Part II focuses on five end-product markets, primarily in the U. S.: safety and technical products, narrow fabrics, geosynthetics, truck covers and tarpaulins, and fabric graphics.
The Industrial Fabrics Foundation recently announced its annual awards to industry standouts.
Worldwide GDP remains subdued, and the specialty fabrics industry is responding with care, but stronger growth is anticipated in 2014.
Aerospace products were displayed at IFAI Expo 2013.
SBA lending activity in FY 2013 tops $29 billion.
Manufacturers of fabric-based products find great potential in handling and transporting cargo, as fibers and fabrics become lighter and stronger.
Report includes coverage of United States, Canada and Mexico.
Sports and recreation fabrics for apparel and gear match demanding customer expectations and show continued growth.
A New Zealand company worked across continents to provide world-class tent shelters for America’s Cup racing teams.
Textile processing units to establish environmental infrastructure and energy efficiency.
JEC Group predicts strong growth.
Fabric shade structures that collect rainwater and provide an attractive aesthetic.
Renovation of a seaside resort included custom awnings, shades and canopies.
Demand for indoor sportswear will grow rapidly, despite constrained consumer spending.
Technological developments lead to uniforms and gear that perform double duty: protect the soldier while withstanding harsh environments.
In an IFAI business climate survey, three factors constraining growth in the U.S. specialty fabrics market were mentioned: high raw material costs, overseas competition, and high oil/energy prices. From September –December 2008, high raw material and petroleum-related prices were exacerbated by tighter credit markets and record unemployment.
Survey respondents reported some positive factors: increasing market share due to increased consolidation, greater export opportunities, and development of new technology and growth in eco-friendly green markets. Growth markets include medical textiles, military applications, safety and protective products, and the domestic and international use of geosynthetics.
Increases in raw material and energy costs, increased labor costs and medical insurance premiums and the possible long-term shrinkage of the military market were mentioned as threats to growth. The poor economy means a weak U.S. dollar, tighter credit and reduced consumer buying. Overcapacity could be a problem, due to increased costs, decreased customer demand and global competition, especially from China and India.
In response, suppliers will focus on high value products, profitable niche markets and product diversification, improving manufacturing processes, R&D and information technology. Advertising, marketing and sales promotion will be key.
From the 2009 State of the Industry Report. Purchase a complete report at the IFAI Bookstore.