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Web Exclusive | April 2017

Synthetic fibres gain ground

Synthetic fibres are becoming more popular in the global textile and apparel industry due to their versatility, ease of use, high availability, and considerably lower cost than many natural textiles. However, environmental, financial, and infrastructural factors are preventing all synthetic fibres from seeing the same levels of success and demand around the world. 

The global spandex fibre market was valued at $5.8 billion in 2015, and is expected to reach around $10.5 billion by 2022. This ongoing growth is mostly due to the growing preference for and adoption of spandex-based stretch clothing. Though once almost entirely limited to lounge and athletic apparel, there is new demand and applications for spandex fibre in the healthcare, oil and gas, new energies, automotive, and aviation industries due its characteristics such as elasticity, durability, and abrasion resistance. The regions where spandex is popular are changing as well. North America and Europe collectively account for more than 25 per cent of the worldwide demand for spandex fibre, but are expected to be overtaken by Asia Pacific. This region is expected to have the fastest growth rate and is projected to have a CAGR of 9.5 per cent in value terms by 2022.

High electricity costs and price-sensitive consumers are keeping the demand for polyester high in Indonesia’s textile industry, and allowing it to continuously outpace the demand for nylon yarn. Polyester is less expensive to produce and less expensive to purchase, making it a hit with consumers and manufacturers alike. Energy in Indonesia is fairly unreliable and highly expensive, and is one of the main reasons behind polyester’s stable demand.
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