Worldwide Shipments of New Textile Machinery 2021 Were as High or Higher than Pre-Pandemic

Updated: Aug 3

Press Release


This release was issued July 5, 2022 and picked up by Textile World. Additional survey coverage can be found in Innovation in Textiles and Sourcing Journal.


In 2021, global shipments of spinning, texturing, weaving, knitting, and finishing machines increased sharply compared to 2020. Deliveries of new short-staple spindles, open-end rotors, and long-staple spindles rose by +110 percent, +65 percent, and +44 percent, respectively. The number of shipped draw-texturing spindles surged by +177 percent and deliveries of shuttle-less looms grew by +32 percent. Shipments of large circular machines improved by +30 percent and shipped flat knitting machines registered a 109-percent-growth. The sum of all deliveries in the finishing segment also rose by +52 percent on average.


These are the main results of the 44th annual International Textile Machinery Shipment Statistics (ITMSS) just released by the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF). The report covers six segments of textile machinery, namely spinning, draw-texturing, weaving, large circular knitting, flat knitting, and finishing. A summary of the findings for each category is presented below. The 2021 survey has been compiled in cooperation with more than 200 textile machinery manufacturers representing a comprehensive measure of world production.


Spinning Machinery

The total number of shipped short-staple spindles increased by about 4 million units in 2021 to a level of 7.61 million. Most of the new short-staple spindles (90 percent) were shipped to Asia & Oceania, where delivery increased by +115 percent. While levels stayed relatively small, Europe saw shipments increasing by +41 percent (mainly in Turkey). The six largest investors in the short-staple segment were China, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, and Bangladesh.


Some 695,000 open-end rotors were shipped worldwide in 2021. This represents 273 thousand additional units compared to 2020. 83 percent of global shipments went to Asia & Oceania where deliveries increased by +65 percent to 580 thousand rotors. China, Turkey, and Pakistan were the world’s 3 largest investors in open-end rotors and saw investments surging by +56 percent, +47 percent and +146 percent, respectively. Only deliveries to Uzbekistan, the 7th largest investor in 2021, decreased compared to 2020 (-14 percent to 12,600 units).


Global shipments of long-staple (wool) spindles increased from about 22 thousand in 2020 to nearly 31,600 in 2021 (+44 percent). This effect was mainly driven by a rise in deliveries to Asia & Oceania with a increase in investment of +70 percent. 68 percent of total deliveries were shipped to Iran, Italy, and Turkey.


Texturing Machinery

Global shipments of single heater draw-texturing spindles (mainly used for polyamide filaments) increased by +365 percent from nearly 16,000 units in 2020 to 75,000 in 2021. With a share of 94 percent, Asia & Oceania was the strongest destination for single heater draw-texturing spindles. China, Chinese Taipei, and Turkey were the main investors in this segment with a share of 90 percent, 2.3 percent, and 1.5 percent of global deliveries, respectively.


In the category of double heater draw-texturing spindles (mainly used for polyester filaments) global shipments increased by +167 percent to a level of 870,000 spindles. Asia’s share of worldwide shipments increased to 95 percent. Thereby, China remained the largest investor accounting for 92 percent of global shipments.


Weaving Machinery

In 2021, worldwide shipments of shuttle-less looms increased by +32 percent to 148,000 units. Shipments in the categories “air-jet”, “rapier and projectile”, and “water-jet” rose by +56 percent to nearly 45,776 units, by +24 percent to 26,897, and by +23 percent to 75,797 units, respectively. The main destination for shuttleless looms in 2021 was Asia & Oceania with 95 percent of all worldwide deliveries. 94 percent, 84 percent, 98 percent of global air-jet, rapier/projectile, and water-jet looms were shipped to that region. The main investor was China in all three sub-categories. Deliveries of weaving machines to this country cover 73 percent of total deliveries.


Circular & Flat Knitting Machinery

Global shipments of large circular knitting machines grew by +29 percent to 39,129 units in 2021. The region Asia & Oceania was the world’s leading investor in this category with 83 percent of worldwide shipments. With 64 percent of all deliveries (i.e., 21,833 units), China was the favored destination. Turkey and India ranked second and third with 3,500 and 3,171 units, respectively. In 2021, the segment of electronic flat knitting machines increased by +109 percent to around 95,000 machines. Asia & Oceania was the main destination for these machines with a share of 91 percent of world shipments. China remained the world’s largest investor with a 76-percent-share of total shipments and a +290-percent-increase in investments. Shipments to the country rose from about 17 thousand units in 2020 to 676,000 units in 2021.


Finishing Machinery

In the “fabrics continuous” segment, shipments of relax dryers/tumblers grew by +183 percent. All other subsegments rose by 33 to 88 percent except dyeing lines which shrank (-16 percent for CPB and -85 percent for hotflue). Since 2019, ITMF estimates the number of shipped tenters non-reported by the survey participants to inform on the global market size for that category. The global shipments of tenters is expected to have increased by +78 percent in 2021 to a total of 2,750 units.


In the “fabrics discontinuous” segment, the number of jigger dyeing/beam dyeing shipped rose by +105 percent to 1,081 units. Deliveries in the categories “air jet dyeing” and “overflow dyeing” increased by +24 percent in 2021 to 1,232 units and 1,647 units, respectively.

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