The textile sector & flexible materials

The textile sector is a huge industry, involving many different materials and made up of several sub-sectors. Clothing and furniture are the most obvious components; yet in everyday life, we live with elements more and more complex: technical textiles and flexible materials.


A technical textile is one with very precisely chosen technical properties, offering specific features designed for well-defined uses. They are intended to fulfil a useful purpose.

So, the properties of technical textiles are very diverse. Therefore, we find products consisting partly of technical textiles in many areas:

Technical textiles are an innovative and high-added value sector. Globally, it represented in 2011 a market of $133 billion. In 2020, it is expected to reach the level of $175 billion. (Source: UIT journal 2014/2015)


Flexible materials are substances used as components in the production of products, with particular properties, especially an ability to be easily deformable and flexible. Such as technical textiles, their specific properties allow applications in various fields: infrastructure, health, agriculture… are considered as flexible materials:


France is one of the world leaders in the technical textile sector; with Japan, the USA and Germany. In 2014, we accounted for:

(Source: Union of Textile Industries 2015 report)

The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region is one of the strongholds of the sector, with:

(sources : , Union of Textile Industries 2015 report UIT – UNITEX OPCALIA TMC 2011)