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Waterproof Breathable Textiles Market Report


Waterproof Breathable Textiles Market by Raw Material (ePTFE, Polyurethane, Polyester, and Others), Fabric (Densely Woven, Membrane, and Coated), Application (General Clothing & Accessories, Sports Goods, Protective Clothing, and Others), and Region (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA): Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2023-2032


Pages: 370

Oct 2023

Waterproof Breathable Textiles Overview

Waterproof breathable textiles are fabrics designed to keep the wearer dry while allowing moisture vapor to escape. These textiles are commonly used in outdoor apparel and sportswear. They employ different technologies and fabric constructions to create a barrier against water while permitting the passage of moisture. One strategy is to use membranes with tiny holes that repel liquid water but allow vapor to pass through. A DWR (Durable Water Repellent) treatment makes the texture more water-resistant. Some materials are designed to be hydrophilic, meaning they can absorb and spread moisture for faster drying. Overall, waterproof breathable textiles offer protection against moisture while maintaining comfort and breathability. However, their effectiveness may vary based on factors such as fabric construction and technology used.

Global Waterproof Breathable Textiles Market Analysis

The global waterproof breathable textiles market size was $1,839.24 million in 2022 and is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 6.0%, by generating a revenue of $3,178.30 million by 2032.

COVID-19 Impact on Global Waterproof Breathable Textiles Market

COVID-19 has significantly impacted the waterproof breathable textiles market. The global lockdowns and restrictions disrupted supply chains, causing delays in manufacturing and distribution. Additionally, the decline in consumer spending and economic slowdown led to a decreased demand for waterproof breathable textiles, particularly in industries like outdoor sports and travel.

However, the pandemic also shifted product applications, with manufacturers focusing on producing fabrics and garments for medical protective clothing and PPE. The market witnessed innovations and research, with companies investing in advanced materials with antimicrobial properties and improved breathability. Online retail and e-commerce platforms gained prominence as physical stores faced restrictions. As regions progressed with vaccination efforts and conditions eased, the market began to recover, and manufacturers and retailers adapted their operations to the new normal.

Increase in Outdoor Recreational Activities to Drive the Market Growth

The waterproof breathable textiles market is driven by various factors that fuel its growth and demand. Firstly, the growing popularity of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and sports like skiing and snowboarding has increased the demand for waterproof breathable textiles. These textures protect against the hazards while permitting moisture vapor to elude, keeping users comfortable and dry. In addition, changing consumer lifestyles focusing on health, fitness and outdoor activities have created a demand for performance-oriented clothing, which continues to drive the market. Technological advancements in textile manufacturing and constant innovation in fabrics have improved breathable waterproof textiles that are more absorbent, breathable and durable. Growing environmental concerns have also increased interest in economical and eco-friendly textiles, such as yarns made from recycled materials or produced by eco-friendly processes. Climate change and extraordinary weather effects also increase demand for waterproof and breathable textures to resist rain, wind and snow.

High Cost of Production to Restrain the Market Growth  

The waterproof breathable textiles market faces several restraining factors. Firstly, the high cost of manufacturing these textiles limits their adoption, particularly in price-sensitive markets or budget-conscious consumers. Secondly, the performance limitations of waterproof breathable textiles may hinder their suitability for specific applications, leading to the preference for alternative solutions. Thirdly, concerns regarding durability and longevity can impact market potential as some textiles may be prone to wear and tear over time. Comfort and aesthetics also play a role, as some textiles may not provide optimal breathability during intense physical activities, and their appearance may not align with consumer preferences. Environmental concerns surrounding the manufacturing processes and materials used in these textiles can also restrain the market, mainly if sustainability issues must be adequately addressed. Furthermore, competition from alternative solutions and limited application scope can affect market growth.

Advancements in Technology to Drive Excellent Opportunities

The waterproof breathable textiles market presents numerous opportunities for growth and advancement. One of the key opportunities is the continuous advancements in textile technologies, such as the development of new membrane materials, coatings, and laminates, which are expanding the opportunities in the waterproof breathable textiles market. Manufacturers focus on improving these textiles' breathability, durability, and environmental certifications to meet consumer demand and gain a competitive advantage. Additionally, manufacturers focus on enhancing breathability, durability, and environmental friendliness to meet consumer demands. In addition, the growing awareness of maintainability will expand the possibilities of eco-friendly textiles. Waterproof breathable textiles made from recycled materials, bio-based polymers, or through sustainable manufacturing processes are gaining traction. This trend allows companies to offer sustainable solutions to gain a competitive advantage. Furthermore, the market is expanding into new applications beyond apparel. Waterproof breathable textiles are increasingly used in medical garments, protective clothing, and workwear for various industries, including healthcare, industrial work, and emergency response. Emerging markets and untapped regions are also ripe for growth in the waterproof breathable textiles market. Countries with growing middle-class populations and rising disposable incomes, such as India, China, Brazil, and Southeast Asian countries, offer significant potential. 

Global Waterproof Breathable Textiles Market Share, by Raw Material, 2022

The ePTFE sub-segment accounted for the highest market share in 2022. ePTFE, with its unique properties and pioneering technology, has come to dominate the Waterproof Breathable Textiles (WBT) market. It offers exceptional waterproofing and breathability thanks to its hydrophobic nature and microporous structure. The introduction of Gore-Tex®, an ePTFE-based WBT brand, played a significant role in establishing ePTFE's dominance. The reputation of Gore-Tex® products, renowned for their reliable performance, propelled ePTFE to the forefront of the market. Its excellent durability, resistance to abrasion and chemicals, and ability to allow moisture to escape while keeping water out further solidified its position. Over time, ePTFE-based WBT gained widespread acceptance, becoming the go-to choice in industries such as outdoor apparel and sports. Continuous innovation, established supply chains, and growing consumer demand for high-performance waterproof breathable garments have further contributed to ePTFE's dominance in the market.

Global Waterproof Breathable Textiles Market Share, by Fabric, 2022

The densely woven sub-segment accounted for the highest market share in 2022. Densely woven fabrics have reportedly gained dominance in the waterproof breathable textiles market due to several factors. Firstly, their high thread count and tight fabric structure enhance their waterproofing capabilities, effectively preventing water penetration. Additionally, advanced densely woven fabrics incorporate technologies that allow for breathability, enabling the passage of moisture while maintaining their waterproof properties. This feature is highly desirable in outdoor activities and sports where individuals must stay dry and comfortable. Moreover, densely woven textiles offer excellent durability, withstanding rugged conditions and repeated use. Their versatility across various applications, such as outdoor clothing, footwear, and gear, further contributes to their popularity. If densely woven fabrics have dominated the market, it could be attributed to their successful adoption by manufacturers, brands, and consumers, driven by positive experiences with their performance and reliability.

Global Waterproof Breathable Textiles Market Share, by Application, 2022

The general clothing & accessories sub-segment accounted for the highest market share in 2022. General clothing & accessories have achieved dominance in the waterproof breathable textiles market through several vital factors. Firstly, their product development and innovation emphasis has allowed them to create superior waterproof breathable textiles. By investing in research and development, they continually improve fabric technology, enhancing waterproofing and breathability. Secondly, established general clothing & accessories brands benefit from brand recognition and consumer trust. Their reputation for quality and reliability drives customers to choose their products over competitors.

Additionally, these brands possess extensive distribution and retail networks, ensuring widespread availability and accessibility. Their robust marketing and advertising strategies further contribute to market dominance by creating brand awareness and generating consumer interest. Moreover, their diversified product portfolios cater to various customer needs and preferences, attracting a more extensive consumer base. Economies of scale enable these companies to offer competitive pricing while maintaining profitability, making it challenging for smaller players to compete effectively.

Global Waterproof Breathable Textiles Market Share, by Region, 2022

The Asia-pacific waterproof breathable textiles market generated the highest revenue in 2022. The Asia-Pacific region has emerged as a dominant force in the waterproof breathable textiles market due to several key factors. First and foremost, nations such as China, India, and Taiwan have established manufacturing centers with huge manufacturing capacities, cheap labor, and established supply chains. Secondly, the locale has contributed to research and development, resulting in progress in textile innovation and enhanced performance of waterproof and breathable fabrics. Furthermore, the Asia-Pacific region is seeing rapid economic development, increasing disposable income, and growing requirements for these fibers in sports apparel, outdoor apparel, and industrial applications. Furthermore, local governments have proposed arrangements to support the advancement of the textile industry, such as research and development incentives and favorable trade agreements. The cost-effectiveness, broad production capability, strong supply chains, and market expansion strategies of Asian manufacturers have further contributed to their dominance in the waterproof breathable textiles market.

Competitive Scenario in the Global Waterproof Breathable Textiles Market

Investment and agreement are common strategies followed by major market players. One of the leading market players in the industry is Polartec, LLC. LAWRENCE, Mass. and GREENSBORO, N.C., Jan. 13 - Polartec, LLC and Unifi, Inc. (NYSE: UFI) announce a new partnership introducing performance fabrics made with REPREVE 100. REPREVE 100 is made from 100 per cent post-consumer waste (clear plastic water bottles). Polartec and Unifi have been industry leaders in developing high-performance recycled content yarn and fabrics. Collaborative efforts have increased Polartec's recycled product line from less than one per cent of total production to over 30 per cent in the past four years – dramatically reducing carbon emissions and energy consumption. Introducing REPREVE 100 will enable Polartec to shift production to recycled content by 2011. Every pound of REPREVE 100 yarn contains approximately 27 water bottles.

Some of the leading waterproof breathable textiles market players are Aclimatise, eVent Fabrics, HeiQ Materials AG, Helly Hansen, Jack Wolfskin Retail GmbH, Marmot Mountain LLC., Mountain Hardwear, Nextec Applications, Polartec, LLC, Rudolf GmbH, and schoeller Switzerland.



Historical Market Estimations


Base Year for Market Estimation


Forecast Timeline for Market Projection


Geographical Scope

North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA

Segmentation by Raw Material

  • ePTFE
  • Polyurethane
  • Polyester
  • Others

Segmentation by Fabric

  • Densely Woven
  • Membrane
  • Coated


Segmentation by Application



  • General Clothing & Accessories
  • Sports Goods
  • Protective Clothing
  • Others

Key Companies Profiled

  • Aclimatise
  • eVent Fabrics
  • HeiQ Materials AG
  • Helly Hansen
  • Jack Wolfskin Retail GmbH
  • Marmot Mountain LLC.
  • Mountain Hardwear
  • Nextec Applications
  • Polartec, LLC
  • Rudolf GmbH
  • schoeller Switzerland

Frequently Asked Questions

A. The size of the global waterproof breathable textiles market was over $1,839.24 million in 2022 and is projected to reach $3,178.30 million by 2032.

A. Nextec Applications and Polartec are some of the key players in the global waterproof breathable textiles market.

A. The Asia-Pacific region possesses great investment opportunities for investors to witness the most promising growth in the future.

A. Agreement and investment are the two key strategies opted by the operating companies in this market.

A. Jack Wolfskin Retail GmbH, Marmot Mountain LLC., Mountain Hardwear, Nextec Applications, Polartec, LLC, and Rudolf GmbH are the companies investing more in R&D activities for developing new products and technologies.

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