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Fibres and fabrics for performance footwear
published in Issue 22, 3rd Quarter 2007
The specialist performance footwear market may be divided into two categories: footwear for safety at work and footwear for sports and recreation.
The market for safety footwear is affected by legislation which governs personal protective equipment (PPE), and footwear items must be affordable by potential wearers and employers. By contrast, the market for sports and recreational footwear is driven by branding, and by technological advancements which improve the performance of the wearer.
Common to both these markets is an increasing trend towards the development of specialist footwear which help the wearer to perform better in a particular situation. For example, shoes which are used for running or sprinting provide different performance characteristics from those which are used in aerobics. Similarly, footwear for firefighters has different requirements from those which are used in industrial applications.
The requirements of fibres and fabrics for specialist footwear are equally diverse. However, one universal requirement is that the materials used are capable of providing good moisture management. However, the challenge in today’s market is to produce technologically advanced fibres and fabrics which can manage moisture while also providing other specialist benefits. Some footwear fabrics have to be flame resistant, for example. Others have antistatic properties, and some are capable of regulating the temperature of the foot.
A number of performance fibres and fabrics incorporating new properties are being introduced to the market to replace or improve existing materials. Also, consumer demand is growing for products which are “environmentally-friendly”. These demands are being met in several ways—by, for example, using blends of Fosshield antimicrobial and Ecospun recycled polyester fibres, or by ensuring that the methods and materials used during manufacture are not harmful to the environment.
Table of Contents
Fibres and fabrics for performance footwear
The market for performance footwear
The anatomy of a shoe
Types of specialist performance footwear
Conventional fibres for specialist performance footwear
Advancements in fibres for specialist performance footwear
Conventional fabrics for specialist performance footwear
Advancements in fabrics for specialist performance footwear
Conventional antimicrobial treatments and technology
Advancements in antimicrobial coatings and finishing technology
Conventional waterproofing finishes
Advancements in waterproofing coatings and finishing technology
Four times a year, Performance Apparel Markets provides an overview of the sector for performance apparel and corporatewear. It provides market data and analysis of new and established markets for performance fibres, fabrics and clothing, and is essential reading for executives who are working in (or supplying) this fast growing sector. It is also an invaluable one-stop-shop where people who are not involved in the industry on a day-to-day basis can find an authoritative source of relevant information which helps them to quickly gain an understanding of the key issues facing the companies in this sector.
Reports in Performance Apparel Markets include:
reports on major developments in the global performance apparel market, focusing on new products and technologies, innovative fibres and key players;
detailed, independently-researched reports on one of the following topics: antimicrobial fibres and fabrics, anti-static technology, flame resistant fibres and fabrics, high strength fibres and fabrics, high visibility apparel, microencapsulation, moisture management fabrics, performance swimwear, seamless knitting and stitch-free seaming technologies, smart and interactive textiles, stain protective apparel, stretch fibres and fabrics, surfwear and surf-inspired clothing, temperature regulation, UV protective fibres and fabrics, and waterproof breathable fabrics;
company profiles, outlining the business, product, market and manufacturing strategies employed by key players in the performance apparel industry; and
business news and developments affecting global performance apparel markets, majoring on innovations, mergers and acquisitions, investments, joint ventures, and financial performances.
Performance apparel represents one of the fastest growing sectors of the international textile and clothing industry – and market growth is being fuelled by the emergence of new fibres, new fabrics and innovative process technologies. The market is also being boosted by changes in consumer lifestyles. People are living longer and spending more time on leisure activities. New high-tech fabrics are being developed for a wide range of active sports such as aerobics, athletics, ballooning, cycling, hiking, mountaineering, parachuting, sailing, skiing, snowboarding, swimming, and windsurfing.
Exciting innovations are emerging in smart textiles and nanotechnology – and the sector’s growth prospects are helped by the trend in increasing demand for performance features in mainstream fashion.
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