Fabric softeners and conditioners are chemical agents used to prevent static cling in fabrics by making the fabric softer. This is accomplished by coating the fabric with a thin lubricated layer, giving a smoother feel to the clothes. Fabric softeners and conditioners are applied to fabrics while rinsing the laundry in a washing machine. Generally, fabric softener is a pink, floral smelling deodorizing product.
Fabric softeners and conditioners are high in static-properties. They are suitable for all laundry machines and most types of fabrics. They are also known for their biodegradable properties. Fabric softeners help in increasing the lifespan of fabrics, especially of woolen and other such delicate fabric, keeping the fiber smooth and soft, prolonging the life of the garment. Often laundry detergents dry out the clothes and stiffen them, particularly when washed with hard water. Fabric softeners and conditioners soften the clothes and protect the skin, besides giving a fresh smell to the clothes.
The fabric softeners and conditioners market is expected to grow at a considerable rate in the near future. Demand for fabric softeners and conditioners is expected to rise, as consumers have started realizing their benefits in terms of money and quality. Also, manufacturers are now providing eco-friendly fabric conditioners as chemical conditioners tend to pollute water. These are expected to contribute to the growth of the fabric softeners and conditioners market. However, there are certain factors anticipated to restrain the growth of the market during the forecast period, which include, the overuse of these softeners and conditioners that tend to damage the clothes. Also, chemical-based softeners and conditioners tend to cause difficulty in breathing, affecting the lungs, and may lead to development of cancer. Therefore, natural ingredient-based products are seen as an opportunity for the manufacturers operating in this market.
The global fabric softeners and conditioners market can be segmented based on product type, active ingredient, form, application, distribution channel, and region. In terms of product type, the fabric softeners and conditioners market can be divided into liquid softener, dryer sheet, and others. By application, the fabric softeners and conditioners market can be classified into residential and commercial. Based on active ingredient, the fabric softeners and conditioners market can be categorized into cationic fabric softeners and anionic fabric softeners. In terms of form, the fabric softeners and conditioners market can be segregated into liquids, sprays, tablets, and others. Based on distribution channel, the fabric softeners and conditioners market can be segmented into direct sales and distributor sales. In terms of region, North America is expected to dominate the global fabric softeners and conditioners market due to increase in use of fabric softeners in the textile industry. The fabric softeners and conditioners market in Asia Pacific is expected to grow significantly in the next few years owing to rise in acceptance of the product and growth in middle class population, followed by rapid urbanization and rise in disposable income in the region.
Key companies operating in the global fabric softeners and conditioners market are Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC., Lion Corporation, Dropps, Procter & Gamble Co., Kao Corporation, Unilever PLC., LG Household and Healthcare, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, Palmolive Company, and The Sun Products Corporation. These companies focus on acquisitions and partnerships to sustain in the market. For instance, in September 2016, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA acquired The Sun Products Corporation, which is leading player in the laundry and home care products sector. The acquisition has benefited Henkel AG & Co. KGaA to gain the second position, in terms of market share, in North America. Furthermore, manufacturers are focusing on quality and cost-effective products to increase their consumer base.
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