Invista's Cordura brand has debuted its new fabrics for active lifestyles at the Winter Outdoor Retailer Show that took place in Salt Lake City, Utah, US. While durability will always remain at the core of Cordura’s fabric offerings many of its new brand adoptions showcase the fashionable, functional side of Cordura fabrics as well.
Cordura ballistic fabrics are targeted as bags, packs and luggage applications, based on Invista’s highest tenacity nylon 6,6 airbag technology fibers combined with a classic ballistic weave construction. Cordura’s canvas are fabrics based on an intimate blend of Invista’s T420 nylon 6,6 fiber with cotton offering durable, stylish options for outdoor urban apparel, including lightweight shirting fabrics.
Cordura combat wool fabrics include durable double face weaves with rugged nylon face and 100 per cent merino wool next-of-skin options. Also featured are stylish, sophisticated nylon or wool knits and wovens that combine both fashion and functionality.
Latest fabric innovations include, durable denims with thermoregulation functionality to enhance warmth or cooling properties when needed. These denim fabrics contain fibers with a cross-section that helps move moisture away from the body when the wearer is hot as well as hollow core fibers to help provide insulation for added comfort on colder days.
Pakistan's new textile policy (2014-19) has not enthused the industry. One refrain is that the government has failed to ensure uninterrupted supply of utilities including power and gas under the new policy.
Stakeholders have urged authorities to review the policy and prioritise export sector with respect to provision of utilities as well as incorporating the industry's proposals to make them more competitive internationally. They further emphasise on the need to implement the policy in letter and spirit if the required targets are to be achieved including a 100 per cent increase in value addition over the next five years. Small and medium enterprises, which account for 97 per cent of the entire industry, say they have been totally ignored in the new policy.
The policy has come after a delay of over seven months and it has no aggressive marketing plans to attract foreign buyers. Schemes like a drawback of local taxes and levies announced in the new policy were also part of the previous policy.
Textile mills say there is no protection of raw material in the policy. They say the government must give more incentives with respect to subsidies and utilities to make it more competitive in the region.
The next edition of Yarn expo will be held in China from March 18 to 20, 2015. This is a fair for fiber and yarn products. There will be a bio fiber zone. This will promote the use of biochemical fibers. Biochemical fiber will be the next big product in China. Developing renewable materials is a major focus in the country’s 13th five-year plan that runs from 2016 to 2020.
Besides bio fiber zone, more renewable fibers from nine exhibitors can be found in the renewable and recycled zone. The products shown in the bio fiber zone are made have low energy consumption and carbon emission during production process. Several other special zones in the pavilion will showcase different innovative fibers and yarns. The cotton polyester fiber zone will feature newly developed super imitation cotton fibers that can be used in sportswear and denim fabrics. These products score in terms of moisture absorption, softness and pilling resistance.
Visitors can find carbon fibers, heat-resistant para-aramid fibers and polyamide fibers as well as other functional fibers which are flame retardant and odor eliminating. Other than synthetic fibers, overseas exhibitors will bring new collections of natural yarns to the fair. Exhibitors in the Indian Pavilion and the Pakistani zone will also display high count cotton yarn featuring advanced technologies.
Texworld USA showcased a record 280 exhibitors representing 18 countries from around the globe. The show saw 3,580 verified visitors representing 44 countries including the United States, Canada and Mexico. Featured pavilions included exhibitors from Taiwan and show partner Lenzing Innovation, covering 12 product categories offering buyers an extensive array of apparel textiles, accessories and finished goods.
Texworld USA is a vital apparel textile sourcing event for the North American market. It presented a sold out show floor and welcomed visitors from large brands such as Macy’s, Ralph Lauren, Nautica and Coach. The international apparel sourcing show was once again featured at the winter edition of Texworld USA providing visitors access to 82 suppliers for finished apparel representing 11 countries including the United States, Colombia, China, Peru and Portugal. This show is not only for garments, but fabric sourcing.
The trend forum gave color forecast and direction for Spring/Summer 2016 season. Four color stories were included: Subversive Analogy, Subtle Amorphia, Alter Echo and Inescapable Hazards. Visitors were also provided a trend book for future reference.
Cambodia garment exports are up but its reports steep decline in percentage share. Cambodia’s garment exports increased around 4 percent year-on-year in 2014 to $5.75 billion, but its much less compared to the 20 per cent jump in the previous year. However, rise in exports is a positive sign since the industry was expecting a decline.
While the figures revealed by the Commerce Ministry’s import-export inspection department, did not break down exports by destination, most of the garment exports from Cambodia are to the US and Europe. Quarterly export figures started out strong last year but gradually slowed as the impact of falling orders from international brands began to hit factories. Many buyers started looking at other sourcing destinations after labour unrest over low wages that ended in military police killing few protesting workers.
According to a Kurt Salmon Global Sourcing Reference report, Cambodia is showing strong double-digit growth in six out of 10 product categories, but its market share remains relatively small. And CSR is not the only challenge for low-cost sourcing centers or those countries aspiring to be; many still lack the required infrastructure as well as the supply chain and production capabilities needed to offer volumes similar to those of China.
The fourth conference by sustainable textiles company Bluesign Technologies will be held in Switzerland on July 13 and 14. For the first time, the conference is not invitation only. Bluesign has opened up registration for delegates throughout the textile production, chemicals, and supply chain management industries.
Bluesign is an emerging standard for environmental health and safety in manufacturing textiles. It provides independent auditing of textile mills, examining manufacturing processes from raw materials and energy inputs to water and air emissions outputs. Each component is assessed based on its eco toxicological impact. Bluesign ranks its audit findings in order of concern, and suggests ways to reduce consumption while recommending alternatives to harmful chemicals or processes where applicable.
Eco-aware consumers can feel confident purchasing clothing items with the Bluesign label that they are buying the most environmentally friendly, socially conscious version of the jacket, shirt, sweater, pants, hat or gloves in question. Given the push for greener products of every kind, Bluesign has gained serious traction in the last few years among some of the leading brands in the outdoor clothing and gear business.
Textile mills that commit to verifiably adopting Bluesign’s recommendations can attract business from a wide range of brands and retailers around the world looking for greener vendors.
The 13th edition of the Knit-Tech, a knitting technology trade fair organised by Hi-tech International Trade Fair under the India Trade Promotion Organisation concluded on February 9. More than 200 companies from India and abroad exhibited state-of-the-art machinery related to knitwear production which included circular knitting machines, dyeing and finishing machines, knit printing appliances, computerised flat knitting machines, yarn conditioning machines, sewing machines and fabric dyeing machines.
Apart from these, textile printing inks, air treatment solutions, spares of embroidery machines, knitting accessories, stripped fabrics, air compressors and needles used for production of hosiery items were also displayed. Since the exhibition was approved by the India Trade Promotion Organisation, foreign exhibitors were able to bring in instruments without paying import duty for display.
The organisers had also organised fashion shows and seminars to give value addition to the exhibition. A vintage apparel machinery museum was set up. It took visitors through a journey of transformation which apparel machinery has undergone in the last three centuries.
Some of the attractions at the museum included models of the 18th century Swiss Box Iron, which used a heated metal piece placed inside the hollow of the iron to press the fabrics without scorching the cloth, and a multi-system hosiery circular knitting machine used more than a century ago, paving the way for the production of high quality socks. A model of a power embroidery machine used during the Industrial Revolution was also a huge attraction.
Apparel imports from Vietnam to the US increased fastest compared to its counterparts in 2014, reveals data released by the Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA). For the entire year, the country gained the greatest share of US apparel imports, owing to currency fluctuations in China, which saw its dollar share of US apparel imports fall from over 37 percent in 2013 to 36 percent in 2014.
The value of total apparel imports increased 2.5 per cent in 2014 to $81.8 billion. Total unit volume, measured on a sq. mt. equivalent (SME) basis, increased by 3.3 percent, driving down the average cost per SME by 0.7 percent. Rise in apparel exports from Vietnam was clearly led by China’s loss last year due to rapidly rising labour costs that made many US apparel brands move sourcing requirements to lower cost countries.
China suffered the biggest share loss so far in 2014, dropping from 37.3 percent to 36.4 percent of total US apparel imports. Total apparel imports from China were $29.8 billion in 2014. Imports from China fell marginally in December to $2 billion from $2.1 billion in December 2013. November units from China (on an SME basis) were up slightly, to 773 SME, and rose 4 percent in the full-year period, to 10.8 billion.
Vietnam’s share of total US apparel imports grew from 10.1 percent of the total in 2013 to 11.3 percent in 2014, a 1.2 percentage point gain. Between 2012 and 2013, the country gained only .9 percentage points of share, and the year before that, .7 percentage points. In 2014, U.S. apparel imports from Vietnam totaled a record $9.2 billion, up 14 percent from 2013 and SMEs from Vietnam rose by 13.2 percent.
Global synthetic fiber prices decreased by 19 percent in January, marking the 16th year-over-year decline and sixth month of increasing drop in rate, says recent data from consulting firm PCI Fibres. Key reasons for the decline were: crude oil prices, which fell another 8 per cent in January, higher-than-normal fiber and fabric inventories, and slowing demand for fibers in China ahead of the New Year holiday.
In Asia, the world’s largest fiber-producing region, synthetic fiber prices fell by 21.7 per cent in the month, their biggest decline in more than two-and-a-half years. In China, polyester prices continued to fall in the first two weeks of the month, extending December’s trend, due to the sharp drop in crude oil prices and continued weak demand for fiber, but reportedly bottomed out mid-month and remained stable through the end of January as mills began to prepare for the lunar New Year break.
Staple prices fell to five-year low, ending January at prices more than 10 per cent lower than the prior month-end, and nearly 22 per cent lower for the year and filament prices dropped by 13 percent in January. Nylon (type 6) prices in China fell by more than 10 per cent in the month, following a sharp decline in raw materials prices. Caprolactam prices are reportedly more than 30 percent lower than this time next year.
Asian synthetic fiber prices are more than 23 percent below the world average. The European synthetic fiber price index fell by more than 21 percent, its biggest drop in nearly two and a half years, though European synthetic prices remained almost 20 percent above the world average. The US index fell by 13 percent, putting the US synthetic fiber prices index almost 60 percent above the global average.
Ahead of the much-talked about Japan India Industry Promotion Association’s (JIIPA) three-day day long ‘India Trends Fair - 2015’ in Tokyo to be held from July 15 to 17, Vijay Mathur, Additional Secretary General of Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), says “I think Japan is serious about India. They feel India has become an important partner but the results can be seen only after a decade or so. By that time, India may be a significant supplier to Japan. Right now, our share in Japanese garment imports is 0.9 per cent.”
He further added that it will take time to make Japanese turn away from China. Japan and China have strong apparel relations. Japan has invested in China over the last 40 years and it’s only now that Japan has started coming to India. Popular Japanese brand like Uniqlo is interested in opening stores in India and many more are willing to follow. “I feel we should grow since we have a FTA in place but it will take time as Japanese take time to decide on business,” he points out.
Apparel market in Asia
Giving an insight on the Asian apparel market, Mathur says, “Manufacturers in Cambodia and Bangladesh can give brands a better price compared to India. Our inflation rate is at six percent, so our cost of production goes up by that much. But the buyer is not ready to increase prices. So each year we become uncompetitive. We can overcome this by increasing productivity and adding services to sales. We can get a better price through our designs, by satisfying buyers, quick delivery. For buyers the bottomline is the price,”
Stressing on the need to increase production capacity, Mathru says while the entire textile value chain in India works in three shifts. But garment manufacturing has just one and a half shift. “We work for 10 hours but there is no night shift. Adding another shift will mean 40 per cent more production. We don’t have to add capacity. It will take away the problem of overtime since everyone will work for eight hours only,” Mathur suggested.
“Make in India is already a part of the garment industry. We are manufacturing in India. We are the largest employment provider after agriculture. We enhance skills through ATDCs and AIMs. We have 200 ATDCs. It won’t be tough for us to acquire a significant share of the Japanese market,” Mathur sums up.