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Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals has entered into an agreement to sell its textile business to Sutlej Textiles and Industries for Rs 232.63 crores. The unit Birla Textile Mills (BTM) located at Baddi in Himachal Pradesh will be sold on a 'slump sale' basis subject to requisite approvals, the company said in a BSE filing.

"The company has executed business purchase agreement on June 30, 2015 for sale of BTM to Sutlej as a going concern on slump sale basis," the filing said. The sale transaction, which has already been approved by the Competition Commission of India (CCI), would be subject to requisite approvals and fulfillment of various other conditions as mentioned in the agreement, it said. In March, Chambal Fertilisers had said that the textile unit would be sold for Rs 232.63 crores.

Kolkata-based Chambal Fertilisers, predominantly a producer of farm inputs, also has shipping division. It has other business interests through its subsidiary in the software sector.

The event will look at prospects for raw materials, fibers and textiles in the context of sustainability challenges, global health issues, and lifestyle and demographic changes. The conference will review the raw material chains for polyester, polyamide, cotton and viscose. After such a rapid decline in oil prices, the event will look at recovery possibilities, assessing whether excessive investment in polyester and polyamide intermediates continues to prejudice margins.

Presentations will address fiber demand numbers and will also look at the crucial issue of how to recover value, one of the most pressing requirements throughout the industry. Other presentations will look at factors influencing fiber choices by textile and garment companies, the important dynamics in key applications such as nonwovens and automotive products, and the definition of sustainability at various levels of the chain, and the role of recycling and bio-based products in providing sensible solutions.

Global fiber and textile supply chains have endured difficult and unpredictable years in which raw material prices have soared and crashed. Heavy investment in China and volatility in exchange rates have reconfigured supply chains, and trade patterns and over-capacity at all levels have become a major threat to the financial stability of large parts of the industry.

Italy's textile machinery production dropped marginally, by one per cent in 2014, compared to 2013. After falling the two previous years, exports in 2014 touched the same value as in 2013, with exports destined to Asia and Europe making up for 81 per cent of overseas shipments.

However, as exports to European markets grew in 2014 compared to previous year, they actually fell in Asia. Exports to China, which is one of the main export markets of Italian machinery, fell by 25 per cent in 2014 as against the previous year, a result of less than expected robust economic growth.

On the other hand, exports to India, Bangladesh and Vietnam were on the rise, and Italian textile machinery manufacturers also did well in Turkey, the US and Iran. During the current year, industry stands to benefit from macro economic factors that are making forecasts lean towards cautious optimism. Within Italy, the textile machinery industry is one of its most important sectors. Its textile technologies are considered of a very high qualitative level.

ITMA, to be held in November 2015, the industry’s most important trade fair, provides an opportunity to showcase Italian technology and stimulate new investments from the textile sector in Italy and Europe.

Mexico has revised standards for labeling of textile and apparel products. All apparel, apparel accessories, textile products and home textiles with over 50 per cent textile content must comply with the official Mexican standard for mandatory labeling requirements.

In order to allow manufacturers, importers and marketers adjust their production processes to comply with new requirements, authorities will accept products that are legal before the effective date. The new standard provides generic names and definitions for the most important natural fibers in accordance with the fiber constitution or specific origin. The major change is that generic names must be written without capital letters.

The words lana (wool), and/or pelo (hair), can be now added before the generic name of some animal fibers. Lana may be added before alpaca, angora, cashmere, camel, guanaco, llama, mohair, vicuna, yak, beaver and otter. Pelo may be added before cow, deer, goat, horse, rabbit, hare, nutria, seal, muskrat, reindeer, mink, marten, sable, weasel, bear, ermine and arctic fox.

For apparels and apparel accessories, one or more permanent and legible labels must be attached at the collar, waist or any other visible location with the below labeling information in Spanish or in any other language.

Far Eastern New Century, one of Taiwan's leading textile conglomerates is planning to set up an integrated production site for yarn, fabrics, dyeing and apparel in Vietnam. Vietnam will become the company’s third production base after Taiwan and China and will enable Far Eastern to exploit business opportunities presented by the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The company makes fiber, yarn, fabric, apparel and industrial products. It’s focused on building a green supply chain and has an annual capacity of 90,000 tons of recycled polyester with plans to expand this to 1,40,000 tons in three years.

Far Eastern has also partnered Nike to develop a water-free dyeing technology, using liquid carbon dioxide to drastically reduce water and chemical consumption. Nike has so far launched two ColorDry garments made using this fabric.

Far Eastern’s other plans include strengthening its R&D center, which has allied with international brands such as Nike and Burberry to create new high value-added functional materials. Meanwhile the Vietnam facility will enable Far Eastern to meet the TPP’s yarn forward rule, which require all steps of a garment’s manufacture – including yarn and fabric – to be carried out in the TPP region to gain duty-free access to the US. The plant will focus on yarn, followed by dyeing and ready-to-wear garments.

Natural fibers and bluesign wool-based textiles are the focus of Schoeller Textil’s 2017 summer collection. Bluesign textiles provide effective moisture transportation, temperature regulation, and heat retention. Schoeller Textil is a Swiss-based company which specialises in functional fabrics and textile technologies for active sports, fashion and work wear.

The company has developed a corkshell technology. This offers much higher thermal insulation than functional fabrics along with high breathability and wearer comfort. With corkshell, it is now possible to combine the outstanding natural features of cork with those of high-performance fabrics.

Corkshell is made of a natural granulate that is a by-product in the production of wine corks. This natural granulate is pulverized and combined with the fabric in a patented process from Schoeller. Two corkshell options are available. One is a two-layer fabric construction with a cork coating on the inside of the fabric. The other is a three-layer fabric construction in which the cork coating is between a stretchy, water and wind repelling surface fabric and a highly breathable lining that can be adapted to the requirements of weather conditions.

Corkshell fabrics are soft, lightweight and offer natural antimicrobial properties. In addition, they offer high wearer comfort and aid in moisture and odor management.

To bring down attrition and increase productivity of women employees, textile industries in Gujarat are taking a slew of measures. This includes building housing facilities to providing creches for children. The number of women working in the textile sector in Gujarat has risen by 30 per cent in the last five years. The national average is 15 per cent.

A better work environment, consistent income and several incentives by employers is attracting women to the textile industry, especially the garment and fabric sections. Close to 90 lakh people are working in the textile industry in Gujarat including 45 to 50 lakh women. Some textile units are paying their women employees more than they do their male counterparts. A grievance cell deals with the issues of women employees. If women have to work overtime, boarding and lodging are also provided.

Many companies have also set up skill development centers where women in large numbers are being trained. Many companies and textile units are building facilities to house their employees with an aim to reduce absenteeism and help women focus on the job. Arvind is planning to set up a dormitory-based manufacturing facility in its upcoming apparel park in Dehgam. The facility will house around 10,000 women.

Production in Australia's wool industry has declined since the collapse of the reserve price scheme in the early 1990s, compounded by a long term shift from wool to synthetic and cotton substitutes in clothing. Many producers have switched from wool to more profitable lamb operations.Demand has jumped, with competition among buyers and reports of stockpiles being cleared. With the wool industry now heavily reliant on exports to China, an uptick in demand from Chinese wool mills on account of easing credit conditions and signs of higher global demand has seen prices increase significantly.

If the recent higher prices can be sustained, wool grower profitability should improve somewhat. Cotton prices have stabilised and even moderately increased this year after falling in mid 2014. However, decent supply and signs of sluggish Chinese demand have weighed on sentiment.

In 2014-15, Australian cotton production was estimated to have declined 43.5 per cent on markedly lower plantings due to reduced irrigation water availability. Last season’s yields were quite strong, however. Australian cotton lint production is expected to increase four per cent on the back of a 7.1 per cent increase in area planted. Prices are forecast to rise 9.3 per cent in 2015-16.

Heavy rains in April and May in the US have delayed cotton planting in several states, including top producer Texas. Cotton for December delivery rose 5.6 per cent for the latest week to 67.51 cents a pound, the highest close since April 30.

The surge reflects hopes that the gap between US cotton production and demand will narrow. The feeling is that the US would produce less cotton in the year ahead than in the current year, but demand will remain near the lowest in more than a decade as apparel and textile companies turn to synthetic fibers. The US is the world’s largest cotton exporter.

South Texas is a traditional source of early, new crop bales, with a reputation for high fiber quality. If crop yields in Texas are lower, or if the harvest is delayed and the maturing crop gets too wet from seasonal rains, it could create a temporary shortage of quality fiber. The harvest is likely to run behind schedule due to the late start of the planting. The spring rains, which ended a four-year drought in Texas, also made it difficult for growers to get the seed into the fields. As of June 21, 94 per cent of the planned US cotton acreage had been sown, while in previous years planting was complete at this point.

While the Rajasthan government has been trying to boost sales of handloom Kota Doria saris worldover, weavers are suffering due to lack of direct access to the market. Copied powerloom designs offered at a much cheaper rate have been affecting business of most handloom products and no action has been taken against powerloom weavers.

Though the Rajasthan government’s efforts to push sales and recognition of the craft with international designer Bibi Russel has helped the community, the artisans feel that they are not enough to provide them direct market access. The weavers want their products to get retailed online so that their efforts are appreciated and products fetch some good amount for them to grow business.

One positive is the number of looms has increased from 1,500 to 2,500 over the years, engaging around 3,000 weavers, who contribute to the total business of around Rs 85 crores every year. Kota Doria is a fabric made of cotton and silk yarn with square patterns called Khat in local dialect. Zenab Bano of Kotsua (Kota) was awarded the National Award by the President of India in 1995-96 for Kota Doria work. Basheeran Bano of Kota got the National Certificate Award in 2012-13 for her Kota Doria product. After Bibi Russel’s efforts to bring more designs into Kota Doria fabrics, the use of Kanjivaram designs on Kota Doria has increased its demand specially in south India.

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