Exports account for 70 per cent of Portugal’s textile and clothing business. The industry has been able to carry out an extraordinary reconversion and modernization. It is primarily clustered in the north coast of the country and encompasses spinning, weaving, finishing, knitting, apparel manufacturing, home textiles and technical textiles. Located in the same region are the Technological Centre of the Textile and Clothing Industry and the Centre of Nanotechnology and Smart Materials.
The main markets for fashion from Portugal are the US, Spain, Germany and the Nordic countries. The country’s textile industry has shifted over the past two decades from an emphasis on price to value in response to competition from low-cost countries. The focus now is on fashion, design, technological innovation, logistics and international markets.
The geographical and cultural proximity of the main customers, who rely on fast and flexible response, has induced the Portuguese textile industry to offer the shortest lead time in the world, which varies from two to six weeks, depending on the type of product.
The country is promoting textiles in three areas: brands/fashion/design, private label and home textiles. Home textiles make up nearly 40 per cent of the sector´s exports to the US.