Smart fabrics, also known as smart garments, smart textiles, electronic textiles, or smart clothing are a type of fabric in which digital components and electronic devices such as LEDs, batteries, integrated circuits, conductors, and others are embedded to offer an added value to the wearer. Smart fabrics can be categorized as aesthetic and performance enhancing. Such fabrics can be made from various types of materials including cotton, polyester, nylon, and Kevlar, among others.
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Reducing size of smart electronic devices which can easily be embedded in smart fabrics is the major factor driving the market growth. Smaller size of electronic components not only reduces the weight of the fabric but also gives comfort to the wearer. These smart fabrics are used in various applications such as health management, communication, and actuation.
As per Coherent Market Insights, in 2014, around 12 million sports-related injuries were observed, which led to economic burden of around US$ 33 billion, of which 50% of the injuries were estimated to be preventable by the use of smart fabrics.
Growing applications of smart fabrics across various industries including health, beauty, entertainment, defense, healthcare, transportation, and food & beverages, among others is expected to offer lucrative growth opportunities for the electronic fabrics makers in the near future. Smart fabrics have considerable adoption in defense & military applications where it is used to protect the users from environmental changes. For instance, a bulletproof vest senses the bullets impact and stops penetration in the body.
On the basis of geography, the global smart fabrics market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East, and Africa. North America and Europe are dominant regions in the smart fabrics market, owing to presence of large number of manufacturers of smart fabrics in these regions such as Bebop Sensors, Triton Systems, Vista Medical, Advanced Fabric Technologies (AFT), Loomia, Siren, and Grabit. Furthermore, increasing sales of the sports products and equipment is also, expected to aid in growth of these markets.
For instance, according to report by Sport and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), sports equipment sales in the U.S. increased by 3.1% in 2018 as compared to the previous year. China was the third largest textile industry in the world in 2016-2017 by the records published by International Trade Organization (ITA) and is expected to be the dominant in the region throughout the analysis period (2017-2025).
Key players operating in the smart fabrics market includes AIQ Smart Clothing Inc., E. I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company, Google, Texas Instruments, Kolon Glotech, Interactive Wear AG, Ohmatex, Schoeller Textil AG, Sensoria, Textronics, Inc. Adidas Group, Outlast Technologies LLC, Milliken & Company, KCWW, and International Fashion Machines