Turkey with its long history of textile production is shifting its focus to technical textiles, finding application in apparel, as well as industries such as agriculture, construction, geology, healthcare and others. Large scale companies currently producing technical textiles are mainly located in Istanbul, Bursa, Kocaeli and Tekirdağ.
According to figures from the Istanbul Textile and Raw Materials Exporters’ Association (ITHIB) technical textiles exports of Turkey have increased tremendously in the recent years and reached approximately $1.4 billion in 2012. The biggest buyers are EU countries, led by Germany with 11 per cent share. As a specific product group, non-woven fabric exports constitute 19 per cent of total technical textile exports.
Istanbul, which is emerging as a leading centre for textile fashion and design, is also a hub for taking the existing Turkish technical textile capacity to world markets. This is aided by the Istanbul Textile Research and Development Center (ITA), which was established by ITHIB to support research and development activities within the industry, and to connect the private sector, universities, research centres and national and international buyers of technical textiles.