The Austrian Textile Industry

A traditional future oriented sector

The Austrian textile industry figures within the well-established national industry sectors and at the same time is found as one of the internationally leading innovative industries in highly specialised fields. Even in todays difficult market environment the Austrian textile industry can sustain its position through a strong commitment towards investments into the future.
Our textile companies succed well to pass from century-old traditions and experiences to the pioneering task in new developements: from skilful and typical Austrian embroideries to novelties on the world market concerning technical textiles.

Innovation leadership with world novelties

The innovation-savvy industry regularly develops world novelties and patents. Tents and tarpaulin fabrics for emergency operations, with a patented anti-fungus and anti-rot coating. Or ropes for mountain climbers, safety systems for mountain rescue services disposing of a world record in abrasion resistance and breaking strength. The first energy-saving towel worldwide, saving 35% of water and energy and 30% processing chemicals. Or the world-wide finest organic cotton fabric used for bio-quilts this is only a small cutout from the innovations “made in Austria”.

Textile companies, number one exporters

Main focus of the textile industry is put on international markets, with special success in niche markets. The export share of 80% is extremely high. The main market is Europe with 77%, within Europe the main market being Germany. The neighbouring market has a share of 28% of all European exports. From upholstery fabrics in Japanese opera houses to flame resistant seat covers for German automobile brands a piece of Austria can be found throughout the whole world.

Focus on research and developement

By investments in research and development, as well as in new technologies at the business location Austria, the textile industry companies takes necessary decisions to react future-oriented also in times of weak economic activity. Frequently, problem solving takes place together with the client. New production methods and combinations with other materials and economic sectors, like micro-electronic or chemical industry create new stimuli.
Predominant topics are security, transport, weight reduction by creating lighter textiles, nanotechnology or new composite materials. Together we will succeed in finding completely new fields of application for textiles. In terms of “the future is textiles”.

“Smart Textiles”: a strong network for scientific research

In order to support research and investment activities of our companies regarding new products and new fields of application, President Backhausen presented on the occasion of the 58th annual meeting in Götzis/Vorarlberg a project, called Smart Textiles. This is a network of scientific research, undertaken by ÖTI and Technical University Vienna together with leading corporations of electronic and microsystems technics, as well as with textile companies. Keyword: Wearable Computing. This linked network is targeted to dock to the European research funding in order to take use of it more efficiently than so far. In 2007 only 35 million Euro were allotted to textile projects, the whole research budget of the EU amounting to 6 billion Euro. The allotment for the textile sector should become considerably higher.

Exemplary role at ecological standards

The significance of ecological and social standards becomes more and more important. The Austrian textile industry produces to the highest ecological standards. Utilised materials are constantly optimised so the consumer can be sure to buy a product of absolute skin kindness, without representing any health hazards. Furthermore, the companies are perfectly aware of their responsibility towards their employees and their regional importance as entrepreneur.