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Textile Outlook International
Issue 133:
January-February 2008

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Reports in this issue
Editorial: Sri Lankan Clothing Firms Invest in India (6 pages)
Prospects for the Textile and Garment Industry in Cambodia (29 pages)
Profile of Iconix Brand Group: A Unique Business Model for Maximising Brand Value (16 pages)
Textiles and Clothing in Sri Lanka: Profiles of Five Companies (23 pages)
Textile Lobbyists in Brussels (19 pages)
Fibres and Fabrics for Performance Footwear

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Fibres and Fabrics for Performance Footwear
published in Issue 133, January-February 2008  


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
  • Summary
  • Introduction
  • 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
  • Phase Change Materials
  • Outlook

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Six times a year, Textile Outlook International provides up to 200 pages of expert comment and analysis. A subscription provides an overview of the global fibre, textile and apparel industries. It is essential reading for senior executives in the fibre, textile and apparel industries – and for anyone who is not involved in the industry, but needs to quickly gain an understanding of the key issues.
Reports in Textile Outlook International include:
 country profiles – providing a comprehensive guide to the textile and clothing industries in a range of countries and regions. The reports include an economic and political profile together with a comprehensive overview of the main issues, plus an outlook for the future.
 company profiles – giving you the opportunity to learn from strategies employed by others. Companies profiled recently include retailers, manufacturers, innovators and sourcing companies involved in textiles and apparel as well as smaller companies which illustrate the opportunities for firms which are interested in selected sourcing locations.
 trends in world textile and apparel trade and production – taking into account current issues facing the industry – such as global fibre prices; competition from China and other low cost countries; the elimination of quotas and imposition of selective new ones; relocation of production operations; the impact of economic factors affecting trade; international trade agreements; trade promotion agreements (TPAs); and much more.
 trends in EU and US imports of textiles and clothing – providing comprehensive statistical data and analysis of the top ten supplying countries to the EU and US markets. These reports are updated each year and contain value and volume data as well as average prices and analyses of trends for up to 15 product categories.
 innovations, technological developments, business development opportunities, individual sector analysis and political implications which affect players in the global fibre, textile and apparel industries. Some of the topics which have been covered in recent reports include: new innovations in the textile and clothing industry, such as environmentally friendly textiles, plant based fibres, and developments in textile colorants; innovations in textile machinery; and overviews of the European swimwear, hosiery and lingerie markets.
So whether you are involved in fibres, textiles or clothing – in manufacturing, spinning, weaving, knitting, sewing, import/export, retailing – or if you are in education or consultancy or investment or finance, a subscription to Textile Outlook International will tell you what you need to know about the key trends in the industry.
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