Surat's textile sector is now weaving yet another success story where around 20 textile dyeing and printing mills from the traditional hub of man-made fabric (MMF) hub have turned to processing high-end mercerized cotton fabrics, that are in high demand in southern and northern parts of the country and have a strong export potential.
Industry sources said that more than 20 lakh metre of unfinished cotton fabrics from Bhiwandi and Ahmedabad are dumped on a daily basis in the textile processing mills of city's Pandesara, Palsana and Sachin industrial areas for mercerization. The textile mills have been doing job work for traders in Bhiwandi and Ahmedabad.
South Gujarat Textile Processors' Association (SGTPA) president Jitu Vakharia, who has installed a mercerized cotton processing plant in his factory at Pandesara, said that though the cotton fabric processing is at a nascent stage, but it is foreseen to grow rapidly in the next few years. Surat's textile mills offer best rates for job work and they have a range of colour choices as well.
Vakharia added that Polyester fabrics see many ups and downs, whereas the demand for cotton fabrics remains steady. Thus, mercerized cotton fabric processing helps textile processors to tide over during tough days.
Market sources said a few powerloom units, which use high-end Rapier looms, have started manufacturing cotton fabrics. Most of the powerloom units in the city are using traditional or water jet looms, which are non-compatible to manufacturing of cotton fabrics.
Synthetic and Rayon Textiles Export Promotion Council (SRTEPC) vice-chairman Narain Agarwal said that though cotton fabric processing has started in Surat, but the potential for growth remains with the man-made fabrics. It is true that the processors and weavers have to become versatile and stay relevant with the changing trends and demands.
According to Girdhar Gopal Mundra, a textile entrepreneur and chairman of Global Fabric Resource and Research Centre (GFRRC),Surat has a huge potential for manufacturing and processing cotton fabrics. It is high time textile entrepreneurs here shed the image of being from the traditional centre for polyester fabrics. During the time of recession, cotton processing and manufacturing will help the industry to tide over a crisis.
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