India may be a major player in traditional textile, but technical textile as a segment is growing fast due to rising demand for specialized fabrics from various sectors of the economy.

According to industry players, India could be the next hub for both manufacturing and consumption of technical textile.

While growth in many key sectors is slumping currently, technical textile as a segment is set for 20 per cent growth year on year.

“Technical textile is a growing segment and the government has projected 20 per cent year on year growth in the 12{+t}{+h} five year plan. Thus we expect this segment to grow to $36 billion in 2016-17,” said Shashi Singh, Executive Director, Indian Technical Textile Association, on the sidelines of Techtexil India, a trade show here. She said all forms of technical textile such as medical textile, agro textile, geo textile and protective clothing to name a few, are finding greater application and many new players are entering into this business where margins are high.

Major Indian players

Some of the major Indian players include Reliance Industries and SRF Industries, Garware Wall Ropes and Welspun India

 “World over, the share of technical textile in all forms of textiles is 65 per cent, whereas its share is 10 to 15 per cent in India. This indicates the massive growth potential in this segment, which is purely based on technology and innovation,” Ms Singh said.

Currently, India imports high-end technical textiles and depends on imported machinery to produce value-added technical fabrics in India. Currently, India exports over U$1 billion worth technical textiles and this figure is set to grow, said experts.

India is seen as a key growth market for the sector, not because of the sheer size of its population but due to cost-effectiveness, durability and versatility of technical textiles, according to experts.

Several projects are also coming up in joint ventures with foreign players who are transferring technical know-how. Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are some of the emerging destinations, experts said.