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The Ptak Expo held in Poland from February 18 to 20, 2015 is a fashion fair held twice a year. The event showcased fashion, apparel, ready-to-wear clothing, footwear, bags, garments, accessories, textiles, fabrics, leather, machinery and equipment.

It also had conferences and trainings, creative workshops, panel discussions, fashion shows, new technology shows. Visitor included exhibitors, retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, professional buyers, importers and distributors of clothes, footwear and accessories from all over the world.

Poland has a long history of garment production. However, for the past few years, the industry has been systematically shrinking. The majority of Polish garment factories cater to export orders. However, the cost of production is high in Poland compared to other countries, especially in Asia.

Negligible investment in the Polish textile industry over a decade had reduced its competitiveness in the international market. The textile and fashion industries will receive state help to promote exports. Subsidies will be paid to coalitions of two or three firms engaged in exports.

There are 17,000 firms in the textile and clothing industries employing some 1,50,000 people, making Poland the EU’s eighth largest market in terms of sales. Poland plans to showcase its fashion and textiles at this year’s Milan expo.

Cotton prices in the US have gained 13 per cent since touching a five and a half year low as the US had been selling more of the fiber overseas. Growers would likely plant more acres with cotton this spring than an industry group had previously projected. US growers are expected to plant 9.7 million acres of cotton this year, down 12 per cent from last year. They will devote more area to soyabean and sorghum.

Cancellations for existing orders outnumbered new sales. It was a turnaround for the US, the world’s largest cotton exporter. A major factor in the slide in net export sales was order cancellations by Turkey totaling nearly 95,000 bales. The world is already struggling with a glut in cotton. Global stockpiles are expected to reach a record 109.84 million bales at the end of the current season.

Since the world is awash in cotton the fundamental direction of the market should be down. At the same time, the demand picture continues to weaken, as China looks set to reduce imports. So the picture is one of plenty of production but limited demand potential. World stocks are equivalent to nearly a year’s worth of consumption.

The Telangana government is planning to provide timely help and financial assistance to weavers and workers in the handloom sector. The aim is to empower the weavers’ community and help them attain self-sufficiency in a couple of years.

Telangana has decided to waive loans of power loom weavers to the tune of Rs 5 crores. Due to insufficient earnings and fluctuations in the market, power loom weavers have become defaulters to banks. The government is planning to offer requisite training to handloom workers and weavers to polish their professional skills. A plan to offer them training is on the cards to ensure that the products are sold online.

Telangana has some of the famous handloom centers in the country. Efforts are on to modernise power loom and handloom centers in the state. The state is working on the idea of helping weavers export their handloom products. The Centre has been requested to establish mega power loom clusters.

In Sircilla there are 36,000 power looms and over 50,000 weavers. Sircilla in Karimnagar district once competed with top textile centers in the country such as Solapur and Surat. A few months back power loom weavers of Sircilla went on a strike demanding an increase in wages.

Colorjet India, a leading manufacturer of digital inkjet textile printers will have live demonstrations of its latest direct to fabric printer for customised home furnishing textiles called Fabjet Grand at GTE 2015 which starts from February 28, 2015 in New Delhi.

The launch of the Fabjet Grand which in four models in different heads and colour options, signals the company’s move towards capturing the market for customised digital textile printers across the globe. This machine is a perfect solution to print directly on various types of fabrics for short run and customised design printing for the home furnishing business. It is also an excellent industrial solution for mass production of home furnishing textiles. 

Fabjet Grand is targeted at customised home furnishing textile segment, particularly for producers of home décor products like curtains, bed covers and sofa covers which are directly printed on cotton and polyester based fabrics and uses environmental friendly aqueous based pigment inks. The printer delivers high productivity, since it has two heads per colour in staggered position, which increases production and also has an extremely high practical printing speed enabling high daily printing volumes and outstanding run-ability for overnight printing without banding and colour deflection.

The Fabjet Grand features a proprietary AIVC technology for consistent print performance by maintaining constant jetting conditions even in varying environmental conditions and offers excellent print life with eye-catching colours for uniquely finished fabric. It has an automated feed and a take up system, synchronised with tension bars for long unattended print runs on various types of fabric. It operates via a pneumatics control-based tension-bar on media feed and take up, to ensure consistent tension on fabric and adjusts automatically based on the type of fabrics being used.

It also has an automatic wiping system which wipes excess ink and dust from the print head surface. The capping station prevents inks from drying inside the print head when printer is not in use for long time and also protects the head from accumulating dust, which might cause damage to the print head. There are advanced dither patterns for photo-realistic output, fully customised printer settings for enhanced print results, smoother gradations and vibrant colours for superior print quality and inbuilt ICC profiles for various media and print modes.

Founded in 2004, Colorjet India is the fastest growing wide format digital inkjet print technology company. The company operates through two manufacturing facilities located in India and China and sales offices spread across seven countries, which include China, Sri Lanka, UAE and India. To-date, Colorjet has installed and implemented 3,750 of its printing solutions and products across 315 cities around the world.

Italian fashion brand United Colors of Benetton has agreed to provide compensation through the Rana Plaza Trust Fund, established in 2014, to support the victims of the Rana Plaza tragedy and their families. Benetton is working with an independent, globally recognized third party to define the amount of compensation, which will be announced around April 24.

The company’s first step was launching its own support group in partnership with a Bangladesh-based global nongovernmental organization, BRAC, one month after the tragedy. This move has helped support 280 victims and family members in rebuilding a sustainable future. Benetton noted that this step in support of Rana Plaza victims is part of a larger social commitment program by the group. The Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh collapsed in April 2013 killing 1,132 garment workers and injuring more than 2,500. The incident highlighted the plight of millions of low-paid workers making clothes around the world and kicked off a string of efforts to improve conditions in Bangladesh.

Benetton is the last of the major retailers who sourced from the eight-floor building to back the fund. So far 5,000 people – injured workers and families of the deceased – have received 40 per cent of the money due to them.

Cotton farmers in Telengana are caught between the devil and the deep sea. First, they had to confront prolonged dry spell which not only escalated the input expenditure of cotton cultivation, but also halved their produce compared to last year. Now they are having problems with the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI), which was ostensibly established to protect their interests by ensuring remunerative prices.

With no remunerative price in sight, unlike last year, where the price went up to as high as Rs 6,000 a quintal, farmers have had to resort to the CCI’s minimum support price offer of Rs 4,050 a quintal this season. CCI procurement centers are rejecting farmers’ produce on the grounds of high moisture content. As per CCI norms, the moisture content in kapas should be between eight and 12 per cent.

So many farmers approach commission agents or middlemen. They rely on these agents for finance to carry out their farming. All the hardwork of farmers who incur an expenditure of Rs 25,000 per acre, ends up in the hands of middlemen. So far the market has received 14.63 lakh quintals of kapas this season. The average quantity received is around 20 lakh quintals.

The UK textile and clothing industry is experiencing year-on-year export and domestic growth. Apparel manufacturing has grown by almost 11 per cent between 2008-2012, mainly concentrated in major sourcing hubs such as the East Midlands, Manchester, and London.

Leicester is an important manufacturing centre for many fashion brands and retailers and is part of a re-emergence in UK textile manufacturing. The landscape of the industry is not comparable to what it used to be. In the past, there were large, iconic firms that were unionized. Now there are just under 4,000 small and micro firms at an average employment size of 8.6 employees. Over the next 10 years, re-shoring of textiles and apparel has the potential to increase annual output.

Fast fashion sourcing trends and shorter lead times are acting in UK's favor, but many hurdles still remain. Barriers to growth include a lack of retailer knowledge about the UK supply base, an ageing workforce, endemic skill shortages and lack of investment.

Other challenges include the UK’s micro suppliers, typically employing less than ten employees, which are over-exposed to the market power of retailers and unable to quickly service large orders along with the industry’s sweatshop image.

The spinning yarn industry in Punjab has serious grievances. They feel the government is not doing enough to protect them from uneven competition from neighboring states. They says the Punjab government will suffer a revenue loss of Rs 1,500 crores for the year 2015-16 by way of VAT exemption for yarn coming from outside the state. Another issue is that the new industry policy related to spinning has not been implemented yet.

Apparently of the 130 spinning mills in the state around half have already shut down. Mill owners say they have suffered huge losses due to building up of cotton yarn stock. And this in turn is due to lack of demand in domestic market and curbs on cotton yarn exports.

Escalating input costs is another problem. Shortage of labor means that capacity can’t be used fully. This in turn hits bottom lines. Mill owners say neighboring states impose no VAT on their spinning yarn mills whereas the Punjab government imposes a 6.6 per cent VAT on mills in the state. Besides, Punjab also levies a 10 per cent surcharge on the mills. They say that when the yarn is brought into Punjab from neighboring states, the carriers have to pay just two per cent central sales tax.

The Centre has been asked to facilitate cost-effective transportation of cotton and textile goods among five major cotton and textile goods manufacturing states to sustain their global competitiveness. These states are: Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Greater efficiency at ports can translate into better logistics.

Mills in Tamil Nadu are seeking certain concessions and relaxations in the budget for Indian shippers so as to bring down the cost of cotton transport on par with foreign shippers. They have also appealed for duty-free bunkers for Indian flag vessels for carrying cotton and textile products on Indian coasts.

Due to the steep increase in lorry freight, transportation of cotton by road has become unviable. The current lorry freight for transporting cotton from Gujarat to Tamil Nadu is Rs 865 per bale. Currently, mills are spending Rs 85,000 to bring 100 bales by lorry from Gujarat to Tamil Nadu which works out to around Rs 5.30 per kg whereas China is able to transport 150 bales of cotton from Gujarat to Shanghai at $100 to 350 using empty cargo vessels returning in the same route.

Mills in Tamil Nadu account for 44 per cent of the total spinning capacity of the country and 60 per cent of its yarn exports.

On February 12, with an overall feeling of optimism and a cautiously positive business climate, Première Vision Paris closed its doors on its first fully integrated edition. After three days of strong business networking, fruitful meetings and professional exchanges, the show at the Parc des Expositions de Paris Nord Villepinte received a strong support from the global fashion industry.

Exhibitors and visitors were positive about the high quality contacts to growing sales activities and international visibility at Première Vision Paris. With its six integrated shows, Premiere Vision stood out as the industry’s forefront seasonal event.

At Premiere Vision Leather, the recent effective integration with Première Vision was also received well by exhibitors. The attachment of the show to the group is perceived as beneficial, a constructive development. Also exhibitors at Première Vision Manufacturing - the show of fashion manufacturing - applauded a global event for providing business opportunities and greater visibility through promotional campaign. With its integration into Première Vision, the emphasis was also on inter-show synergies, especially between the weavers at Première Vision Fabrics and the fashion manufacturers who are eager to collaborate with them.

In total, some 58,443 visitors attended Première Vision Paris, with almost 73 percent international visitors which, after registering steady growth over the past several years, showed a slight decline of five percent against February 2014 event. The decrease in attendance was largely due to a decline in Russian visitors, a result of the economic and political instability in the country and the region, and a decline in American attendees, whose presence was affected by the New York Fashion Week, held simultaneously.

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