Global Sailcloth Market: Snapshot

The drive for the sailcloth market stemmed from the need for modern backpack fabrics. Advances made in sailcloth technologies relate to improving a number of performance parameters. The durability, abrasion resistance, strength to weight ratio are the key ones for developing such a fabric. Further, fray prevention is an important parameter. Continuous material advances have enabled engineers to commercially develop synthetic fiber with high strength. An instance is when manufacturers harness recently developed polymerization techniques to develop sailcloth. Most popularly, it is used in making the fabric components of sails or tents. Over the past few years, the demand for fabrics that meet the most attributes of harsh sailing environment has been growing markedly in various parts of the world. The key business proposition is certainly their cost-effectiveness. A range of aramid fibers have come to the fore for meeting the sailcloth requirement of manufacturers. Characterized with high resistance to stress, amazing heat-resistance, and markedly high strength-to-weight ratio, aramid fibers have been gaining popularity in the sailcloth market. Their use has apparently become versatile in laminated cruising sails and racing sails.

Several new materials have attracted interest of fabric manufacturers in the sailcloth market. These materials are usually priced more than aramid brands, but the array of properties they display has helped them gather traction in the sailcloth market. Chemical companies are tapping into the growing avenue by incorporating various blending technologies. Breakthroughs in recent years have guided them to unveil products that feature at the intersection of right price and high performance.  Leveraging the synergistic properties of carbon and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene manufacturers have been able to expand their product portfolio with new sailcloth technologies. The growing science behind petrochemical processes has also advanced substantially in various developing and developed countries. This imparts momentum to the continuing innovation brought by top players in the sailcloth market.

Sailcloth is a sturdy and heavy cloth which is used to make tents or sails. Sails are a key strategic component in the boat structure. Sea wind, sunlight etc. can weaken the fabric of the sailcloth. Sailcloth is made from a range of materials including natural fibers such as flax and cotton in several forms of canvas, to synthetic fibers, which includes nylon, aramid, polyester, and carbon fibers in a variety of spun, woven, and molded textiles. These are expensive and durable products and have shelf life of more than ten years. Laminated and polyester are popular materials in sailcloth due to their features such as longer life span and sturdy structure. Cotton sailcloth also has demand in sportswear and upholstery. Nylon, Kevlar, and dyneema material are gaining market share due to their better durability and cost effectiveness.

Sailcloth Market - Competitive Landscape

The sailcloth market has several international and local companies.  Leading players are focusing on technological developments to reduce the cost of production and increase sales due to growing competition in the market.

  • In February 2016, Bainbridge International announced a new range of woven sailcloth named HSX. The company updated its existing sailcloth range to improve its performance. Bainbridge International is focusing on product portfolio expansion to meet the growing global demand for sailcloth.
  • In March 2019, Contender Sailcloth launched a new range of marine fabrics, called the Fibercon hybrid range. This product has better performance during impact damage, resistance, and good weaving density. The company aims to improve product quality by investing in R&D.

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Dimension-Polyant was established in 1966 and is known as a manufacturer of sailcloth. The company’s product portfolio includes cursing sails, downwind sails, racing sails, and upwind sails. The company has its manufacturing plants in Kempten, Germany, and the U.S. It also has several branches across the globe in France, Great Britain, Australia, Italy, Spain, Japan, New Zealand, and Russia.

Bainbridge International

Bainbridge International was established in 1917 and has headquarters in Hampshire, U.K. AIRX and DIAX are the company’s brands for international distribution. Bainbridge International has its international offices in Europe, the U.S, and Australia. It also has a well-established distribution network across the globe in over 75 countries.

Contender Sailcloth

Contender Sailcloth was founded in 1986 and is based in the Netherlands. It has offices across Europe. The company’s product portfolio includes wovens, Spinnaker, laminates, and industrial fabrics.

Several international and domestic players are active in the global sailcloth market. Some of them are Doyle Sailmakers, British Millerain Co. Ltd., North Sails & North Technology Group, Quantum Sails, Challenge Sailcloth, and others.

Sailcloth Market – Dynamics

Growing popularity of sailing across the globe expected to drive the sailcloth market

Rising purchasing power of consumers is fueling participation in different sports and adventure activities including sailing. This is encouraging the demand for sailcloth as it is an essential component in a sailing boat. Technological advancement in sailcloth such as development of bio-based fabrics is also influencing the market growth positively. This is anticipated to support growth of the sailcloth market during the forecast period.

Entry of domestic manufacturers in the sailcloth market expected to create competition which may influence the price of products in the coming years

Growing demand for sailcloth is encouraging domestic players to enter the market. This may boost competition and decrease the share of premium brands in the market. It is also anticipated to impact price and quality of the product.  Major manufacturers are focusing on product innovation and regional expansion to minimize the effect of increasing participation of domestic players. They are also aiming to develop quality products by using materials such as Kevlar and dyneema. 

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Sailcloth Market – Segmentation

On the basis of type, the sailcloth market is segmented into:

  • Laminated Sailcloth
  • Polyester Sailcloth
  • Nylon Sailcloth
  • Others (Carbon Fiber etc.)

Based on application, the sailcloth market is divided into:

  • Racing Sails
  • Cruising Sails
  • Others (Tents etc.)              

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Sailcloth Market

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