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Besides facing load-shedding of around six to eight hours, the value-added industry in Punjab, Pakistan, except spinning sector, is without gas for the last two weeks. The SNGPL had committed to provide at least 25 per cent gas to the garment sector but even this limited quantity of gas was not ensured, as the industry on Ferozepur Road, Kotlakhpat industrial area, Township industrial estate, Quaid-e-Azam Industrial Estate and industrial clusters on Multan Road are not getting gas supply for last two weeks along with suspension of power supply of over 6 hours.

As per Malik Naseer, Vice Chairman, Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA), the garment industry in Punjab was becoming uncompetitive within Pakistan due to prolonged power load-shedding and complete gas supply suspension while there was smooth gas and power supply in other provinces. Value-added textile industry in Punjab was facing problems because of the increasing cost of production due to gas shortages, higher electricity tariff, and amounts stuck up with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in sales tax refunds, he urged the government to provide a level playing field to the Punjab-based clothing industry by providing greater gas and power supply, which will help exporters reduce their energy costs, and by releasing the amounts stuck up in sales tax refunds.

Ijaz A Mumtaz, president of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, warned of massive lay-offs and industrial closures if unscheduled load-shedding is not stopped immediately in Lahore Township Industrial area by the Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO). LCCI former vice president Kashif Anwar too has said the industry needs continuous supply of electricity to keep the units operational and to complete the export orders well within the given timeframe but only because of the shortage of electricity the exports are not up to the mark. Pakistan had already lost a number of international markets and the new longer hour power cuts would further aggravate the situation, he claimed.

Bayer MaterialScience and the International Apparel Federation have entered into a collaboration aiming at significantly improving innovation and sustainability in the apparel and footwear industry. They have undertaken a series of workshops across three continents. Under the theme of ‘Setting New Standards for Material Innovation and Sustainability’, the workshops proved to be essential events for footwear and apparel brand owners that use polyurethane (PU) coated fabrics, for example, PU synthetic leather.

With pure waterborne PU technology and rich textile coating application expertise, Bayer MaterialScience wants to inspire brand owners and manufacturers to explore new possibilities in the design and creation of magical PU-coated fabrics.

Offering design freedom, durability and economy when compared to genuine leather, PU leather is increasingly becoming the material of choice for footwear, apparel and accessories. The textile industry is extremely complex and sometimes for manufacturers it is difficult to get visibility and direct access to brand owners interested in sourcing more sustainable materials. Also for brand owners, transparency about the origin and quality of fabric materials is often difficult to achieve.

Textile coating experts from Bayer MaterialScience have introduced Insqin, a novel turnkey solution for brand owners and manufacturers looking to achieve ambitious goals related to innovation and sustainability.

www.bayer.com/

Cut-Tex PRO, is an ultra-high performance cut resistant fabric, developed by UK’s PPSS Group. PPSS is a manufacturer of bullet and stab resistant vests. It provides protection to personnel engaged in high risk security operations in some of the most hostile environments. The group seeks out the most effective approaches to reduce the risk of workplace violence related injuries and lethal accidents. It designs and produces personal protective clothing that is specifically designed around the precise operational threats, risks and duties of customers.

Cut-Tex PRO is used to line uniforms, tactical gear, and work wear. It acts as a shield and protects vulnerable areas of the human body, in particular, the radial, brachial, carotid, axillary and femoral arteries. It comes in colors like optic white, olive green, navy blue, yellow and orange. It is made out of an innovative combination of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene and other technical fibers on high-density knitting machines.

The product has passed several European and international standards for cut, tear and abrasion resistance. The product is comfortable to wear, machine washable, strong and durable. The great level of durability of this fabric gives it some technological advantages over other products, such as aramid-based technical fabrics.

www.cut-tex.com/

Spinnova started operations in Finland in January 2015. It is a research and product development company that converts wood into fabric. It is the latest spin-off of the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. It produces sustainable yarns directly from wood fibers. The fiber to yarn threads, are recyclable, environmentally-friendly and cost competitive products made of wood fibers. The process requires no extra chemical treatments.

The fiber to yarn technology is totally different from traditional textile yarn production. It uses no dissolution chemicals to dissolve wood fiber to a polymer level and regenerate cellulosic filaments. Instead the technology allows the production of novel, low cost and environmentally friendly textile yarns for filaments made directly from wood fibers through a wet spinning process.

Spinnova’s technique is ideal for refining Finnish long fiber length woods such as that of pine and spruce species. It is the only technology which can be used to spin yarn directly from wood fibers without chemical processing. The technology allows the production of novel, low cost and environmentally friendly textile yarns for filaments made directly from wood fibers through a wet spinning process.

The fiber yarn technology represents a breakthrough that can revolutionise both the textile and forest industries. Spinnova has won the international bio refinery competition with its new textile fiber production technology.

www.spinnova.fi/

Stefanie Tschirky from Royal College of Art UK has won the Future of Denim Branding Competition, a contest designed to challenge the way the industry thinks about denim branding. Tschirky’s winning innovative design transforms the story of denim from a textile that is manufactured and mass¬ produced to one that is crafted with care. Tschirky was selected from 11 talented design students from around the world. ARTS THREAD and Avery Dennison Retail Branding & Information Solutions (RBIS) announced Stefanie as winner of the competition.

The winning project, titled 'Your Story – Your Denim’, examines the origin story of denim before it reaches the consumer. Tschirky’s denim design begins with details like the name of the seamstress who fashioned the textile. Other details include the distance the denim travels from creation to display in¬ store. Taking the story concept even further, the garment also comes affixed with a sealed test glass containing fibre of the cotton used to produce the denim jeans. The rest of the story is for the wearer to tell. An expert panel of judges including the ‘godfather of denim’ Adriano Goldschmied; Kristina Szasz, denim design director of Karl by Karl Lagerfeld; Jonathan Cheung, Senior VPt, Levi’s; Matt Abbott, vice president, Men’s Denim, Calvin Klein; Bob Rinjders, founder, Butcher of Blue; Donna Ida Thornton, founder, Donna Ida; and Amy Leverton, director, Denim & Youth, WGSN scored the entries by creativity, aesthetic and innovation.

"Building a brand is one of the most challenging and satisfying things a designer will do in their career," said Cheung. "The ability to portray the brand's character at a glance is a fundamental skill. It was great to see how all the entrants endeavored to tie emotional content to their branding and to see sustainability and social responsibility play an increasing role in defining a brand's values. I'm delighted for Stefanie's win and congratulate all the entrants for their work." 

As the winner, Tschirky will have the opportunity to bring her design and branding to life through an internship with the Avery Dennison RBIS creative team in London as well as Los Angeles.

Launched in October 2014, the Future of Denim Branding competition was created as a partnership between Avery Dennison RBIS, a global leader in apparel, footwear and industry solutions, and ARTS THREAD, a digital platform designed to connect students, graduates, institutions and industry exclusively in the field of design.

The European Technology Platform (ETP) took place in Belgium on March 25 and 26. Over 150 participants from 20 countries witnessed a broad overview of key textile technologies.

The aim of the two-day conference was to demonstrate how innovative, high-tech and diversified the EU textile and clothing sector has become in the last 10 years. The ETP was launched in 2004, the year the last textile import quotas were phased out. ETP has played a crucial role in facilitating access to funding opportunities especially for small and medium enterprises. It has enabled these enterprises to collaborate with other sectors.

Since the launch of the Textile ETP, collaboration between industry and textile research community has become closer and more constructive, confirming Europe as the world’s capital of textile technology. The conference explored the most promising new technologies and innovations in areas like sustainable fibers, nano fibers, smart textiles, technical textile applications, advanced fiber and textile processing technologies, digitalisation and new business models.

It stressed on important role of academic and applied textile research institutions to ensure that the technologies for industrial breakthroughs for the next ten years are explored, developed and successfully transferred to the industry.

cordis.europa.eu/technology-platforms/home_en.html

The Tirupur Thozhil Pathukappu Kuzhu (TTPK), a forum of different stakeholders in Tirupur textile industry, is all set to facilitate the creation of clusters within Tirupur. The idea is to promote lean manufacturing practices and help industrial units increase competitiveness. The clusters would be formed of units involved in homogeneous activity. Each cluster will have units from same segment like dyeing, knitting, printing, garmenting and sewing, among other activities, so that training and implementation will become easier.

According to R R Vijayakumar, garment exporter and coordinator of TTPK, stakeholders are planning to form a minimum 20 clusters by bringing together units under respective segments of the textile production chain to constitute a cluster and help them avail government assistance to get trained on lean manufacturing practices under a consortium approach. Adoption of lean manufacturing methods will help minimise the wastes and unwanted procedures in the manufacturing process which will enhance the profitability and prowess of the units, he believes.

Vijayakumar also added that TTPK would only act as ‘facilitator’ with the entire project to be monitored by Quality Council of India and National Productivity Council. Sources added that the funds to subsidise training will be coming from Union Ministry for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

taiwan

Set up in 1975, the Taiwan Textile Federation (TTF) under the guidance of the government was established to maintain the interests of Taiwan’s textile industry in the European market and represent the government to negotiate with the EU. Justin Huang, Secretary General of Taiwan Textile Federation (TTF), shares his views about the  Taiwan industry and global textile scenario.

 

How is the Taiwan textile industry positioned?TTF taiwan

 

in 2015, our performance will be better than 2014.  The world economy has three engines: US, Europe, China.  China is slowing down; Europe has not recovered;  the US is getting better. Innovation is our driving force. Sportswear and outer wear brands are using innovative textiles. In the last two years, Taiwan’s textile mills are working hard. They have become upstream suppliers. We are trying to improve the performance of functional fabrics and help clients get better competence in the market. Brands like Nike work closely with our fabric brands. They want better materials.  We have many investors in Southeast Asia especially in Vietnam.

The US is promoting the Trans Pacific Partnership and looking for strategic supplying countries for their market. We can offer total solutions for their products to our clients in the US.  We cater to materials innovation and clothing manufacturing. We expect 2016 to generate a strong demand for innovative winter fabrics.

What’s your global export business?

Last year we did exports worth $11.5 billion.  It was almost the same as 2013.  This year, we should do better at around $11.8. Finished fabrics are 63 per cent of our export value; yarn and filament 18 per cent; fibers 10 per cent and the rest are apparels and accessories.

China is getting into performance fabrics. Do you think this will affect Taiwan’s competence?

The Chinese are smart. Chinese fabric mills are doing similar things. But I think this the right direction for the Chinese textile industry. They need more technology input, more engineers to help them. This will prolong the technology’s value in the market.  They need more designers to design fabrics and apparels.  Right now they need to build up confidence in their clients. If their clients are not happy, they may not get enough business opportunities.  And we are feeling the pressure from China. But it is a free economy.

How do you plan to face the challenge?

We offer similar products at lower prices. But quality is as important as price. The price has to be competitive. We have a strategy for facing the competition, nationwide as well as for industries. We work strategically with international organisations. This will build up textile performance standards. We work with clients to build up a unified code of conduct for product safety and sustainability.

What are the new trends evolving in global business?

Climate change is playing an important role. Earlier the coldest month was January but now it’s shifting to February. Even in the beginning of March, there is snow at many places. This disrupts activities of textile mills. Longer winter means more consumption of our fabrics. So 2016, will see strong demand for innovative winter fabrics.

What do you think of treaties and free trade agreements?

We will focus on niche markets.  We don’t have cotton, wool or linen. Functional chemical fiber is our business. Treaties may influence Taiwan’s textiles but may not takeover our business.

What is your relation with Japan?

We are the first choice for Japanese retailers.  Earlier, they used the Chinese supply chain. Now they use our supply network.

Who is your biggest business partner?

The US followed by China, Japan and Europe. In Europe, Germany is important for us.

How Asean’s the apparel export business growing?

China can benefit by exporting fabrics and textiles to Asean countries. But not many apparel makers export back to China. So China has a trade surplus with Asean. But there may be anti-dumping safeguards.

What’s the major trend in global business?

Textiles should be lighter to keep the body warmer. We focus on the high end market. People are ready to pay for what we have. So we are confident.

Have you associated with any global body for functional or performance textiles?

We have associated with the Japanese, Germans, Dutch, Americans. We are with big chemical companies.  

Due to volatile exchange rates, Thai garment manufacturers are struggling to find new markets in Asia and some countries in Europe, while focusing more on channeling trade in sportswear and uniforms through poorer neighboring countries that still have tariff privileges. The ‘Export Garment Fair’, a three-day event in Bangkok, saw Thai exporters sharing similar views. According to the President of the Thai Garment Manufacturers Association (TGMA), Thavorn Kanokvaleewong, China, countries in Europe outside the euro zone, and Asean markets could fit the bill, since they have high demand and relatively stable currencies. With rising cost of labour, China has to import more garments. Emerging ASEAN countries are also seeing increased demand for garments, and Thailand is one of major suppliers to those countries. Moreover, despite slowing business Japan’s policy of reducing imports from China will brighten Thai garment makers chances.

Thai garment exports this year could face a contraction of 2-5 per cent because of the sluggish global economy. Since Thai garment exporters had relied heavily on traditional markets, mainly the United States and the EU, a contraction was likely. Garment exports declined by 9.4 per cent year on year to $435.43 million. Export to the US declined 7.9 per cent, to the EU by 17.12 per cent, to Japan by 5.29 per cent, to China by 1.7 per cent, and to ASEAN by just 0.08 per cent.

TGMA figures show that the US was Thailand’s major garment export market, with a 35-per cent share, followed by the EU (21 per cent), Japan (15.4 per cent), China (5.4 per cent), and ASEAN (5 per cent). The US and EU shares have dropped continuously over the past five years, while those of China and ASEAN have gone up considerably.

India’s cotton yarn export is estimated to have declined by 15 per cent during 2014-15, with a steep fall in shipments to China, which normally takes 40 per cent of the total. In the first nine months of the financial year (April-December 2014), data compiled by the Union textiles ministry showed a six per cent fall in the export, at 891 million kg as compared to 946 million kg in the same period a year ago. The fall accelerated afterwards. In 2013-14, cotton yarn export was 1,303 million kg.

Falling exports has meant excess supply with spinning companies. Recovery is not expected soon. Domestic and export demand from non-conventional markets must pick up for that. Yarn export to China declined by 20 per cent due to a slow down in textile industry. Exporters have tried to compensate from elsewhere and there has a been a slight rise in yarn exports to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Vietnam in recent months. India has signed a $300 million export deal with Vietnam, which includes cotton yarn.

Efforts are on to raise cotton yarn exports to other countries. If one large order clicks, India will be able to achieve last years figures, feels Kiran Soni Gupta, Textile Commissioner, Ministry of Textiles. Import from China has slowed over the past two years, due to shifting of labour from manufacturing industries like textiles to service industries like engineering, for higher remuneration. Import has risen to other countries but the decline in export to China will be difficult to compensate. Hence, the expectation is of a overall decline.

Industry experts estimate yarn export in 2014-15 to fall 15 per cent to 1,150 million kg. With massive buying at the minimum support price by Cotton Corporation of India (CCI), prices of cotton have risen 10 per cent in two months. However, yarn prices are flat. The benchmark 40-comb has been quoted at Rs 218 a kg for a little over three months, with a minor volatility of Rs 1-2 a kg, despite relatively high prices in global markets.

Textile makers' margins are expected to remain under pressure due to elevated cotton prices. Apparel exporters have used the opportunity from lower yarn prices to raise export. This is estimated at $16.75 in 2014-15, as compared to $15 billion a year ago.

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