Belgium Review

Belgium produces state-of-the-art textile machinery
by Professor Dr. Noor Ahmed Memon, Dadabhoy Institute of Higher Education.

World textile machinery manufacturers face challenges in the days ahead, including fluctuation in demand and increased competitive pressure. The growing demand for environmentally friendly fibres is expected to push demand for textile machinery and equipments that employ eco-friendly textile processes.

Belgium textile machinery manufacturers are the fifth biggest manufacturing industry measured by value added and eighth measured by employment. At present, textile machinery industry counts 33 companies, and has a turnover of 1.6 billion Euro. Its companies are active in machinery for indoor textiles (carpet, upholstery, velvet and table wear), garment textiles, technical textiles and textile finishing.

Belgium produces the fastest air jet weaving machines in the world. The Belgian textile machinery companies pursue technological leadership strategies. That approach is materialized in the continuous presence of textile machinery companies in the top 5 of Belgian patent applications.

Export of Belgium Textile
Machinery -2018
(Main Countries)


(Million Euro)




  India 61.41
  Iran 40.90
  Pakistan 38.07
  Uzbekistan 22.11
  Germany 22.05
  France 22.04
  United States 20.82
  Bangladesh 20.04
  Egypt 18.53
  Italy 18.30
  Algeria 14.01
  Vietnam 10.92
  Russian Federation 10.83
  Indonesia 10.58
  Brazil 9.98
  Belarus 9.02
  Portugal 6.94
  Mexico 4.88
  Korea (Republic) 4.25
  Austria 3.94
  United Kingdom 3.63
  Argentina 3.59
  Spain 3.47

  Source: Belgium Foreign Trade Agency.


For over 40 years, BMSVision has offered products and systems for all segments of the textile industry. Spinning, weaving, knitting, tufting, dyeing and finishing, BMSVision has applications which allow productivity and quality improvement. The electronics and computers used in their products are state-of-the-art, offering the reliability required by the textile environment.


Bonas produces state-of-the-art electronic jacquards and shedding systems for all kinds of fabric applications: terry towelling, furnishing fabrics, curtain fabrics, flat woven carpets, apparel, African damask, woven sport shoes, air bags, mattress ticking, table linen, label, bed sheeting and covers, shawls, silk, ties, technical fabrics.

Matthys Group

Matthys Group was founded more than 60 years ago and has become a key player in the field of custom-made textile machinery and beyond. This modern company has based its success on highly motivated people, flexibility and its determination to make no compromise towards quality. Continuous expansion and a rigorous production strategy have turned the family-run business into a global player. The development, production and assembly of the Matthys Group machines are accomplished on the company site in Belgium. Matthys Group continues to focus on innovations, tailor-made and high-tech machines and solutions.


Picanol develops, manufactures and sells high-tech weaving machines based on air jet or rapier technology. Picanol supplies weaving machines to weaving mills worldwide and also offers to its customers products and services such as weaving frames and reeds, training, upgrade kits and spare parts. For more than eighty years, Picanol has played a pioneering role in the global industry and is currently one of the world’s leading weaving machine manufacturers.

Picanol is active on the global market, both for rapier and for air jet technology. The high-tech Picanol weaving machines and supplementary products and services are sold through both its own branches and a network of agents worldwide. Currently, some 2,600 weaving mills across the world are using Picanol machines, in total accounting for approximately 175,000 weaving machines. To date, Picanol has manufactured more than 375,000 weaving machines.

Picanol supplies weaving machines for general apparel textile, such as denim (jeans), shirting fabric and household applications, such as terry cloth towels and interior textiles. In addition, Picanol also supplies weaving machines for technical textiles, such as automotive and agro applications, backing fabrics, filtration fabrics, medical textiles, tire cord and a whole range of other technical applications. Picanol weaving machines are known for their high productivity and outstanding reliability in weaving the most diverse kinds of fabrics.

This wide range enables every weaver to select a machine that perfectly matches the very specific requirements for the markets in which they are operating. Picanol machines offer the highest levels of performance with the highest levels of versatility, flexibility and user-friendliness. This combined with a strong and worldwide service network is the guarantee for every weaver that he will be able to grow his project together with Picanol. Moreover, continuous focus on reducing energy consumption and avoiding waste of raw materials achieves this in the most sustainable way.

The industry is strongly export driven with a core of high-tech demanding EU customers for fast cross sectorial product development in addition to export markets being the European Union, Turkey, China, India and Pakistan. At present textile machinery industry has a turnover of 1.6 billion euro. The Belgian machinery industry is the nation’s fourth biggest exporter.

Research Centres

The Belgian textile machinery industry is heavily involved in the strategic research centre for the manufacturing industry. The Belgian machinery industry is strongly R&D driven and is the nation’s third biggest investor in R&D. It invests 8% of its added value on R&D and employs over 11% of the total Belgian manufacturing industry research head count.

The industry accelerated its research efforts on energy efficiency in the last decade and achieved an average energy consumption reduction for its products of 18%.  These research centres are involved in finding new applications for “smart materials” or in the production of special highly resistant fabrics or fabrics that change colours. 

Centexbel is the major research institution of the Belgium textile industry; it is engaged in developing and promoting technological innovation and providing information and training to technological trends and new application. Centres of the textile industry are Bruges, Brussels, Verviers, Ghent, Courtrai (Kortrijk), and Malines (Mechelen). Carpets are made in large quantities at Saint-Nicolas (Sint-Niklaas). Belgium is also renowned for its remarkable design creativity, its longstanding manufacturing know-how and high-quality standards.


Weaving machines are one of most important investments. Keeping them in optimal condition is essential to safeguard the high value of this asset and to remain competitive as a weaver in a globalizing world. Picanol has a dedicated service team installing and servicing these machines worldwide.

In addition, a pool of technicians based in Ieper (Belgium) have a wide network of their own local service organizations located in China, India, Indonesia, Turkey, USA, Mexico and Brazil, as well as local technicians in other markets. All are trained at Picanol and have the most up to date knowledge and tools to support customers throughout the lifetime of machines.

The long term strategy directs the Belgian machinery industry towards continuous strategic and open innovation to accelerate its product development rate.


  1. Symatex - Belgium Textile Machinery Association.


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