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Indian Government to support R&D in Technical Textiles

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Ministry of Textiles has approved 18 R&D projects valuing INR 46.74 Crores across different areas of Technical Textiles

News in Brief 

Union Minister Piyush Goyal stressed the importance of active collaboration between industry and institutions for developing technical textiles in India.

This statement was made during the 7th Meeting of the National Technical Textiles Mission Steering Group held in New Delhi.

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A brief introduction to Technical Textiles

Technical textiles/fabrics refer to textile materials and products used primarily for their technical performance and functional properties rather than their aesthetic or decorative characteristics. Unlike conventional textiles used for clothing or furnishing, technical fabrics are used in various industries and applications where the function is of primary importance.

Some key characteristics and areas of application for technical fabrics include:

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  • Automotive: Seat covers, airbags, seat belts, etc.
  • Medical: Surgical sutures, bandages, implantable materials, etc.
  • Geotextiles: Used in civil engineering to strengthen soils and other materials.
  • Agrotextiles: Crop protection cloths, shading materials, etc.
  • Protective clothing: Bullet-proof vests, fire-resistant clothing, chemical-resistant clothing, etc.
  • Construction: Architectural membranes, house wraps, etc.
  • Aerospace: Composite materials for aircraft, space suits, etc.
  • Packaging: Sacks, bags, etc.
  • Sportswear: High-performance fabrics, footwear materials, etc.
  • Environment protection: Oil spill containment, erosion protection, etc.

Technical fabrics rely heavily on fiber/material technology and fabric manufacturing techniques. Technical textiles can be made from synthetic fibers like polyamides, polyesters, and polypropylene. They can also be made from natural fibers like cotton, wool, and silk depending on the need.

Globally, the technical facbrics contribute to about 27 percent of textile industry, in some of the western countries its share is even 50 percent while in India it is a meagre 11 percent.

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Emphasis on Research & Development in Technical Textiles 

The Ministry of Textiles has approved 18 R&D projects worth INR 46.74 crores in areas like Geotech, Protech, Indutech, Sustainable Textiles, Sportech, Smart E-Textiles, and Meditech during this meeting. Among these projects, 14 are high-value, 3 are Prototype Grant projects, and 1 is an Ideation Grant project. These projects cover various applications of technical textiles, including Geotech, Protech, Indutech, Sportech, Sustainable Textiles, Meditech, Smart e-textiles, and Geotextiles. The approved projects were led by research institutions such as BTRA, ATIRA, IIT Delhi, IIT Jammu, NIT Jalandhar, IIT Kharagpur, CSIR New Delhi, IIT Madras, and others. 

Additionally, the Union Minister reviewed the progress of different components of the National Technical Textiles Mission, including the assessment of sanctioned R&D products, Mission mode R&D projects, the establishment of a committee for startups in technical fabrics under the GREAT Guidelines, and outreach activities. Notably, there are upcoming events like the 6th Edition of MOT-FICCI-BIS National Conclave on Standards & Regulations and the Meditex conference scheduled for July and September 2023.

The Minister emphasized the need for research and development in globally sought-after technical fabric items, as well as reducing dependence on imports for technical fabrics and specialty fibers in India.

Union Minister of Textiles, Commerce and Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution, Shri Piyush Goyal said that Industry and Institute’s proactive and robust engagement is essential for the indigenous development of technical fabrics in India while chairing the 7th Meeting of the Mission Steering Group (MSG) of National Technical Textiles Mission in New Delhi today.


Technical textile is the buzzword in the textile industry nowadays. Through engineering, a lot more value additions can be made to enhance the applicability of the textile in various industries. India is staring at a big takeoff in the research, engineering, and manufacturing of technical fabrics shortly. This can fetch good returns and margins in such textiles are high.

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