The Indian Texpreneurs Federation (ITF) has urged the Union and State governments to design policies that are suitable to motivate textile firms to invest in ready-to-cut processed fabric. This is to take advantage of the US, European and Japanese buyers to develop alternate sourcing destinations. “Modernisation, high-quality products, competitiveness, product and market diversification strategies are the best ways to bring the much-needed growth in exports for the Indian textile sector; and also create lakhs of new jobs in the economy,” said Prabhu Dhamodharan, Convenor of Coimbatore-based ITF. 

Stating that India exported $3.8 billion worth of fabric during the 2023-24 fiscal, including cotton, synthetic and cellulosic fibre-made fabric, he said China, in comparison, exported nearly $100 billion worth of fabric.  It has established itself as the ready-to-cut fabric supplier of the world by catering to the needs of many apparel manufacturing nations. “Across the world, apparel makers used to buy ready-to-cut fabric and focus only on apparel manufacturing. That is also one way of building resilience and competitiveness,” said Dhamodharan. 

Indian companies are receiving a new variety of fabric samples in cotton blends with sizeable enquiries, he said. 

With strong fundamentals, the Indian textile industry, particularly the spinning and weaving sector companies, needs to focus on this ecosystem to manage the volatility in raw materials and improve margins. “We witnessed a margin expansion for the companies taking the effort in this direction,” the ITF convenor said. 

Auto-looms imported

The Indian textile industry imported and invested approximately ₹26,000 crore in the last three years by installing automatic weaving and hi-tech knitting machines.  Auto-looms valued at ₹16,000 crore were also imported during the period, he said. These machines were imported from China at a value of ₹8,200 crore, Japan ₹3,300 crore, Belgium ₹2,000 crore and Italy ₹900 crore.

“These investments are helping the textile sector in improving the productivity, quality and ability to produce a variety of fabrics at competitive prices,” said Dhamodharan.

The developed nations’ thrust on ‘China-plus one’ to look for alternate sourcing destination is a 10-year opportunity for the Indian textile sector.

The recent surge in investments in automatic weaving, knitting and processing capabilities will help to focus on a ready-to-cut processed fabric ecosystem.

Designing suitable policies will motivate textile companies to invest in such infrastructure and also help in reaching the world market, said  Dhamodharan.