There is a rise in demand for knitted sportswear or activewear across the globe. The activewear or sportswear segment of the knitwear market is expanding at a rapid pace, outpacing the overall market. For example, in the U.S., the per capita consumption of activewear or sportswear was 8.2 units in 2010. It has risen at a CAGR of 5.6% to reach 12.0 units in 2017, which is greater than the growth rate of the global knitwear market. There has been an increase in awareness about health, especially among the millennial population. Increased participation in activities such as yoga, running, swimming, aerobics, etc. is propelling demand for activewear. Moreover, increasing participation of women in sports activities is driving the global knitwear market.

knitwear market

Innerwear, t-shirts, and shirts hold more than 40.0% of the global knitwear market and are growing at a healthy rate. Innerwear, which is a major product in the knitwear market, has gradually changed from being a basic clothing requirement to a stylized undergarment providing style and comfort. Rise in demand for sensuous, stylish, and premium innerwear is boosting demand for branded innerwear across the globe. Women are major spenders in the innerwear market. Awareness about fashion, media, and health and rise in the number of women spenders with high disposable income are boosting the innerwear segment. T-shirts is another major product category. There is a rise in demand for T-shirts due to a rise in their formal use such as office wear on Fridays or casual days. Thus innerwear, T-shirts, and shirts are driving the knitwear market across the globe.

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Although the market share of natural fabric is more, blended and synthetic fabric is growing at a faster rate than their natural counterpart. In the global knitwear market, a major portion of knitted apparel is made from natural fibers such as cotton, silk, and wool. Knitwear made of cotton is cozy, warm, and versatile in nature, making cotton the king among knitwear fabrics. Knitwear, such as sweaters and jackets, made of silk and blended silk keeps the body warm and is comfortable to wear. Merino wool fabric is used to make knitwear. It is obtained from merino sheep, originating in Spain. Merino knitwear is soft, comfortable, and stylish. Cashmere is another natural fabric used extensively to make knitwear.

There is a rising demand for natural, eco-friendly knitwear fabric across the word. For example “Tencel,” a natural fabric made from plant, are eco-friendly and are used to manufacture knitwear products. There is a rising demand to use natural fabric to manufacture knitwear due to their anti-wrinkle, high absorption capacity; besides they are biodegradable and eco-friendly in nature. For example, other than traditional natural fabrics such as cotton and wool, there is an increasing usage of plant based fabric such as lyocell. Lyocell fabric is currently branded as “Tencel” in the market which is used to make knitwear. Tencel fabric is biodegradable and eco-friendly with high absorption capacity. Compared to cotton knitwear, tencel knitwear wrinkles less and more easily absorbs body sweat. Activewear and sportswear made from tencel are more anti-bacterial and hygienic than cotton knitwear. All these factors are driving the demand for tencel fabric for making knitwear. This is likely to propel the global knitwear market.

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The study provides a decisive view of the global knitwear market by segmenting it in terms of product type, material type, application, consumer group, and distribution channel. In terms of product type, knitwear are classified into innerwear, t-shirts & shirts, sweaters & jackets, sweatshirts & hoodies, shorts & trousers, evening dresses, suits, & leggings and accessories. Based on material type, the market is classified into natural, synthetic, and blended. On the basis of application, the market is segmented into outerwear, innerwear, sportswear and others. Based on consumer group, the market is segmented into men, women, and kids. Further on the basis of distribution channel, the market is segmented into online and offline.

The report highlights major companies operating in the global knitwear market including Adidas AG, Gap Inc., Gildan Activewear Inc., Hackett Ltd, Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Loro Piana S.P.A., Marks and Spencer Group plc, Nike Inc., Puma SE, Ralph Lauren Corporation, Lactose, The Nautical Company (UK) Ltd., Fast Retailing Co., Ltd., Victoria’s Secret, and YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP.

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