Garment manufacturers in the Tirupur knitwear cluster want to reduce their reliance on cotton and use a lot more wool. This will help them sustain business all through the year and avoid slumps. Presently manufacturers in the cluster are struggling to maintain the momentum round the year due to lack of adequate diversification into value-added winter garments.
Tirupur exporters are planning to collectively focus on research to develop knitwear with wool or wool-blended fibers and reduce the dependence on cotton. This move will help avoid slowdowns presently encountered by many factories in the cluster, due to lack of adequate orders for winter garments.
Wool helps retain heat better than cotton in garments. Right now less than one per cent of the knitwear produced from the cluster uses wool as raw material. Around 85 per cent of the apparels made from the cluster still use cotton as the main raw material.
By making value-added winter garments, Tirupur exporters hope to be able to challenge the dominance of Chinese made garments in the winter apparel segment.
They are looking at forging relationships with Woolmark and undertaking research activities with wool and wool-blended fibers in the Tirupur cluster.