Investments in technical textiles grow exponentially in Turkey in recent years. Many companies in the field of technical textiles prove their global success by playing an important role in the international market. In parallel with the developments in the world markets, production of technical textiles and product diversity gradually increase in Turkey.
The technical textile sub-groups with the biggest production in our country are automotive textiles, textiles used in the cleaning/cosmetics/hygiene industries, and packaging textiles. Germany, France, Italy, and England are the main markets for the Turkish technical textile industry. Many of the large-scale Turkish nonwovens and technical textile producers are members of the EDANA. The cities with top technical textile production are Istanbul, Bursa, Gaziantep, Kocaeli, and Tekirdağ.
The sector that contributed most to the increase in exports: Technical Textiles
In the technical textiles of the October and January-October period, records were broken of history of the republic. Ahmet Öksüz, President of Istanbul Textile and Raw Materials Exporters’ Association, who evaluated the sub-sectors in textiles, said, “In October 2018, our technical textile exports reached $153 million, the highest level of all-time. At the same time, our exports of technical textile in the January-October period of 2018 reached $1.4 billion, the highest level of exports of all-time January-October period. Our sub sector which has the highest contribution to our textile and raw materials export increase; technical textiles.”
Nonwovens have the highest export rate
Analysing the technical textiles exports on the basis of product groups in the January-September period in 2018, the most important product group have been nonwoven exports with 23.8% increase to 434 million USD. Exports in this product group, which accounted for 33.3% of total technical textile exports, increased by 15.5% in September 2018.
The second most important product group in the textile industry in the January-September period in 2018 has been the bags and sacks produced for the finished products packaging worth approximately 263 million USD. Exports in this product group, which accounted for 20.1% of total technical textile exports, increased by 11.5% in September 2018. In the January-September period in 2018, the most increasing exports group of textiles was parachutes with an export rate of 139.5%.
Tübitak incentives for projects
The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) provides incentives for universities and companies engaged in research and development with R&D projects. It is also possible to provide incentives for projects with large budgets from the European Union Project Funding in various fields, in coordination with TÜBİTAK. High-budget projects, such as setting up a new R&D center are supported by the Turkish State Planning Organization.
New economic plan to Support export increase
İsmail Gülle, Chairman of the Turkish Exporters Assembly evaluated the New Economic Plan announced by Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak. Gülle said, “As Turkish Exporters Assembly, we are very happy about the emphasis on exports in the New Economy Program, in the technical studies of which we are involved. Our goal this year is to exceed 170 billion dollars. We promise to achieve the target of 182 billion dollars export for 2019.”İsmail Gülle stated that the biggest responsibility falls on the exporters in the New Economy Program for their investments to be realized, and added, “As Turkish Exporters Assembly, we express at every opportunity that the most healthy way to achieve qualified growth and to reduce the current account deficit is value-added exports. In this sense, especially restructuring of the exports incentives, setting targets for new markets, new products and new exporters, and the prioritized investments in industries such as advanced technology, energy, petro-chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and medical supplies, which have a big share in our current account deficit refreshed our confidence that our exports will continue to increase in 2019 and 2020.”
Investments to increase in the next decade
Investment in the textile industry in Turkey is expected to rather make a transition to technical textiles in the next decade. Ahmet Öksüz, Chairman of Istanbul Textile and Raw Materials Exporters Association, said that “New products are emerging in technical textiles. There will be an increase in future investments in these areas, and new products will emerge. Companies focus on R&D activities. Different fibers are produced. For example, military helmets are being made of fabrics. They have more strength than steel. In the next decade, investments will increase in this area In Turkey.”
Investments in technical textile start bearing fruits
Technical Textiles Research and Application Center was established 5 years ago by Aegean Textile and Raw Materials Exporters Association. Establishing this application center to increase the share of technical textile exports, the union started bearing the fruits of its investments. Turkey’s technical textile exports increased by 19% from 899 million USD to 1,071 million USD in the January-July period in 2018 while the technical textile exports from the Aegean region increase 40% from 45 million USD to 64 million USD.
“We will not import any product if manufactured in Turkey”
Pınar Taşdelen Engin, Vice-Chairman of Uludağ Textile Exporters Association, said “We aim to increase quality and standards and develop cost-friendly techniques in order to increase the added value in the industry, to switch to innovative products and production models, to make our exports sustainable, and to increase our competitive power.”
Assessigng President Erdoğan’s statement that “We will not import any product that is manufactured in Turkey,” Vice Chairman Engin expressed that Bursa –the textile capital– is capable to respond to requirements to produce smart products and high-tech manufacturing. Engin said that Uludağ Textile Exporters Association and Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry coordinated a Defense and Technical Textiles Group.
Erdoğan’s statement received full support from the businessmen in Bursa. İbrahim Burkay, Chairman of Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that “World-leading organizations such as NASA, Boeing and Airbus purchase many of the components they use in their production from companies in Bursa. The products and components that the Turkish army needs are available in Bursa. We are capable to meet all the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces.”
Noting that they intend to make Bursa Technology Coordination and R&D Center specialize especially in the fields of military textiles, technical textiles and smart textiles, Burkay said that they are in cooperation with the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries.
Innovative Products Uspar continues to grow in technical textiles with investments
Having achieved a significant momentum over the years in their activities which started with the trade of yarn and raw clothing in 1970, Uspar managed to reach a position today to export its products to different countries. Exporting approximately 40 million USD in 2017, the company exports its products mainly to Italy, Germany, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland and France. Sustaining its textile-oriented growth strategy this year, Uspar continues to export.
METYX Group and Karl Mayer Sign Agreement
METYX Group has signed a big agreement with Karl Mayer –a technology supplier of German technical textile machinery manufacturer– for new production lines to provide additional 12 thousand tons of glass and carbon fiber fabric knitting capacity its new production lines. It has both increased the Manisa-based plant’s capacity in Turkey with the production area, and also laid the foundation of overseas production facilities as part of its multinational strategic growth plan was.
Korteks increases R&D investments every year
Turkey’s textile market in Europe and the Middle East; to maintain its leadership in the technical textiles, automotive textiles and functional products markets is one of the most important factors is R&D. In this context, Korteks considers R&D as the most important competitive tool.
Korteks, offers quality, original, innovative and environmentally friendly polyester yarn products to the many textile companies in the global arena. The Korteks R&D Center supports the development of new polyester yarn types by guiding research and development activities within the company, and enhances the competitiveness of the products in international markets. With its yarn testing and analysis methods, polymer material technologies, polyester polymer production, yarn texturizing and twisting, colorful yarn and masterbatches, Korteks has increased its share of budget from each year by increasing its R&D investments.
Sun Group Grows with R&D and P&D
With its 30 years of experience in the textile industry, Sun Group continues to grow with the driving force of its R&D and P&D activities. Sun Group’s body of companies include Sun Tekstil, Ekoten Tekstil, Ames Tekstil, TDU, and Jimmy Key –its retail women’s clothing brand. Achieving a turnover of 140 million USD in 2017, Sun Tekstil continues its exports with a 20% percent growth target this year.
Yarn Made of Plastic Bottles
Having the largest integrated and innovative polyester yarn manufac- turing center in Europe, Korteks İplik continues to work on producing recycled polyester yarns. The yarns made of plastic bottles is one of the projects Korteks has been working on. Adds a new one every day to its R&D studies, Korteks continues its researches on self-soluble yarns.
Manufacturing Fabric 100 Times Thinner Than Hair
Produced by Mogul –one of the leading companies in hybrid-based nonwoven manufacturing not in only in Turkey, but also in the world–, microfilaments smart fabrics, which are 100 times thinner than hair, lead to significant changes in many areas of life for many industries such as fashion, home textiles, medical supplies, cleaning supplies, packaging, and automotive.
Silk Road Assures Confidence
Carrying out intensive studies on conductive yarn technology, Reisoğlu İplik produces smart gloves in the R&D center called “Silk Road” and makes the the automotive sub-industry production more secure.
Turkey Makes Difference in Protective Textiles
With the advance of technology, textile structures, which protect the human body in hazardous environments, are increasing among other technical textile products. The new production method, which gives importance to the environment and human health adopted in the global market, increases visibility in technical textiles. Protective textile, which is an important branch of technical textiles, gains the appreciation of consumers by establishing standards in the field of safety and hygiene. Especially in developing countries, as the industrialization rate increases, the demand for clothing with protective features increases as sanctions increase.
Producing Bullet Proof Fabric
Kipaş Holding Mensucat managed to produce bullet-proof fabrics two years ago as a result of R&D studies. A special fiber was used in this fabric. In addition to the bullet proof feature, it is considered that the fabric, which is invisible with infrared rays, fire-proof and water-proof, can be used instead of steel vests that are disadvantageous due to its weight. After producing bullet-proof fabric two years ago, now a 50% cheaper bullet-proof suit is being produced.