To read this content please select one of the options below:

Industry 4.0 in textile and apparel sector: a systematic literature review

Ana Julia Dal Forno (Department of Textile Engineering, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Blumenau, Brazil)
Walakis Vieira Bataglini (Department of Textile Engineering, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Blumenau, Brazil)
Fernanda Steffens (Department of Textile Engineering, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Blumenau, Brazil)
Antonio Augusto Ulson de Souza (Department of Textile Engineering, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Blumenau, Brazil)

Research Journal of Textile and Apparel

ISSN: 1560-6074

Article publication date: 15 December 2021

Issue publication date: 7 February 2023




This paper aims to present a systematic review of the development process of Industry 4.0 in the textile and apparel sector, as well as to show some concepts, examples found in the literature on the application of the principles and technologies involved like the internet of things (IoT), cloud computing, Big Data, autonomous robots, three-dimensional (3D) printing, augmented reality, virtual prototyping, horizontal and vertical system integration and cybersecurity.


The methodology adopted in this study was a systematic literature review aided by the use of SciMAT, a scientific mapping software. Documents were collected from the Web of Science and Scopus database from 2011 to 2020 using the words “Textile” and “Industry 4.0” that result in 865 documents and 115 were analyzed.


The literature review showed that the textile industry in the international context is at an incipient stage of the implementation of Industry 4.0. The main aspects of Industry 4.0 that were identified in the textile industry initially focus on the implementation of technologies aimed at computerization and automation of processes, whose main focuses are increasing productivity and reducing costs. Projects for the implementation of augmented reality and 3D printing and simulation technologies in the textile industry, clothing and apparel area are still embryonic, normally implemented through tools and software oriented toward the creation and development of new models of processes, products and commerce.

Research limitations/implications

The search in the databases was carried out on October 17, 2020. Therefore, for future study, other combinations of search terms and time update are suggested, in addition to including more databases besides Scopus and Web of Science.

Practical implications

This literature review served as the basis for the development of a questionnaire that was applied to 72 people in an industry in the clothing sector, located in the state of Santa Catarina, southern Brazil.

Social implications

The benefits of industry 4.0 are perceived in people with its implementation, such as a reduction in energy consumption of around 15%, an increase of up to 25% in work efficiency, in addition to more assertive decision-making, improvement of processes and balance between life and work.


Machine learning, artificial intelligence, smart fabrics, IoT, supply chain management, environmental protection, Big Data, autonomation and cyber physics were the strongest terms found, consolidating as a prominent field for current and future studies. From emerging and/or still unexplored areas of Industry 4.0 in the textile sector, there is real-time communication, computer applications, carbon, fibers, health care and sustainable development. Some strategic actions that are taking place in some countries are summarized and in Brazil the adoption rate is 29% for this sector, revealing itself as a needy area and suitable for the development of studies that address the subject.



The authors thank the Postgraduate Program in Textile Engineering (PGETEX), Federal University of Santa Catarina, Blumenau campus by the infrastructure provided.


Dal Forno, A.J., Bataglini, W.V., Steffens, F. and Ulson de Souza, A.A. (2023), "Industry 4.0 in textile and apparel sector: a systematic literature review", Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 95-117.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles