• Union Minister of Commerce and Industry targeted five times increase in the export of Technical Textiles in three years, from the current USD 2 billion to USD 10 billion.



  • Technical textiles are used in different forms in various industries like construction, transport, agriculture, medical, hygiene, and sporting.
  • In industrial manufacturing operations technical textiles are used for filters, machine clothing, conveyor belts, and abrasive substrates.
  • They are also incorporated into industrial products such as electrical components and cables, flexible seals and diaphragms, and acoustic and thermal insulation for other domestic appliances.


  • Protech – The main target of the technical protective fabrics is to improve worker safety in the workplace. A technical protective fabric can save a worker’s life and that’s why they are used in the manufacture personal protective equipment. Demand for these fabrics is growing around the world thanks to the sensibilisation of society, requiring increased safety at work.
  • Agrotech – Textiles used in agriculture are termed as agro textiles. They are used for crop protection and fertilisation. The essential properties required are strength, elongation, stiffness, bio-degradation, resistance to sunlight and resistance to toxic environment. All these properties help with the growth and harvesting of crops and other foodstuffs.
    • Some of the examples of agro textiles are
    • Preventing erosion and paving the way for afforestation in greenhouse cover and fishing nets
    • Layer separation in fields, nets for plants, rootless plants and protecting grassy areas
    • Sun screens (since they have adjustable screening) and wind shields
    • Packing material and in bags for storing grass that has been mowed
    • Materials for ground and plant water management at times of scarcity and abundance of water
  • Buildtech – Textiles used in construction: concrete reinforcement, façade foundation systems, interior construction, insulations, proofing materials, air conditioning, noise prevention, visual protection, protection against the sun, and building safety.
    • An interesting application is the use of textile membranes for roof construction. This area is also referred to as textile architecture. PVC coated high tenacity polyester (PES), Teflon coated glass fibre fabrics and silicone coated PES are used for their low creep properties.
  • Geotech – Geo textiles are used in the reinforcement of embankments or in constructional work. These textiles are permeable and used with soils as they have the ability to separate, filter, protect and drain.
    • Application areas include civil engineering, earth and road construction, dam engineering, soil sealing and drainage systems. The fabric used must have good strength, durability, low moisture absorption and thickness. Mostly nonwoven and woven fabrics are used in it. Synthetic fibres like glass, polypropylene and acrylic are used to prevent cracking of the concrete, plastic and other building materials.
  • Indutech – Industrial textiles are used for chemical and electrical applications and textiles related to mechanical engineering.
    • Applications include silk-screen printing, filtration, plasma screens, propulsion technology, lifting/conveying equipment, sound proofing elements, melting processes, roller covers, grinding technology, insulations, seals, and fuel cells.
    • With advanced Indutech products like nonwoven nanofibre filtration, innovations are now filling the micro-filtration performance gap that had existed in the past, offering benefits such as enhanced air quality, reduced energy cost, and longer service life.
  • Mobiltech – These textiles are used in the construction of automobiles, railways, ships, aircraft and spacecraft.
    • Examples are Truck covers (PVC coated PES fabrics), car trunk coverings, lashing belts for cargo tie downs, seat covers (knitted materials), seat belts, non-wovens for cabin air filtration airbags, parachutes, and inflatable boats.
    • These textiles are used in automobiles, ships and aircrafts. Many coated and reinforced textiles are used in materials for engines such as air ducts, timing belts, air filters, and non-wovens for engine sound isolation.
  • Ecotech – New applications for textiles in environmental protection applications include: floor sealants, erosion protection, air cleaning, prevention of water pollution, water cleaning, waste treatment/recycling, depositing area construction, product extraction, domestic water sewerage plant.


  • The growth of technical textiles in India has gained momentum in the past five years, currently growing at an 8 % per annum rate.
  • It is aimed to hasten this growth to 15-20 % range during the next five years.
  • The current world market is USD 250 billion (Rs 18 lakh crore) and India’s share in it is USD 19 billion.
  • India is an aspiring player with USD 40 billion in this market (8 % Share).
  • The biggest players are the USA, western Europe, China and Japan (20-40% share).


  • Lack of Awareness – Benefits of technical textiles are still unknown to the larger masses of the country.
  • Development of Skilled Workforce – Technical textiles require different and high levels of skill sets from workers which is currently absent in the domestic industry.
  • Lack of Research & Development – One of the key issues that the Indian technical textiles industry is facing is the lack of product diversification.
  • Imports of Technical Textiles – India imports a significant amount of technical textiles consisting of cheap products from China and hi-tech products from US & Europe. This signifies that the Indian technical textiles industry is lacking scale and the capacities to manufacture high-tech products.


  • National Technical Textile Mission – It was launched with a total outlay of USD 194 Mn in February 2020 with a view to position the country as a global leader in technical textiles.
  • Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Textiles Sector – It aims to promote the production of high value Man-Made Fibre (MMF) fabrics, garments and technical textiles.
  • 100% FDI under Automatic Route – The Government of India allows 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) under automatic route. International technical textile manufacturers such as Ahlstrom, Johnson & Johnson etc have already initiated operations in India.
  • Technotex India – It is a flagship event organised by the Ministry of Textiles, in collaboration with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and comprises exhibitions, conferences and seminars with participation of stakeholders from across the global technical textile value chain.


  • The government and the industry need to build a solid infrastructure to educate people about technical textiles. This can be done by incorporating basic information about technical textiles in schools and colleges, conducting awareness programs such as roadshows and seminars, promotion through digital and social media etc.
  • The government can modify their manpower development schemes to align with the requirements of the technical textiles industry.
  • Young and aspiring entrepreneurs must take this opportunity and invest in research and development of technical textiles and reap its benefits in the coming years.

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