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    Automotive Textiles-The non Apparel Textiles; Shaping Tomorrow’s Vehicles

    Let’s get the Lead-in of AUTOMOTIVE TEXTILES

    Globalization being the key theme, the 1980s marked a significant 

    era characterized by the commercial introduction of numerous new 

    materials. The technical textiles, which include applications in 

    medical, civil engineering & automotive fields are increasingly 

    recognized as one of the most dynamic & promising sectors for the 

    future of textile industry.

    AUTOMOTIVE TEXTILES, a subset of technical textiles, encompass a 

    wide range of fabric & material applications specifically designed 

    for vehicles, such as interior trims, seats, carpets, door panels, 

    headliners, airbags, seat belts, upholstery, filters & insulators. The

    growth in automotive textiles is highlighted for the explosive 

    expansion in car production, which is 85.4 million globally.

    Wondering how was the early automobiles?

    The first commercial car, designed by Karl Benz in 1885, used steel 

    tubing and wood panels for the driver’s compartment. Early vehicles 

    had simple wooden seats covered with leather scraps, fabric, or 

    horse blankets. Leather and wood interiors were common until the 

    1950s when plastic moldings and synthetic fibers started being 

    used, making car interiors resemble upscale furniture. Synthetic 

    leathers and vinyl were introduced for better durability and ease of 

    cleaning. Nowadays, to reduce weight and emissions, new 

    developments focus on using fabrics and fiber-based materials.

    Purpose & applications of AUTOMOTIVE TEXTILES

    Improving vehicle comfort, high performance, reduce weight for 

    better fuel efficiency & support sustainable practices.

    1. Comforts – Flexible, warm & soft feel of seats, moist 

    & odor resistant interior.

    2. Decorative – Better interior, carpets.

    3. Safety purpose – Seat belts, air bags.

    4. Functional Textiles – Noise control fabrics, filters, 

    battery separator.

    Used textiles in automative applications

    1. SEAT COVER: Woven seat covers are made from 

    cotton, vinyl, velvet & leather.

    2. HELMET: Principal function of a helmet is to absorb 

    the shock of a crash & put a stop to major injury to the 

    brain, rather than preventing head & face crack. 

    Internal layer- polystyrene or polypropylene foam, 

    External layer- plastic, glass & other manmade fibers.

    3. SUNVISORS: Located just above the windshield to 

    increase visibility but blocking the sunlight from 

    entering.

    4. SEAT BELTS: Made from nylon yarn or polyester yarn.

    5. INTERIOR CARPETS

    6. CAR BODY COVERS: Used to cover cars

    7. TYRE CORDS: A tire is a ring-shaped component that 

    surrounds a wheel’s rim to transfer a vehicle’s load 

    from the axle through the wheel to the ground and to 

    provide traction on the surface traveled over. The belt 

    system’s main function is to provide stability to the 

    tire’s tread area, which contributes to wear, handling 

    and traction.

    8. HEADLINERS: It’s a back up that is stick on to the 

    interior roof of automobiles. Mostly made of tricot

    knit fabric.

    9. AIR BAGS: A safety device aimed at preventing or 

    minimizing injury to passengers when such an 

    accident occurs.

    ▪ Conclusion

    Automotive textiles are required to adhere to rigorous performance 

    criteria, including strength, resistance to abrasion and heat, flame 

    retardancy, and long-term durability. As automotive technology 

    advances, these textiles play a key role in enhancing driving 

    experiences & meeting evolving industry demands.

    Writer Information:

    Nasratun Duha

    Student, Textile Fashion & Design Department,

    Bangladesh University of Textiles (BUTEX)

    Campus Team Member, Textile Engineers Society (TES)

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