Linen fabric is made from the fibers of the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum). Textiles made up of linen fibbers are natural absorbent and known for their exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather. some of the major product made up of linen fibbers include, aprons, towels (swimming, beach, bath, wash towels, and body), bags, napkins, tablecloths, bed linens, runners, chair covers, and men’s & women’s wear.
Linen fabrics have a high-pitched natural gleam, crisp and textured. Its natural color ranges between shades of ivory, coffee, or grey. White color linen can also be created by heavy bleaching of the fibbers. Smooth and light weight linen fabric is generally used in men’s and women’s wear. Whereas rough and thick linen are mostly used in towels, bags, and tables cloths.
Linen fabrics are very popular in hot and humid climatic region such as Asia Pacific and Middle East. The various advantages associated with linen fabrics such as smoothness, coolness, lint-free, softer over longer duration, are driving the global linen fabric market. Moreover the use of linen fabric as a style statement and fashionable accessories in developing countries such as Brazil, India and China is boosting the global linen fabric market.
Linen has poor elasticity and does not spring back readily. Moreover it easily gets wrinkles which limit it uses in certain class of clothing and accessories and hence acting as a major restrain in wide acceptance of linen fabric. Moreover linen is high priced fabrics and hence the threats from substitute such as cotton fabrics are high.
Europe is the largest producer and consumers of the linen fabric in the world. It is then followed by Asia Pacific and North America. Italy and Belgium is leading producer of linen fabric in Europe. China and Australia are biggest market of linen fabrics in Asia Pacific whereas the U.S. accounts for largest market for high quality linen fabric in North America.
Asia Pacific market for linen fabric is growing in double digit and expected to grow at even higher rate during the forecasted period owing to the rising purchasing power of consumers in developing countries such as India and China. European and North American market is expected to grow at moderate rate over the forecasted period. Major companies operating in linen fabric market include Marks & Spenser, MaxMara, Hugo Boss, China Linen Textile Industry Ltd. (CTXIF), Banana Republic, Peacock Alley, Ralph Lauren and H&M.
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