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Waterproof Breathable Textiles (WBT) Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2016 - 2024

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Waterproof breathable textiles (WBT) are defined as fabric which resist passing through of liquid water, but allows water vapor to pass through. They have competence to block out snow and rain while allowing vapor from sweat to evaporate. Thus, they can be used as rainwear, waterproof outdoor, sports clothing, tents, and other applications. WBT can be further classified based on the density of pores per unit millimeter and the ability of the fabric to withstand water vapor pressure without leaking. On the basis of pore density, WBT are classified as densely woven, membrane, and coated textile. WBT finds application in active sportswear, outdoor fabrics, raincoats, etc. WBT are used for making garments, gloves, footwear, clothes etc. The applications and the quality of the textile depend on factors such as water resistance and moisture vapor transmission. Water resistance is measured by the amount of water (in mm), which can be suspended above the fabric before water seeps through. Moisture vapor transmission or breathability rate is calibrated in grams of water vapor that passes through per square meter of fabric in a 24-hour period. Increasing popularity of sports apparel among women along with the availability of elegant sportswear is expected to fuel the growth of WBT during the forecasted period. Changing fashion trends may act as a challenge to the demand for WBT during the forecast period. 

The membrane section of textiles consists of nylon, expanded polytetrafluoroethylene, and polyester. Membrane was the largest segment in 2014 and the trend is expected to continue during the forecast period due to its ability to shield itself from ultra violet radiations, heat fluctuations, and airborne pollutants. Owing to the increasing use of WBT in active sportswear, waterproof breathable garments are anticipated to be the fastest growing product segment of WBT. Waterproof breathable garments offer better functionality and comfort as compared to traditional garments used for sports and outdoor purposes. In applications, the demand for sportswear with anti-microbial qualities is rising and it is further expected to fuel the growth and expansion of the global waterproof breathable textiles market. Active sportswear was the fastest growing application of this segment in 2014.

Rising inclination toward comfortable and high-performance apparel and economic factors such as high disposable income and growing awareness regarding fitness is anticipated to drive WBT market growth during the forecast period. Furthermore, technological advancement in the field of silicon-based and plasma technologies is leading to cost-effective production methods of WBT. Increasing use of recycled PET bottles to produce waterproof breathable fabrics is also projected to act as an opportunity for global market growth of WBT. Research and development is being conducted to enhance standards in terms of productivity and quality. This has resulted in improving design of materials to enhance the characteristics of build coating materials, and high-performance monolithic film for a wide range of applications. Changes in customer preference and outdoor disposal of dye water containing noxious chemicals are anticipated to hinder the market growth of waterproof breathable textiles.

Key market players of WBT include W. L. Gore & Associates, The North Face, eVent, Toray Industries, Polartec, Tanatex Chemicals, Schoeller Technologies, Patagonia Inc., Rudolf Group, Nike, P2i, Mitsui & Co., Mountain Hardwear, Huntsman Textile Effects, Lowe Alpine, Marmot, Nextec Applications, Jack Wolfskin, HeiQ Materials, Helly Hansen, Dow Corning, Clariant, Columbia Sportswear, APT Fabrics, and SympaTex.

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The regional analysis covers:

  • North America (U.S. and Canada)
  • Latin America (Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Chile, and others)
  • Western Europe (Germany, U.K., France, Spain, Italy, Nordic countries, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg)
  • Eastern Europe (Poland, Russia)
  • Asia Pacific (China, India, Japan, ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand)
  • Middle East and Africa (GCC, Southern Africa, North Africa) 

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