The quality of a fabric is assessed on the basis of its softness, smoothness, elasticity and so on. In order to impart these qualities, every textile is treated with reactive softeners. It is basically used to prevent the static cling and make fabric softer. Reactive softeners are applied on fabrics to improve their drape, cutting, handling and sewing qualities. Reactive softeners are usually applied as a thin layer coating on the surface of the cloth. These reactive softeners are electrically conductive and exhibit lubricant properties, which prevent the build-up of static electricity, making the fibres feel smoother and softer.
Textile/fabric generally undergoes various processes such as bleaching, resin finishing, soaping, weaving, knitting, etc. These chemical and mechanical processes make the surface of the fabric harsh. However, a nice soft texture is often decisive while purchasing a textile. As the consumers care much about the soft feel they get while touching the fabric, these reactive softeners are used extensively in textiles sector. The textile softener does not affect the shade of the material and is compatible with other chemicals as well as is stable even at higher temperatures. Reactive softeners are also nontoxic, non-caustic and easily biodegradable.
Reactive softeners are N-methylol derivatives of superior fatty amides or urea compounds, which are replaced with fatty acids. These are formed by using graded fatty acid and amine derivatives with surfactants. Reactive softeners can easily disperse in hot as well as in cold water. Reactive softeners can be used for all kinds of fabrics for giving a permanent finish to them. Fabric softeners also contain chemicals to improve the aesthetic property of the materials. Emulsion stabilizers and preservatives are also used to ensure the quality of the fabric.
As the pattern of consumption of specialty finishing chemicals and pre-treatment chemicals is changing day by day, the demand for textile chemicals is also witnessing significant surge. Likewise, the rising demand for natural laundry care and fragrant products in developing countries will influence the reactive softeners market to a great extent. In addition, the growth of the reactive softeners market is also fueled by the growth of global apparels market.
Moreover, the rising demand for natural and organic chemicals in the textile chemicals industry because of the emergence of stringent regulations especially in North America and European countries is a key factor driving market growth. Aforementioned factors are expected to bolster the global reactive softeners market growth over the forecast period.However, the cost of reactive softeners is relatively high, which act as a key restraint for the growth of global reactive softeners market.
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Asia Pacific is a major market in terms of growth in the global reactive softeners market, followed by North America and Europe. Asia Pacific accounts for a significant share due to the substantial growth of textile industries in this region, which is supported by growing urban population, improved lifestyle and increasing per capita spending on fashion products. Whereas, Europe is also a major market followed by North America, which is projected to exhibit slow growth due to its high level of maturity in this market.