Technical textiles

Technical textiles

Technical textiles is the term given to textile products manufactured for non-aesthetic purposes, where function is the primary criterion.

It is a large and growing sector and supports a vast array of other industries.

Technical textiles include textiles for autmotive applications, medical textiles (e.g., implants), geotextiles (reinforcement of embankments), agrotextiles (textiles for crop protection), and protective clothing (e.g., heat and radiation protection for fire figther clothing, molten metal protection for welders, stab protection and bulletproof vests), and spacesuits).

Over all, global growth rates of technical textiles are about 4% per year greater than the growth of home and apparel textiles, which are growing at a rate of 1% per year.

In present market opportunities and in free quota system the importance of technical textile materials is increasing to accommodate the needs of requirement. Nowadays the most widely technical textile materials are used in filter clothing, furniture, hygiene medicals and construction material.


Technical textiles can be divided into many categories, depending on their end use. The classification developed by Techtextil, Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH is widely used in Europe, North America and Asia [ [ Techtextil Frankfurt - Trade fair for Technical Textiles and Nonwovens] consulted 21 August 2008] . The classifications are:

Agrotech (Agro-textiles)

Textiles used in Agriculture are termed as agro textiles. The essential properties required are strength, elongation, stiffness, and bio-degradation, resistance to sunlight and resistance to toxic environment. All these properties help with the growth and harvesting of crops and other foodstuffs.

Buildtech (Construction Textiles)

Textiles used in construction - concrete reinforcement, façade foundation sstems, interior construction, insulations, proofing materials, air conditioning, noise prevention, visual protection, protection against the sun, building safety.

Clothtech (Clothing Textiles)

Textiles used in clothing

Geotech (Geo-textiles)

These are used in reinforcement of embankments or in constructional work. The fabrics in geo textiles are permeable fabrics and are used with soils having ability to separate, filter, protect or drain. The application areas include civil engineering, earth and road construction, dam engineering, soil sealing and in drainage systems. The fabric used in it must have good strength, durability, low moisture absorption and thickness. Mostly nonwoven and woven fabrics are used in it. Synthetic fibers like glass, polypropylene and acrylic fibers are used to prevent cracking of the concrete, plastic and other building materials. Polypropylene and polyester are used in geo textiles and dry/liquid filtration due to their compatibility.

Hometech (Domestic Textiles)

Textiles used in a domestic environment - interior decoration and furniture, carpeting, protection against the sun, cushion materials, fireproofing, floor and wall coverings, textile reinforced structures/fittings.

Indutech (Industrial Textiles)

Textiles used for chemical and electrical applications and textiles related to mechanical engineering. Silk-screen printing, filtration, plasma screens, propulsion technology, lifting/conveying equipment, sound-proofing elements, melting processes, roller covers, grinding technology, insulations, seals, fuel cell, electroplating technology.

Medtech (Medical textiles)

These are commonly used in bandages and sutures (stitching the wounds). Not all the textile fibers can be used here, because their performances depend upon interaction with the cells and different fluids produce by the body. Sutures and wound dressing uses fibers like silk and other synthetic fibers. Hollow synthetic fibers are used with nano or very small particles are used for the delivery of drugs to any specific part of the body to prevent over dosage. Cotton, silk polyester, polyamide are also used in medical applications.

Mobiltech (Textiles used in transport)

These textiles are used in the construction of automobiles, railways, ships, aircraft and spacecraft.

Oekotech or Ecotech (Environmentally-friendly textiles)

New applications for textiles in environmental protection applications - floor sealing, erosion protection, air cleaning, prevention of water pollution, water cleaning, waste treatment/recycling, depositing area construction, product extraction, domestic water sewerage plants.

Packtech (Packaging textiles)

Packaging, silos, containers, bags, canvas covers, marquee tents.

Protech (Protective textiles)

Protection against heat and radiation for fire fighter clothing, against molten metals for welders, for bullet proof jackets etc, all these things are obtained by usage of technical textiles with high performance fibers. In bullet proof jackets, special fiber aramid are used which have high tenacity, high thermal resistance and low shrinkage. Glass fiber is also used in fire proof jackets due to its high strength, chemical and flame resistance.Protective clothing is also used by the astronauts when they go in space. It was used by the astronauts when they went on moon, their suits where covered with special chemicals including lead to protect them from suns heat, their suit not only made from special fibers but their airship was also lined with special fabric.

porttech (Sports textiles)

Shoes, sports equipment, flying and sailing sports, climbing, angling, cycling, winter and summer sports, indoor sports

"Alternative spelling"

"These application areas are sometimes alternatively spelled: Agrotex, Buildtex, Clothtex, Geotex, Hometex, Indutex, Medtex, Mobiltex, Oekotex (Ecotex), Packtex, Protex and Sportex. [ [ Resisto Protection Textil GmbH visited 21 August 2008] ] "

pecific areas of application

Conveyor belts

For industrial applications and in power transmission, technical textiles are used in conveyor belts. Carcass is a fabric inside the conveyor belt, which is responsible for the strength and stretch properties of the belt. This carcass is made with layers of woven fabrics bonded together.

Electronics in textiles

It has been heard that soon textiles will be merged with electronics in all areas. In future wearable computers would be launched, these will not be like advance wrist watches etc, they will contain IC s in fabric to develop fabric keyboards and other wearable computer devices. These types of products are known as Interactive electronic textiles (IET). Research to support IET development is being conducted in many universities. Growing consumer interest in mobile, electronic devises will initiate the demand for IET products.

ee also


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