10.6.4.1 General Market Description
10.6.4.1 General market description
10.6.4.1.1 European textile sector
Technical textiles have seen their share of production grow considerably in Europe over the last fifteen years, increasing constantly both in value and in volume. This market has increased from 65 to 85 billion € from 1995 to 2005. 8.5 million tonnes, about half of global technical textile production, is consumed in Asia, followed by US and Europe with 5.8 million and 4.8 million tonnes respectively. In Europe four countries consume about half of the technical textiles in terms of value: Germany, France, the UK and Italy. The technical textiles industry in Germany represents 45% of the European textile industry, followed by France (30%), UK (30%) and Italy (12%).
Europe is one of the world leading exporters of textiles; according to EURATEX, the annual turnover of the textile industry in 2008 was over €203 Billion and the sector employed 2.3 million workers in more than 145,000 companies  (mainly SMEs).
However, over the last couple of decades the European textile sector has dropped its production due to the globalisation of the economy and the relocation of the European companies outside Europe. These circumstances have worsened due to the world economic crisis that started in 2008 and almost 68,000 textiles jobs have been lost. During the first quarter of 2009 this negative trend has continued and production of the textile industry production dropped 23% on average.
10.6.4.1.2 Medical textiles
The global market in 2007 for medical textiles was about $8 billion . Every year this niche market becomes more relevant and its importance will increase even more in the future, the forecast world consumption in volume of medical textiles for 2010 is shown in the figure 4.1.
The increase of population over 60 years in Europe and consequently the increase of doctor visits is the main problem that new technologies will have to cope in order to assure a good medical service. Currently patients are offered periodic visits to the doctor and prescription medicine. However, the incorporation of nanotechnology in textiles may boost the so-called “telemedicine” (use of sensors and telecommunications in textiles to transfer medical information with the aim of consulting and remote medical measures or examinations). Moreover, the nanocoating textiles can offer a longer textile lifetime within the body and therefore visits to health facilities to replace dressings may be less frequent .
Health and hygiene textile materials have a wide variety of uses; however, nano-enabled developments remain in the early stages of development. The products range from simple gauze or bandage materials to scaffolds for tissue culturing and a large variety of prostheses for permanent body implants . The huge number of categories where the medical textiles can be applied, and the additional fields of applications regarding personal wellness that will emerge in the future, will drive growth in the number of nanotechnology products in the sector. However, there remains concern about the safety of nanoparticles introduced in the human body .
10.6.4.1.3 Sports and outdoors
The sports and outdoor textiles market is an important and growing sector within the technical textiles subsector. In 2008 around 10 % of the Europe consumers’ expenditure on clothes was on sports clothing  with the figure rising to 19% when considering sports footwear and clothing. These values show the importance of this segment to the overall textile sector.
The outdoor sector is one of the textile sectors where the impact of the economic crisis is lower. According to the German Sports Retailers (VDS) the market for sport outdoor products grew 11% on 2008  and the values from 2009 show that the growth remains stable. Proof of the potential for the outdoor sector is that big sports companies (even accounting for the global economic crisis), who focus their activities in traditional sports goods, are starting to position themselves within the “performance-sports gear” releasing new products aimed at the outdoor market .
Figure 4-2 reveals the market for athletic apparel in 2008; the top five firms control only the 20% of the market. According to the a market research company NPD Group, Inc., worldwide sales of sports equipment, apparel, and footwear in 2008 achieved € 219 billion (almost 75% in textiles). Nike and Adidas are the two market leaders in this sector with sales of around $18,6 billion (Nike) and $10,8 billion (Adidas) in 2008 . VF (which owns brands like North Face) and Columbia are other key players in the outdoors segment.
Figure 10.6.4.3 - Turnover from world market leaders in the sports & outdoor sector [various sources]
European and US companies have for decades been leaders in the textile sector; however, Chinese companies are gaining market share rapidly with an annual growth over the past 2 years of 40%. [113-115].
All these facts (e.g. high growth of the performance-sports goods, steadily growth in the past years, etc.) confirm that the sports and outdoor segment, due to its capability of increasing textile performance, is one of the key textile sectors where nanotechnology can play a major role in the coming years.
Visits: 3449, Published on: May, 20th 2010, 12:18 PM, Last edit: 2010-05-25 16:13:28 Size: 5 KByte