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Knitwear cluster exploring use of wool in garment industry

L N Revathy Tirupur | Updated on January 20, 2018

A handful of manufacturers in the traditionally cotton-based product-making hub have already forayed into wool.

Garment manufacturers in Tirupur are exploring the possibility of enlarging their market with the use of woollen yarn and wool-blended fabric in the manufacturing process. The foray into wool-based products though may take a while.

But the enthusiasm evinced by the 150-odd manufacturers, who attended the “Wool workshop” organised by The Woolmark Company at Velan Hotels in Tirupur last evening signalled their interest.

A handful of manufacturers in this traditionally cotton-based product-making hub have already forayed into wool. Many more are expected to follow with technical support from NIFT TEA.

Leveraging its strength and commitment towards educating manufacturers about the benefits of Merino Wool, The Woolmark Company in association with NIFT TEA demonstrated the opportunities and benefits of working with this premium fibre in the garment industry.

ArtiGudal, Country Manager (India), The Woolmark Company said that use of wool in textile was a mere 2 per cent, globally. “India imports about 7 – 8 per cent of Australian wool, whereas, the import of such wool by China is as high as 80 per cent,” she said.

Highlighting the trans-seasonal benefits of Merino wool and dispelling the perception that woollen garments are heavy and more suited for colder climate, she said “this drive is in line with the Prime Minister's Make in India campaign as the wool is grown in Australia, but value-addition happens in India.”

Sharing the global trends and new categories of products such as Athleisure, she said “the potential is enormous.”

Raja Shanmugham, former Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry, Tirupur said that NIFT TEA will play a facilitating role in the use of wool by the garment industry.

“Such blended garments will probably hit the market next year, if we start work right away. The industry will have to make some changes in process methodologies, but the capital investment may not be huge,” he said, quite unable to commit on the quantum required towards capex investment at this juncture.

He however said that the Tirupur cluster would get into every product from yoga wear, cricket and casual wear to inners and more.

On wool availability, John Roberts, General Manager (Eastern Hemisphere), Australian Wool Innovation Limited said that around 35000 rearers off-load the fibre thrice a week, accounting for close to 1.8 million bales (each bale is 190 kg). “Innovation and appetite for the wool is huge,” he added.

Published on June 04, 2016

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