Ludhiana’s apparel manufacturing industry is tilting toward technology and investing in automation, be it knitting or stitching. Manufacturers are aiming to increase productivity, efficiency and reduce labour dependency. Flat knitting (multi-gauge) machines that start from five or six gauges and go up to 14 gauges have the option of jointless knitting. This helps users save money and produce more value-added products. Fleece jacquard machines help in this regard. Brother’s DigiFlex series of machines has received a very good response in Ludhiana. These help monitor workers’ efficiency, factory efficiency, no matter where they are. Sewing machine leader Jack is also getting a good response in Ludhiana for its new and different machines. The technology leader recently launched its automatic placket-making machine for tees which can make 1,200 pieces a day in eight hours and help reduce dependence on labor. The company has also introduced automatic button feeders and pattern sewing machines.
Ludhiana accounts for over 90 per cent of the total winter wear production in the country. Knitwear constitutes around 50 per cent of the domestic apparel market in India. There are around 12,000 units in Ludhiana, a majority of them in the micro, small and medium category who are engaged in the production of winter wear. The winter wear category comprises sweaters, hoodies, sweat shirts, jackets, shawls, cardigans and trousers.