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Knitwear garment makers rise to meet the country’s demand of 15 million PPEs

LN Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on April 15, 2020

A hundred units are making 1,000 masks and PPEs, said President of Tirupur Exporters’ Association

About one hundred knitwear garment making units in Tirupur have shifted to making of personal protection equipments (PPEs) such as gowns, masks, gloves and goggles to meet the rising demand.

Raja M Shanmugham, President, Tirupur Exporters’ Association, told BusinessLine that PPEs could be manufactured in hubs like Tirupur more swiftly than the import time line. Shanmugham was reacting to a report which stated that India was reaching out to China to meet its requirement of 15 million PPEs.

Asserting that the 100-odd units in the knitwear export cluster had started to make the PPEs based on order, he said “the units geared up with support from the district administration.”

He recalled the District Collector K Vijayakarthikeyan’s request to make masks for the district administration as a humanitarian gesture.

A couple of units took to making the mask initially, but the numbers rose to over a hundred in the last 10 days. “A good number of units are engaged in making of surgical masks, while some are into PPEs as well. The units use SITRA (South India Textile Research Association) approved standard fabric,” he added.

“The units are utilising less than 10 per cent capacity for making 1,000s of masks and PPEs. There should be no issue in meeting the country’s requirement of 15 million PPEs,” Shanmugham said, and added that the (non-woven) material was being sourced from Erode and Chennimalai region.

The TEA President felt that the government could extend support by helping the manufacturers’ source approved fabric, prescribe the standard and manufacturing process to be followed and place orders (without looking elsewhere). “This would encourage domestic players at times such as the present,” he said.

Published on April 15, 2020

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