Smart and Interactive Textiles

Published - Aug 2007| Analyst - Andrew McWilliams| Code - AVM050B
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Report Highlights

  • The U.S. market for smart textiles was worth an estimated $70.9 million in 2006. This figure is expected to reach $78.6 million in 2007 and $391.7 million in 2012, at a CAGR of 37.9% between 2007 and 2012.
  • Consumer products accounted for the bulk (98%) of U.S. smart textiles sales in 2006. However, the projected rapid growth of military, biomedical, and vehicle safety and comfort applications for smart textiles is expected to have a major impact on both the size and structure of the market.
  • Sales of conductive fabric products are expected to more than double each year between 2007 and 2012.


Smart textiles are able to sense electrical, thermal, chemical, magnetic, or other stimuli from the environment and adapt or respond to them, using functionalities integrated into the textile structure. They do not have a fixed set of characteristics, but are an active element that works with its own control and response mechanism.

The subject of this report represents a relatively new type of textile technology. It will have a potentially broad, as yet unforeseeable impact on the market for protective clothing, medical textiles, and other textile products and applications.

The U.S. military historically has been the leader in developing smart textile technologies and applications in such areas as body armor, artificial muscles, biochemical hazard protection, physiological status monitoring, location, and embedded communications and computing. Many of these same technologies also have potential civilian and commercial applications. Indeed, the commercial sector has been ahead of the military in commercializing smart textile technologies.


This report contains:


  • Descriptions of various types of current and potential smart textile technologies
  • The current market status of smart textile technologies, trends, and forecasts of growth over the next 5 years for the U.S. market, along with an assessment of their global context
  • A discussion of factors that will influence long-term market development
  • An examination of applications and end users with the greatest commercial potential through 2012
  • A comprehensive patent analysis, plus company profiles of leading players.



The specific methodologies and assumptions used to develop the market projections are provided as detailed market estimates and projections. This section includes some general observations concerning:


  • This report's approach to estimating the market for developmental technologies whose commercial potential generally has not been demonstrated.
  • Estimating the market for smart textile applications rather than smart textiles per se.



Projecting the market for emerging technologies such as most smart textile applications whose commercial potential has not yet been proven, is a challenging task. This report uses a multiphase approach to identify applications with the greatest commercial potential and quantify the market for them, as described below.

In the first phase of the analysis, BCC Research identified a "long list" of smart textile technologies (including technologies that still are under development) and mapped them against potential applications, such as information technology/electronics, biotechnology, and health care. In the second phase, those technologies that appear to have little likelihood of making it into commercial production in the next 5 years were eliminated, through a literature review and statements from industry sources. The result of phase two was a "short list" of technologies and applications with the greatest near to mid-term commercial potential.

The third phase focused on quantifying the potential market for each short-listed smart textile technology application and identifying the main prerequisites for commercial success. Various methodologies and data sources were used to develop the projections, including trend line projections, input-output analysis, and estimates of future demand from industry sources.


Due to the difficulty of quantifying the inputs of smart textiles required to produce such a wide range of products, many of which still are in a developmental stage, these market projections generally reflect the anticipated value of smart textile applications rather than the smart textile component per se. For example, projections for biomedical "smart shirts" are based on the market value of the shirt rather than the cost of the smart textile material used to fabricate it.


The author of this report is Andrew McWilliams. He is a partner in the Boston-based international technology and marketing consulting firm, of 43rd Parallel LLC. Mr. McWilliams is the author of a number of other BCC Research studies, includinG

  • AVM056A Lightweight Materials in Transportation
  • EGY053A Advanced Materials and Devices for Renewable Energy Systems
  • NAN015E Advanced Ceramics and Nano Ceramic Powders
  • ENV007A The U.S. Market for "Green" Building Materials
  • NAN031B Nanotechnology: a Realistic Market Assessment
  • AVM053A Materials and Devices for High-Performance Sports

Table of Contents & Pricing

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Published - Oct-2004| Analyst - Andrew McWilliams| Code - AVM050A

Report Highlights

  • The U.S. market for smart and interactive textiles is valued at an estimated $64.4 million in 2004 and is expected to rise at an AAGR (average annual growth rate) of 36% to $299.3 million in 2009.
  • Consumer products that include low-tech items such as photochromic tshirts and swimsuits account for the bulk of the U.S. market.
  • Phase change and conductive textiles accounted for the rest of the market.
  • Military, biomedical, and vehicle safety and comfort applications are projected to grow rapidly.
  • Sales of conductive fabrics are expected to nearly double each year and shape-memory products are entering the market in commercial quantities.

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