International textile companies including Zegna, Marzotto, and Ziche are to meet in Padua, Italy, next month to discuss the benefits of nanotechnologies in helping their businesses stay ahead of the competition.

Representatives from textile companies, along with the leading providers of nanotechnology solutions, will be part of EuroFutureTex - a conference to be held in Padua on 8-9 November.

Spurred on by increasing competition from cheap Asian imports, the European textile industry is taking a closer look at the ability of nanotechnologies to innovate, add value and create new products.

Current nanotechnology applications range from enhanced properties such as stain resistance to the integration of textile technologies with sensors and electronics to create new market opportunities.

US-based Burlington is an example of the potential of nanotechnology use, having experienced a  turnaround from the brink of bankruptcy after its success with Nano-Tex.

Among the technologies that will be discussed at EuroFutureTex next month will be nanotechnologies' use in material treatments, coatings for functional textiles, self-cleaning textiles, and antimicrobial textiles, enabling wearable electronics, military applications, and biomimetic materials.

EuroFutureTex will be held as part of the larger NanoWeek, which will be a week of meetings, conferences and exhibitions on nanotechnology .