An insight on China’s Textile Industry and Technical Textiles

An insight on China’s Textile Industry and Technical Textiles

Based upon a paper given in November 2013 at the late gathering of the European Textile and Clothing Industry in Berlin, Germany, by Li Lingshen, CNITA China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association, we let you have an actual and future insight on China’s Textile and Technical Textile Industry



The basic figures

In 2012 the fibre processes amounted to 45.4 million t (+5.34 %), the industrial output recorded CNY 5781 billion (+12.29 %) and these enterprises total profits rose to CNY 301.5 billion (+7.68 %).

China’s textile industry entailed 37406 above scale enterprises and their Industrial output at the end of 2011 amounted to CNY 5148.49 billion (+12.29 %).

Thereof 20370 companies were engaged in the textile industry (cotton, wool, linen, silk, chemical fibre, kitting, home and industrial textiles) and their output was CNY 2868.46 billion (+ 13.27 %).

The garment and accessories sector entailed 14501 companies and their output reached CNY 1532.05 billion.

The chemical fibres sector has 1796 firms with an output of CNY 642.83 billion (+7.16 %).

The textile machinery sector entails 739 companies with an output value of CNY 105.16 billion (+7.14 %).

The Chinese textile and apparel exports in 2012 amount to USD 262.5 billion (+3.32 %). The major destinations of these exports were the EU, USA, Japan and Hong Kong.

China’s total domestic retail sales amounted to CNY 18388.4 billion (+1.4 %) and its share of textiles and clothing is between 11 – 12 %.

The total investment in fixed assets (CNY 500 million plus) reached CNY 779.30 billion (+14.62 %), however the speed of growth slowed by 21.71 %.

The above mentioned textile enterprises output increased by 11.7 %, the production of yarn was up 7.45 %, fabrics 7.12 %, chemical fibres 7.47 % and clothing 0.73 % during January to September of 2013 and the textile and garment export increased 11.74 % top USD 215.3 billion.

Garment had 2012 a total market share of 48 % (in 2006 its share was 54 %), home textiles of 30 % (33 %) and industrial textiles of 22 % (13 %).

Li Lingshen cites the characteristics of the industries: low growth of economic indicators, textile industry is restructuring rapidly, the cost of production elements will keep increasing, export slow down or to become normal again, internet (in 2012 28 % of sales were clothing and shoes) and other new distributions channels play an important role, energy conservation, green manufacturing are in the focus of development.

The growth of China’s per capita GDP General Domestic Product (1978 – 2012) can be had from Table 1


Table 2 shows urban residents per capita expenditure on clothing in China (1980 – 2012)


Table 3 presents the rural residents per capita expenditure on clothing (1980 – 2012)


Industrial Textiles

Industrial textiles in China comprises applications in the following sectors, medical and hygiene; filter and separation; automotive; geo-textiles; reinforcement textiles; for building purposes; safety and protection; agriculture; thread, rope and belting; packaging; sport and entertainment textiles; industrial felt and blanket; canvas and tarp; synthetic leather; insulation and separation.

Fibre processing in industrial textiles amounted to 10.1 million t or a 22 % share of total textile fibre processing. In 2012 average annual growth rate was 10.9 % 2010-12. The added value growth of such industrial textiles enterprises was 18.48 %, total profit grew 18.85 % with a profit margin of 5.53 % in 2012, and the average annual growth rate 201-12 amounted to 12 %.

The value of industrial textiles imported to China was USD 3.58 billion (+0.73 %) and exports amounted to a value of USD 17.8 billion, a 2012 decrease of 0.6 %.

Development and advances in technology have led into high performance fibres and bio-fibre of structured products, such as medical and hygiene textiles developed from the comfortable personal hygiene materials to high-tech products, such as biomedical textiles, antibacterial textiles, wound healing dressings, etc. Also filter and separation textiles were developed from the traditional room temperature air filtration and water filtration to corrosion-proof in high temperature areas. Geo-textiles and textiles for building use were developed from simple waterproof drainage material to geo-textile material which could be used in particular areas; waterproofing membranes were developed with multi-functions. In the automotive sector development of personalised interior decoration, environmentally friendly, energy saving and recyclable took place, and lightweight and fuel-saving vehicles were promoted. In the area of safety and protective details, there was a new generation of multifunctional products introduced by using high performance fibres. In reinforcement textiles high performance composite materials were produced from GF, CF, aramid fibres, alls widely applied in different fields.

China’s textile prospects beyond 2020

The driving forces are defined as follows: economic growth, urbanisation; industrialisation and modern agriculture and complete industrial chain; huge population requires new energy and new materials. Equipment and high performance fibres propel infrastructure and construction. Imperative are intellectual property right and sustainable development.

The industrial output of all of the before stated enterprises will exceed in 2020 CNY 10 trillion; total fibre processing will be above 55 million t and total exports of fibre products will be better than USD 350 billion.

The industrial restructuration will be driven by technological innovation as the main driving force. Chinese brands of garment and home textiles will become more famous. A new kind of low-carbon, green and circular economy model of sustainable development will be implemented. The reuse of textile fibres should reach 12 million t by 2020.

The development of fibre processing 1978 – 2012 and in 10 KT can be had from Table 4


The proportion of fibre processing in the industrial textile sector will reach 2020 30 % of the total textile industry and will lead the breakthroughs of the traditional textile industry.

Industrial textiles will become a kind of new growing pole to the entire Chinese textile industries, the latter will not only meet demand, but also create need. High grade nonwovens will reach a globally advanced level. Health care, environmental and geo-textiles will be widely used and the value chain of industrial textiles will be more internationalised.

The actual (2012) GDP growth rates of the different textile subsectors and textile machinery can be had from Table 5


We note that China has set ambitious goals to achieve in all sectors a dominant worldwide position by 2020. We will follow the development and report when new figures are available.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.