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Smart Textiles to see Rapid Growth to 2021

04 August 2011

Leatherhead UK, 4 August 2011. The market for smart fabrics is valued at €188.15 million in 2011 and forecast to see a CAGR of almost 23% to 2016, according to a new study by Smithers Apex. The CAGR during 2016-21 is forecast to be just under 30%.

Based on extensive primary research, The Future of Smart Fabrics - Market and Technology Forecasts to 2021 provides quantitative market sizes and forecasts broken down by technology, material, end-use application and geography, with five and ten year forecasts.

Smart fabrics are defined as any fibre-based structures that can react to stimuli. This includes many 'enhanced fabrics' such as garments specially treated to be wrinkle free, spill or stain resistant, anti-fading, with moisture management or with odour control properties, etc. Fibres and fabrics with a degree of shape memory, nanocoated materials or those which react to temperature changes are other examples of stimulus-reacting products that come under this definition.

Smithers Apex expects 2011 will be a landmark year in the progress of smart fabrics, and all the signs are that it will usher in a decade of rapid growth in many areas.

According to the study, external drivers contributing to this growth include:

  • Sensors and other electronics continue to get smaller in size and weight, as well as cheaper, even as their intelligence increases.
  • The dramatic rise of smart phones and what it is now possible to do with them will push forward the use of smart fabrics, especially in respect of sensing and monitoring applications, but also in fashion and entertainment.
  • By as early as 2016 there are expected to be around 300 million body-worn wireless sensor-based gadgets on the market, with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology having a major impact.
  • Many emerging product packages including smart fabrics and related products are rapidly proving to have more value than the purpose for which they were originally intended, largely as a result of advances in software, apps and the internet.
  • One key issue in respect of developing truly smart fabrics has been the lack of microconductors that exhibit the intrinsic qualities of textiles. This is now being successfully addressed.
  • Smart fabrics continue to secure funding for new research and development projects.

The Future of Smart Fabrics - Market and Technology Forecasts to 2021
Source Smithers Apex

It is generally perceived that the smart fabrics industry is still searching for a 'killer application'. Given the wide number of markets smart fabrics are currently being employed in, and the vast diversity of products within those markets, overall sales in 2011 - while perhaps more impressive than is generally perceived - are still a fraction of what is ultimately anticipated.

The Future of Smart Fabrics - Market and Technology Forecasts to 2021 is available now for £3,750. For further information please contact Bill Allen on +44 (0)1372 802086 or via e-mail Bill

Press contact: For editorial queries, details of the report or an expanded article please contact:
Rebecca Leigh +44(0)1372 802207 rebecca.leigh@smitherspira.com

Smithers Apex provides market research, strategic and technical consulting to niche, emerging and high growth industries.

Market coverage includes lighting and displays, clean energy, home and personal care, industrial biotechnology, performance materials and chemicals. Smithers Apex is a division of Smithers Pira.

What's New

  • The Future of Smart Fabrics to 2021

    06 April 2011

    This major new report pulls all of these inconsistencies together to provide a coherent picture of the industry and an overall value for smart fabrics in 2011. The Future of Smart Fabrics also identifies how, why and where each market is likely to grow, and the value of products and markets by 2016 and 2021. With details of key market drivers and barriers, and of the latest research and development, this report is a must read for your business.

  • Smart Fabrics 2012

    17 April 2012

  • Smart Fabric Technologies and Applications

    15 July 2010

    Sports and outdoor wear brand owners have been quick off the mark to exploit the potential of smart fabrics, while intensified collaboration between technology and textiles industries is opening up applications in healthcare, safety and military clothing, fashion, automotive and other markets.

  • Developments in Smart Fabrics

    10 February 2010

    The development of smart fabrics requires many different technologies to be brought together effectively including textile technology, electronics, printing, plastics processing, and knowledge of special and emerging materials such as electroactive polymers. . This study provides a comprehensive overview of smart material technologies and how they are incorporated into smart fabrics. It also reviews the range of research projects which have been carried out in recent years or are still in progress and profiles the latest smart fabric applications.

  • +Plastic Electronics: Digital

    30 May 2011

    +Plastic Electronics is an international digital publication for users, developers and integrators of plastic, organic and printed electronics. The online magazine provides news, forecasts, features and case studies designed to support growing companies and start-ups

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