Knitted fabrics is a type of elastic textiles that are manufactured by interlocking yarns with the help of a pair of needles. Knitted fabrics can be manufactured by two principal methods – weft knitting and warp knitting. Knitted fabrics are generally comfortable, lightweight, and can be made more easily and quickly that woven fabrics, with which they are often used interchangeably.
With burgeoning demand for knitted fabrics in the global clothing and textile industry, a mounting number of manufacturers are entering the market to capitalize on lucrative business opportunities. These new market entrants and emerging players collectively account for 45-50% share of the knitted fabrics market. On the other hand, knitted fabrics market leaders are aiming to gain momentum in the clothing and textile industry by enhancing their value chains on two fronts – automation and nearshoring. Stagnation in Western markets has consequentially resulted in new players entering the developing markets for knitted fabrics. A mounting number of start-ups in the knitted fabrics market are adopting advanced technologies to introduce innovative fabrics and gain an edge in the knitted fabrics market. In addition, small scale producers in the knitted fabrics market in developing countries are also benefitting from favorable regulations and low labor costs, making their way through the highly-competitive knitted fabrics market.
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Notable developments in the knitted fabrics market:
- A leading Italy-based manufacturer of high-quality knitted fabrics, Luxury Jersey recently announced the launch of two new fabrics for the luxury segment, in partnership with partner Fulgar – an Italian producer of man-made fibers. The company used Evo by Fulgar, which is a yarn made from castor oil, in combination with GOTS-certified organic cotton to manufacture these new fabrics. The company also announced that the two new fabrics offer a strong sustainable component in the knitted fabrics market, and can be ideal for women’s outwear and sportswear.
- In February 2018, scientists at Texinov Medical Textiles – a French manufacturer of warp-knitted textiles, developed a knitted fabric using laser technology that can be used in treatments for skin diseases such as actinic keratosis, psoriasis, and acne with light.
- Zaha Hadid Architects and researchers from ETH Zurich – a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics University based in Zürich, Switzerland – developed double-curved concrete shelled pavilion was made with the help of KnitCrete – a 3D-knitted formwork. This framework is claimed to have helped in saving material, waste, and labor for construction by simplifying the construction process for complex shapes.
The report provides information about knitted fabrics market structure, key financials, recent competitive developments, and financial share analysis of leading stakeholders in the knitted fabrics market. The companies featured in the report include Guilford Mills, Gehring Tricot Corporation, Rebtex Inc., Macra Lace Company, Clover Knits, SAS Textiles, Damodar Menon International Pvt Ltd., Krishna Overseas, Jason Mills LLC, and William J Dixon Inc.
Increasing growth of the textile industry has resulted in creating more lucrative opportunities, thereby attracting new players to enter the industry. This is leading to intensifying the competition in the knitted fabrics market. Leading manufacturers are launching more innovative and high-quality products using next-generation manufacturing technologies to bring a new dynamic to the knitted fabrics market. Increasing adoption of state-of-the-art technologies to bolster manufacturing of custom seamless knitwear apparels is becoming increasingly palpable in the knitted fabrics market. Market leaders are completely digitizing their entire production processes to further enhance their business productivity and efficiency. Technological assets, such as physical simulation software, 3D printing technology, and 3D design software, are likely to prevail over traditional manufacturing processes soon in the knitted fabrics market.
Knitted fabrics have been deemed more prone to damage than their woven alternatives, thereby compromising the utilization efficiency of of the fabric in various applications. Needle malfunction, mismanagement of machinery, or improper care during the fabric dyeing processes, are some of the aspects that increase the risk of damage during knitted fabrics construction In addition, improper manual handling of knitted fabrics and inspection cuts lead to forcing manufacturers to keep an extra buffer for such damages. This is one of the leading causes behind high overall fabric costs, which is ultimately creating challenges for stakeholders to mitigate production costs. Thereby, unavoidable spending on knitted fabric management and machine maintenance prove to be costly challenges for knitted fabrics market players to tackle with.
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Both, woven fabrics and knitted fabrics are commonly used in the healthcare industry as medical textile. However, textile engineers discovered that knitted fabrics are more flexible, highly porous than woven fabrics, and have loose and changeable structural design, thereby can be used in versatile medical applications. The structure of knitted fabric can be altered and modified easily to suit variable requirements of several medical applications, which is boosting demand for knitted fabrics in the healthcare industry.
With growing awareness about unique benefits of knitted fabrics, when they are used as medical textiles, knitting technologies have emerged to be an integral part of the healthcare industry. For example, warp knitting technology is becoming popular as one of the most economic technologies used to manufacture thermostatic textiles used in surgery to maintain patients’ body temperature.
Increasing use of high-tech medical textiles in healthcare applications is creating numerous lucrative opportunities for manufacturers in the knitted fabrics market. Leading market players are likely to adopt next-generation manufacturing technologies to offer knitted medical textiles that can suit various requirements of medical applications in the upcoming years.
Owing to their soft hand-feel and characteristics to offer a perfect fit to the clothing, knitted fabrics find more demand and maximum applications in nightwear and lingerie collections. Manufacturers in the knitted fabrics market are adopting advanced printing technologies to further enhance the texture and flexibility of knitted fabrics to suit the modern requirements in the nightwear clothing segment. Apart from the offering knitted fabrics with rich feel, leading players in the knitted fabrics market are concentrating on improving performance characteristics of knitted fabrics. Manufacturers are likely to alter their manufacturing processes to offer better performance characteristics of knitted fabrics, such as resistance to washing and rubbing, functional comfort, and significant saving on energy and greenhouse emissions, to expand the scope of knitted fabric applications beyond lingerie and nightwear segment.
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