The first textile manufacturing factories were established in Hungary at the beginning of the 18th century. Given the country’s agricultural characteristics they dealt primarily with the processing of cotton, although Hungary was known for the processing of silk as well.
In the early 20th century and again between the two world wars, the Hungarian textile industry underwent major development; this was the period when many factories – later to become famed for their products – were established. The nation’s textile industry suffered enormous damage during the Second World War, but recovered relatively quickly after the end of hostilities. Nationalization brought fundamental transformation to the structure of the industry and the management of factories.
The privatized and restructured industry began to consolidate towards the end of the 1990s, and then started to grow, even if this growth started off only from a very low level. However, after just a few years import competition began to intensify enormously.
Situation of the sector
The situation of companies manufacturing technical textile products can be said to be good in comparison with the position of manufacturers of clothing products. European companies are the primary competitors in this sector, which also means that the competition is not primarily one based on cost but rather on meeting the demands of users. There are relatively larger, but at least medium-size enterprises involved in the manufacture of technical textile products, and these companies generally have planned R&D strategies, which means that they are able to pursue continuous product development. The sector’s smaller businesses can similarly be listed among innovators, including ready-to-wear companies, who through a process of constant development of products and technologies are able to meet ever changing demands.
The same can be said of Hungarian uniform and protective clothing manufacturing companies. Demand for these product categories is generally made evident through public procurement tenders. Businesses active in this sub-sector are proving themselves increasingly successful not only on the Hungarian market, but on the wider European market, too.
Sub-sectors products with export potential
Work and protective clothing
Home and household textiles
Other fashion items