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COVID-19 highlights need for technical textiles


COVID-19 has clearly highlighted the need for technical textiles that go into making PPEs. More importantly, lack of continued investing in this sector even in the United States has exposed its vulnerability in critical lifesaving products.

Cost competitiveness, good quality and value-added products are the way forward for the industry. United States and Europe are still leading consumers and the economy in these regions will determine the speedy recovery of the global textile industry.

Interestingly, the current global crisis is reshaping the global textile sector’s space with more eyes on East Africa, Vietnam and Bangladesh. While China is the 600 pound gorilla, continuing trade tensions, COVID-19 impacts, and Xinjiang issue are watched carefully by competing countries like India to capture the market share. Cotton exporting countries like USA and Australia value China as a major player because of its buying power and need, however attention needs to be paid on recent geopolitical conditions.

Cotton textile manufacturing giants like India are seriously expanding their product basket so that weak links, such as finishing, garmenting and synthetic fiber sector, can enhance their strength against China. Given the strength of Bangladesh in its garment sector due to relative low cost labor and beneficial trade agreements that exist for Vietnam and Bangladesh, developing value-added products and enhancing the product basket are viable options for India.