The apparel industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by technology-enabled manufacturing processes and innovative fabrics, and the growing importance of technologies such as 3D printing, machine learning, and augmented reality. In the last three years alone, there have been over 32,000 patents filed and granted in the apparel industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Advanced materials in Apparel: Polyamide fabric garments. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 13,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the apparel industry, there are 20+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Polyamide fabric garments is a key innovation area in advanced materials
Polyamide fabrics, which are made of polyamides, are either naturally or synthetically produced fabrics with amide bonds. Nowadays, artificially produced polyamide fabrics are synthesised with unique properties that help enhance the fabric’s durability and provide high-performance garments. Clothing made of polyamide is frequently used for sportswear, outerwear, and undergarments. Shirts and jackets made of polyamide cannot be dry-cleaned.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established apparel companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of polyamide fabric garments.
Key players in polyamide fabric garments – a disruptive innovation in the apparel industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to polyamide fabric garments
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
The leading companies in the polyamide fabric garments space in terms of patents filed are NIKE, Berkshire Hathaway, DuPont de Nemours, and Toray Industries. NIKE utilises polyamide blended with elastane in a variety of its fabrics such as swimsuits, two-piece suits, track pants, and other sportswear products.
The polyamide fabric makes for a popular choice in sportswear products due to its attractive features such as abrasion resistance and thermal resistance, while reducing fatigue, making it ideal for sports involving constant cyclic motion such as running, swimming, and cycling.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the apparel industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Apparel.