Faced with the societal changes, there are some new corresponding trends in innovative research for the fashion industry. According to the data analysis of Web of Science Core Collection1, the most popular and fruitful research fields from 2009 to 2017 include engineering, materials science, chemistry and computing science, and the rapidly increasing fields include environmental science, biotechnology and business economics. More and more published research results are categorized with the keyword fashion instead of the traditional keyword of textile or clothing.
In terms of publications, USA leads the innovative research relating to textile and fashion since 2009, especially those for fashion. China, the second placed publisher, leads the traditional research for textile and clothing. Some long-established European economies, including UK, Germany, Italy and France, still have very strong innovation ideas in fashion. India has shown a strong initiative for textile innovative research, which is complementary to its growth trend in textile manufacturing.
According to SciFinder2, the world’s patent applications for textile and fashion have increased year by year since 2009, and the top patent languages used include Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, German, Russian and French. In terms of application from private institution/company, Toray Industries Inc. in Japan applied for 119 patents relating to textile and fashion, is ranked No.1 globally. Its research center of China Toray (China) Co. Ltd is also listed in Top 15. Five out of the Top 15 companies belonged to Mainland China, and the other ones belong to Japan, USA and Germany. Most of the Chinese institutions are in the academia, while those in Japan, USA, and Germany are commercial companies.