiles in the world. The demand for technical textiles has been growing in India at a faster pace over the past five years as the government is placing emphasis on industrialization and digitization through schemes like ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’. The Indian technical textiles market is expected to reach Rs. 2 lakh crore mark by 2020-21, according to the baseline survey by the Ministry of Textiles. Unlike in the case of traditional textiles, India largely depends on imports to meet the domestic demands of technical textiles. India imports several technical textiles related products like diapers, wipes, protective clothing, hoses, webbings for seat belts, etc., signifying the lack of domestic supply. Realizing the potential domestic demand and scope for exports of technical textiles, the Government of India has recently decided to setup a National Technical Textiles Mission at an estimated budget of USD 197.33 million (Rs. 1,480 crores) with four-year implementation period from 2020-21 to 2023-24. As per the statement from the Textile Ministry, in the proposed budget of Rs. 1,480 crores, Rs. 1000 crores will be allotted for R&D, Rs. 400 crores for skill development and training, Rs. 50 crores for marketing and promotion, Rs. 20 crores for administrative purposes and Rs. 10 crores for export promotion. The mission which aims to position India as a leader in the global textile industry puts emphasis on using technical textiles in the government programmes like Jal Jivan Mission, Swach Bharat Mission, Ayshman Bharat, etc. and some strategic sectors like agriculture, aquaculture, poultry, dairy, highways, ports, railways, etc. The NTTM also works for the development of R&D infrastructure such as innovation and incubation centres to encourage MSMEs in the country and boost domestic technical textile manufacturing.
In India currently there exist some large enterprises operating in the field of technical textile manufacturing. However, in spite of the presence of large players in the industry, the production of specific products like shoelaces, woven sacks, carpet backing, canvas tarpaulin, zip fasteners, stuffed toys, canopies, etc. in India is still confined to MSMEs. These MSMEs which are mostly present in the unorganized sector lack the technical exposure which is required in order to succeed in this highly competitive market, particularly the technical textiles market. Therefore, MSMEs should take help from textile consultants on the adoption of the latest technologies.
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