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Expo showcases innovative apparel tech

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Spindles displayed at `Garmentech South' at Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in Bangalore on Friday. — G.R.N. Somashekar

Bangalore , Aug. 1

SOME 80 companies from the machinery, sewing, finishing, fabric and value-added service sectors are showcasing the latest and the best in apparel technology, fabric and accessories at the four-day ZAK Garmentech South expo which opened here today.

The Karnataka Large & Medium Industries Minister, Mr R.V. Deshpande, inaugurated the show.

The second edition of the trade fair to be held in Bangalore since 1999 comes at a time when the apparel industry is gearing up for the post-2005 quota-free global trade regime.

Probably for the first time in the South, equipment makers put on show innovations such as ALT's seamless technology. There are also quick and modern solutions like Ramson's umbrella techniques in finishing from washing to pressing and folding, the Chinese 36-head embroidery machine, laser cutters, interlining brands, threads, even CAD-CAM software and textile processing and chemical products.

Productivity and consistency along with delivery schedules are the watchwords for the industry's future and the only way forward is to upgrade technology. The trade fair brings technology and the global trends closer to the users in the field. It will also increase interaction between buyers and sellers of fabrics and accessories, said Mr Syed Zakir Ahmed, MD of the Chennai-based organiser, Zak Trade Fairs & Exhibitions.

For the industry to survive the 2005 textile regime, industry leaders said many domestic issues need to be addressed such as a rational, productivity-oriented labour policy, low interest rate, good infrastructure and technology upgradation. When it comes to supplying to the export markets or the hi-fashion industry, time is a key factor, but due to poor roads, goods reach ports in three days compared to three hours in China. The industry also needs quicker disbursal of the Textile Upgradation Fund.

Even though India supplies the best raw material, fabric-making is the costliest and weakest link in the entire garment chain. In the absence of a mother vessel reaching the shores, exporters have been feeling the pinch as they have to send their consignment by feeders to Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan competitors get a 10-15 day head-start, they said.

Bangalore houses garment export groups including Gokuldas and has the presence of Nike and Gap. It is also the source of key Indian brands such as Arrow, Lee, Levi's, Van Heusen, Peter England and Indigo Nation. Nearly 70 per cent of silk exports are also out of Bangalore, they added.

According to ZAK, similar Garmentech series have been held in Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi. The expo went international this year with an exhibition in Dhaka in January and in Colombo in June.

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