Home textiles : Draped in success
Home textiles continues its strong growth in the country,
with a number of new projects in the pipeline. And the growing domestic market
is attracting international companies too. Reena Mital reports.
One sector that is experiencing very good growth in textiles is home linen,
and more and more companies are being attracted to this sector continuously.
Over the last six months alone, some five new projects have been announced.
Hanil Era, a cotton spinning company, is moving into home textiles. KG Denim
is going full swing into bedsheeting. S Kumars is planning a foray into the
segment. A Kolkata-based company is setting up a greenfield project in home
furnishings. Gujarat Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd (GFCL) is also moving into
And almost all the existing players are operating at full capacity. According
to Mr P N Malhotra, director, exports, Shital Fibres, Indias largest manufacturer
of blankets, We are operating at 100 per cent capacity, manufacturing
10,000 blankets per day. We can increase capacity further, but are not doing
so at present, as we do not have the space for it. The company has also
put up a Rs 50 crore plant for bath mats, using chromojet technology that simultaneously
conducts all the required processes on the mat, such as printing, rubberising,
tufting, etc. This is the best technology available in the world market
today, and leads to very high speed production, of high and consistent quality.
There are only 6-8 manufacturers the world over using this technology. We
currently manufacture 10,000-15,000 square metres of mats per day, and are operating
at 50 per cent capacity, he said.
According to Mr Malhotra, the use of state-of-the-art technology has helped
Shital Fibres stay ahead of competition in both the domestic and export markets.
China is not a threat for us, as China is unable to manufacture the qualities
that we have, because China uses old technology. Golden Terry Towels,
the second largest manufacturer of mink blankets after Shital Fibres, is planning
to double production from the current 3,000 blankets per day. The company is
looking at the latest technologies, and will decide on the purchases after ITMA
Asia in Singapore.
Era is in the process of putting up its home furnishing, bedlinen and terry
towels plants. The company has imported 48 airjet looms and 24 projectile looms
for the project. The total project cost is estimated at Rs 50 crore. It is learnt
that a Kolkata based company is also in the process of setting up a home furnishing
plant to manufacture high value draperies for the US market. K G Denim is expected
to commission its home textiles plant by January 2006, and has already imported
continuous dyeing machines and bedding machines for the same. According to KG
Denim officials, home textiles is the future of the Indian textile industry.
Speaking to Express Textile, Mr R R Gosai, a textile consultant, said, There
is immense scope for home textile exports from India, but only if we can manufacture
the right products. Many companies are expanding in the basic home products
like bedlinen and terry towels. Other product segments like upholstery, curtains,
furnishings, etc are not really getting that much attention. The going is good
now, but competition from China is very strong. India should focus on high value
items, where China does not operate.
Concurs Mr Satish Katta, director, Siyaram Exports, Indian home textile
exporters should concentrate on those product categories where China is not
operating. European buyers especially, want smaller lots and large variety.
They are not very happy with Chinese companies who do not look at small orders.
These buyers were quite surprised that Indian manufacturers can give them smaller
lots. At Siyarams, this is one of the areas that we are working on, and
have been very successful. Moreover, handwork, handprints, are very much in
demand, and India can build this strength too.
Siyarams has witnessed a 20 per cent increase in orders post-quota, and
Mr Katta expects this trend to strengthen in the months to come. However
price pressure is quite high. To meet the buyers price points, we are
debottlenecking our processes, improving productivity, work practices. We have
a more professional approach today. This is showing results.
The industry is upbeat about orders pouring in, and expect a further increase
if restrictions on Chinas home textile exports are imposed by the US.
However, manufacturers are lamenting about the lack of clearcut policies that
support the industry. According to Mr D H Narayansa, managing partner, Rashmi
Silk Fabrics, manufacturer of silk curtains, China is at least 40 per
cent cheaper than India, especially in silks. We have to depend on Chinese silk
yarn for our raw material requirements, as the quality of the Indian yarn is
not very good, and the production is also not adequate.
government is now contemplating imposing an anti-dumping duty on imports of
these yarns, this will make the raw material costly, and we would lose out to
China. Already, over the last 4-5 years, realisations have fallen by 15-20 per
Adds Mr Ved Chugh, director, Golden Terry Towels, The government has reduced
the incentives for exporters, and has created a lot of uncertainty on the DEPB
scheme. Every other textile exporting country has huge incentives for its exporters.
Indian exporters to survive in the market will also need this support from the
It is learnt that in Pakistan, the government gives a rebate to exporters on
their exports, making them very price competitive. Says Mr Faisal Munaf, merchandiser,
Bil Exporters, The Pakistan government has put in place policies that
are very helpful to the textile industry. This, and the easy availability of
quality raw materials has made the Pakistan home textile manufacturers quite
strong. Pricewise, we are much more competitive than India, and in many products
can compete with China too. The government is setting up a number of industrial
areas in Pakistan, which provide all the necessary infrastructure, further reducing
transaction costs. Exporters are also exempted from sales tax.
It is learnt that the Pakistan textile industry is also investing heavily in
home textiles, as garment orders are not flowing in to the extent expected,
post-2004. Besides, Pakistan is finding it difficult to compete with China in
garment exports. Says Mr Munaf, There is a lot of investment in weaving
and processing, which is the weak link for our industry. He said that
Turkey was today importing a lot of grey fabric from Pakistan, processing the
same, converting it to home furnishings, etc and exporting to Europe at very
high prices. If Pakistan develops similar processing capacities, we can
also get good realisations. And that is the aim of the industry.
Meanwhile, the burgeoning Indian market for home textiles is attracting a number
of foreign companies. Italian furnishing fabric manufacturer Pozzi Industria
Tessile is looking at venturing into the Indian market and was recently in Mumbai
scouting for wholesalers of furnishing fabrics. Says Ms Mariella Pozzi, We
are into manufacturing of furnishing fabrics in jacquards and classics, of medium
and high level quality. We had met a lot of Indian customers at some of the
international exhibitions and felt that there could be a market in India. We
are not looking at very big orders here though.
Also, a large number of Chinese companies are targetting the Indian market.
This was quite evident at the recently concluded Heimtextil fair in Mumbai,
where 20 Chinese companies participated. While the prices of the Chinese home
textile products - mainly curtains, cushion covers, duvets, bedlinen, comforters
- were all very competitive, the response was lukewarm.
According to some of the Indian companies, While the products are good,
and so also the prices, with the import duties the prices go much higher, and
do not remain attractive. That could be one reason for the not-so-good response.
A number of Chinese companies were here for the first time to understand the
market, the trends, etc.