Textile manufacturers in Surat have received orders to manufacture 10 lakh metre of fabric for uniforms of Army, Navy and Air Force. These fabrics are to be delivered by January 2021. Till now the fabrics were imported from China, Korea and Taiwan
The diamond city has been a leading manufacturer of PPE kits, two to six layered masks, and sportswear for the Indian Premier League. However, it is for the first time that 10 lakh meter of fabric for uniforms, shoes and bullet proof vests for the armed forces will be manufactured in Surat.
The central government's decision also comes as a huge opportunity for Surat's textile businesses, which had collapsed during the pandemic-induced lockdown, to revive themselves. Before the lockdown, the fabrics were imported from China, Korea and Taiwan.
Surat also has a thriving technical textile industry for the manufacture of specialised items. Taking these factors into account, Surat's textile industry was tasked with manufacture of fabric for uniforms and non-aesthetic products for the defense forces.
According to a Surat-based manufacturer, the sample order sent to DRDO in early November has already been approved. By January end, the entire order will be delivered to garment factories in Punjab and Haryana. The fabric manufactured is so strong that it cannot be torn by hand. Attempting to tear it may even cut your fingers, said sources.
Surat is also moving ahead gradually in the technical textile sector. The industries here are also manufacture strong glass fabrics used to produce helmets, gloves and base for plane landings using carbon yarn. At present, only one or two manufacturers in Surat supply glass fabrics. DRDO officials expect Surat to increase the production of these fabrics.