Do you allow your daughter-in-law to wear Jeans at Home

We live in india, where still all of thing women can not wear fashionable clothes all places. Am i Correct?

Most of the girls in our country adopt to wear Jean and T Shirts mostly and avoid draping a saree even if it is a family gathering. But the scene changes when a girl getting married, she have to face a lot of challenges suddenly like

  • What to wear
  • When she have to reach home from office
  • Saving money
  • Making Food for family
  • Can not visit somewhere without permission of mother-in-law
  • and a long list of thing

Suppose your son, got married to a girl working for a major IT Company. Could you allow her to wear Jeans at home or preferred to see her in a Saree ?

Daughter-in-law = Daughter. Is it true in India?

Draping Saree of Jeans - Daughter in Law
Draping Saree of Jeans – Daughter in Law

Non woven fabrics

Non woven fabrics are referred to those materials that consist of long fibres bonded together by mechanical, chemical or thermal treatment. Typically a part of the technical textile industry, non woven materials are gradually finding their use in other applications.

As the term suggests, non woven materials do not require weaving or knitting and also provide a scope for using recyclable raw materials. In fact, there are several non-woven materials that can be recycled themselves. This makes them a rather eco-friendly alternative to woven artificial materials.

High competition in the textile manufacturing industry has increased the demand for non-woven fabrics. From pillows and cushions to packaging, these materials are gaining popularity by the day.

In India, non-woven materials are gaining new grounds every day as sectors such as healthcare and hospitality begin to find new uses. A textile manufacturing and exporting unit based out of West Bengal, “We have seen phenomenal response for our non-woven materials in recent years and this is thanks to the growing awareness about the environment as well as sustainable manufacturing practices. Interestingly, nonwovens have made significant headways into home textile manufacturing and most players today are looking for safer and more efficient alternatives to woven fabrics. If we take into consideration the time, machinery and cost involved in manufacturing woven materials, nonwovens help reduce some of the aspects significantly.”

Non Woven Fabric
Non Woven Fabric

One major advantage of nonwovens is that the manufacturing process decides the absorbency, resilience, liquid repellence, softness, strength and other physical characteristics. This makes the engineered fabrics open to a world of new possibilities and innovation.

If we take a closer look at how the clothing manufacturing industry is poised presently, we notice that there is a massive scope for new age materials to make a mark. This is mainly because the growing raw material costs and the shortage of skilled labour have disturbed the demand-supply balance. Today the gap between technical and non-technical textile has blurred almost completely. The accessorizing trend along with a growing awareness about environment and life cycle of clothes has a brought about a change of perspective among designers, manufacturers and retailers alike.

Synthetic fibres replicating natural ones like silk and cotton have been around for a long time. However, the new age materials needs much more than just the same texture. The current global demand is for materials that are light, resilient, chemically safe and cost effective. Nonwovens qualify as a new age material irrespective of the fact that it has been around for a long time. This is because the nonwovens are finding their use in products where woven materials traditionally dominate

The technical side

 Before we delve deeper into the manufacturing process of nonwoven materials it is important to understand the basic behind the formation of the material. In all three forms of bonding of the fibres- thermal, mechanical or with adhesive, the fibres are arranged in the form of a mesh or in the form of a sheet.

REICOFIL machinery is one of the most popular technologies used in the manufacturing of nonwoven materials. Based on the manufacturing process nonwovens can be classified into the following categories:

  • Staple nonwovens
  • Spunlaid nonwovens
  • Air-laid paper

The manufacturing processes for each these are unique and so are the properties of the material.

As discussed earlier, nonwovens allow significantly more flexibility in terms of determining the physical properties of the material. Tweaks in the manufacturing processes and sometimes different machines are used in production of these materials.

Indian scenario

In India, nonwovens continue to be looked at as a technical textile that only has application at factories. However, home textiles made from nonwoven material have been significantly popular in urban India, thereby bringing the material closer to the customer. It is a matter of time before nonwoven materials carve a niche in the commercial textile market.

Published in the Apparel Magazine (CMAI)

Massive potential of the small scale textile manufacturing industry

The small scale industry forms the backbone of the Indian economy. The textile manufacturing sector, which is an integral part of the Indian manufacturing industry, is a good example of an industry that relies heavily on its small scale units. While the government has time and again promised wholehearted support to the sector, challenges remain in the market that impede its holistic growth.

In fact, the cottage industry itself has undergone a massive transformation over the decades thanks to the advent of new technology that has increased productivity of these units and also made them more efficient. In today’s hyper connected world, the cottage industry has a higher potential than a full fledged textile production unit if technology is leveraged effectively and scales are considered.

Before we look at challenges, let us look at some unique features of the textile cottage industry in India and identify areas that have the maximum potential.

The charkha

The charkha is an iconic symbol of the Indian cottage industry. It had an indisputable role during our freedom struggle and even today the symbol of Mahatma Gandhi sitting evokes a self sufficient and independent industry.

Ideal of spinning cotton and other fine short staple fibres, the charkha was used extensively during the early part of the 20th with more advanced machinery. This manually operated spinning wheel however set a benchmark in the industry in terms of sustainable home based production that forms the foundation of the massive small scale sector in India.

Current scenario:

Today the cottage industry has come a long way in terms of specialisation. The internet has facilitated several small scale units to connect on a global or national B2B network. This positive impact has in fact allowed small players to gain specific specialisations and realise the true worth of their uniqueness.

Ecommerce has also been a major driving force in the industry in the last 4-5 years. Online retailers today are bringing to the limelight not just local producers but also providing a platform for the small scale manufacturing units to sell directly to their customers.

With small units required to produce more and produce quickly, several new innovations are coming to the forefront through them. In fact, the digital age is witnessing a serious surge of home-based businesses in the textile industry with simplified and effective business models.

Challenges

In spite of the growing nature of the small scale textile manufacturing industry challenges plague the sector. Firstly, it is important to understand the basic challenges that most small scale industries have- their unorganised nature. While the government has been keen to bring in more players under the tax net and consequently get more players into the organised sector, traditional businesses continue to follow traditional methodologies and thereby obstructing the flow of domestic and foreign investment in the sector. century in India to produce cloth. Gradually however the manual mechanism was replaced.

Textile Industry of India
Textile Industry of India

According to Sudhakar Sahoo, founder of Odisha Saree Store, an online retail store that provides a platform for micro handloom and other small textile manufacturing units across Odisha to reach out to customers across the globe, “There aren’t enough schemes in place for the weavers. In fact, my travels across the state of Odisha have revealed that there exists fake organisations that register weavers and pocket the government’s money released through the schemes. The weavers in fact benefit the least and work the hardest.”

Traditional handloom also faces some modern day challenges in terms of design. A lot of village based producers of textile and clothing may be unaware of design, pattern and fabric trends in the existing market. Mr Sahoo says, “There is a need for a design revival in the handloom market. The units need to align their designs with the choices and fashion of the modern generation.”

Technology and automation challenges

Over the years, the small scale textile manufacturing industry in India has struggled to bring in effective technology due to various factors the biggest of which is capital. Things are however changing with certain small units with niche specialisations leveraging state of the art technologies to produce on a larger scale with a smaller infrastructure.

According to Sumit Mall, director at Times Fiberfill, a leading manufacturer and exporter of technical textile and home furnishings in Eastern India, the distribution of automated units in the country is uneven. “Micro and small units have to rapidly automate their processes in order to compete with the large global entities entering the market today. Unfortunately the progress is highly localised in the western and southern parts of the country where the support services for maintenance, transportation and manpower are advanced. Eastern India also has its advantages in the form of availability of water. This makes it an ideal place for the manufacture of fabrics.”

Traditional businesses often struggle to bring in technology due to capital shortage. However a large number of business owners in the sector, being educationally backward often fail to understand the importance of new technologies and new methodologies in modern business and continue to perform below their actual potential. The first step to make them accept this technology is for the government to break these invisible barriers of traditional businesses.

Into the future

With new innovations and a lot of capital going into R&D, the textile industry will witness new fabrics, new designs and new concepts and the more they permeate the small scale industry the faster will be their growth rate. The government will need to build more B2B and B2C platforms so that small and micro players get the right exposure and the right price for their unique products.

While ecommerce has propelled the small scale textile industry to an extent, the need of the hour is for the government to collaborate with mid and small sized players in order to leverage the talent, the artistry and skills of the local weavers across the country. The tremendous diversity of the industry and its regional variation in terms of designs, style, patterns and colours provides an incredible opportunity for distributors, retailers and marketers to make India the hub of textile innovation and production.

Published in the Apparel Magazine (CMAI)

Where culture meets design: A look at Odisha’s rich handloom heritage, the challenges and future outlook

For a country as diversified as India, it is obvious that each state has its own culture that reflects heavily on the designs and patterns emerging from it. Odisha, is no exception. Its rich cultural diversity, values, motifs and local talents reflects extensively on its popular products in the textile industry. Locals will tell you that Odisha is quickly emerging as the hub for fabrics, apparel designs and handloom.  The handloom sector in Odisha arguably is one of the largest employers in the state. Odiya artisans are known to possess skills and artistry that has been inherited unhampered for generations.

The Odisha government has been an active participant in the efforts to nurture this incredibly high potential cottage industry. With 4 percent of the population of the state dependant on the sector and the demand for products on the rise, the state has a massive responsibility of making the sector lucrative for newcomers while at the same time developing the infrastructure to support the existing talent. According to the Odisha Government’s Handlooms, Textiles and Handicrafts Department there are around 1.19 lakh looms in the state of which 88186 have been brought under the cooperative fold. During 8th & 9th five-year plan the Directorate of Textiles also introduced several schemes to improve the condition of the sector.

The potential

According to the government website, production potential for the various textile products emerging from Odisha is the following:

Type Region Looms Production potential (In lakhs) INR
Silk Tie-dye, Silk and Cotton Bomkai Boudh, Sonepur 6773 4063.8
Khandua Silk Saree Cuttack 2255 1217.7
Cotton tie-dye Saree and Furnishing Bargarh, Sonepur, Bolangir and Nuapada 8045 3816.6
Tasar thana saree and furnishing Bargarh, Jajpur, Balasore, Nuapatna 2424 1163.52
Berhampur Silk Saree Joda Ganjam 609 292.32
Single count fine cotton Saree Jagatsinghpur 2234 804.24
Medium variety cotton Jajpur, Khurda, Bargarh, Bolangir, Ganjam and Nayagarh 5563 2003.47
Course variety cotton Bolangir, Cuttack, Khurda, Kendrapara, Nayagarh, Puri, Nuapara,Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Balasore, Bhadrak & Sambalpur, Sonepur 17220 5166
Nuapatna - Handloom Heritage
Nuapatna – Handloom Heritage

The unorganised sector

While the organised textile manufacturing and handloom sector in Odisha soars to new heights each year, there looms some serious dark clouds over the unorganised segment of the cottage industry. However, we interviewed few handloom owners and found out what they were doing, the challenges they faced and their future outlook about the industry. Here is a brief extract from our travels across the state:

Interview 1

Name: Madan Mohan Patra,

Age: 70

Profession: Weaver, designer, owner

Products: Cotton and Silk Saree

Speciality: Using skin friendly dyes and fabrics

Madan Mohan Patra, in spite of his age, has a modern approach in his production.  He owns a small loom where he produces cotton and silk sarees. His biggest interest is studying modern designs and he has been introducing constant changes to his products to keep up with the current styles. He also ensures that he shares his insights with his group weavers and is therefore an influential weaver in his locality.

He explains that the biggest challenge for his weavers is the lack of infrastructure to increase production. A larger space to work would translate into more innovation higher production. The working conditions have a great scope for improvement in terms of hygiene and safety. Mr Patra also ads that the nature of their work forces weavers to sit in one place for long hours. This causes health problems including eye disorders. He explains that the process of mixing acid with colours during the colouring stage is also a dangerous process. However with exposure to modern ideas, the weavers have been able to ensure better safety with the help of gloves and masks now available locally. Among other challenges, Mr Patra says that the rising price of silk is making it difficult for the weavers to afford the material.

In terms of future outlook, Mr Patra feels that there needs to be more support to the small scale handloom sector from the government, the local communities and also the master weavers.

 

Interview 2

Name: Somnath Patra

Age: 40

Profession: Designer and Master Weaver

Somnath is a popular local designer and master weaver in Odisha who has worked with both unorganised and organised players in the textile sector. His work also involves selling in bulk, sarees that he procures from local weavers. He explains that one of the biggest challenges in the small scale sector in Odisha is the lack of infrastructure for quality machine printing. He also says that filing patents has to be made more accessible for the local weavers and designers. He adds that the day the village weaver can file for patents is when the weaving and handloom sector in Odisha will truly take off. He also says that it is difficult to raise the price of the products though the price of raw materials has been constantly increasing

While business is not the same all year round, festivals such as Durga Puja, Sabitri and Raja festivals spell good sales for the weavers and handloom owners, according to Somnath.

Industry outlook

Digging deeper into the handloom sector in the state, we find a very contrasting picture where on one hand, traditional handloom owners want to adopt to modern techniques and infrastructure while globally there remains a constant demand for the traditional patterns and authentic embroideries. Interestingly, some of the weavers we interviewed did not want their next generation to pursue the business and instead wanted them to be doctors and engineers.

With the government taking steps to bring in more and more players into the tax net and thereby pulling them into the organised sector, it will ideally require a mix of nurturing the traditions and shaping them for the future. There is not a bleak outlook in the industry but when one compares it to traditional small scale industries of European countries or even some parts of Western India, we find ourselves wondering whether we are doing justice, as a nation, to the massive talent of Odiya weavers.

Published in the Apparel Magazine (CMAI)