Klopman fabrics to setup manufacturing venture in india
to Play the Role of Matchmaker
Italian Textile Giant Klopman, catering to the global need of image wear, workwear and protective wear since the last 40 years was acquired by MW Corp of Mumbai, a company formed out of the restructuring of S Kumars Group two years ago. Today, the company holds leadership position in Europe with an estimated 40 million Europeans wearing garments made from Klopman fabrics, the brand significantly enjoys 30% market share of Europe’s uniform segment with a turnover of Euro 125 million last fiscal. With marketing operations already in India, the company is now looking at starting its manufacturing in the country, offering opportunity to garment manufacturers who are already producing workwear or are looking at diversifying to this product category to work for its clients back in Europe. Holger Beule, Sales Director, Klopman International, based at the European Sales Headquarters in Düsseldorf shares his India plans with Apparel Online during his recent visit to India.
Working closely with
garment manufacturers and rental laundries, Klopman offers highly specialised fabrics which include fire retardant, anti static, chemical repellent and high visibility fabrics for diverse critical applications manufactured according to strict European norms. “The close involvement has meant contact with virtually every sector of industry, putting Klopman in a unique position to monitor trends and analyse feedback from wearer trials and end-users,” says Holger.
Klopman has a well-deserved reputation for innovation and has been responsible for many of the most exciting developments in the world of workwear fabrics. “Klopman’s poly/cotton fabric range is among Europe’s most popular fabrics for men’s and women’s workwear,” states Holger. Available in a range of weights from 150 gsm to 300 gsm
and in plain, twill, panama
and chambray weaves, in addition to an extensive range of plain colours there is also a choice of printed stripes and special finishes.
Workwear Fabric Features
The fabrics manufactured for workwear are specially engineered to combine a longer working life with outstanding wearer protection qualities. The workwear cotton-rich fabric of Klopman is specifically developed as an alternative to 100% cotton; it combines the comfort and absorbency of cotton with the extra durability and performance qualities of polyester. “The fabric is inherently tougher with excellent tear and abrasion resistance even after repeated industrial laundering, they do not suffer from the high and inconsistent levels of shrinkage which are so often a characteristic of 100% cotton,” points out Holger. These
cotton-rich fabrics are available in a range of weights from 150 gsm to 365 gsm, an extensive range of colours and a variety
of weaves including plain,
twill, striped twill, satin, panama and chambray.
Talking about its new innovative workwear fabrics, Holger shares that by utilising advanced fabric construction technology, Klopman has been able to produce Comfort Stretch, recover fabrics in both cotton-rich and poly/cotton blends. These fabrics give garments greater flexibility, are more comfortable for the wearer and can withstand repeated industrial laundering.
In corporate wear, Klopman has introduced fabrics with a
unique flexi-twill construction as well as a stylish peach-feel fabric which is available in
plain colours as well as a
choice of chambray shades. “For work wear I see huge opportunity and growth in India as the concept of corporate identity is becoming stronger in the country. The companies create an image through their employee’s garments, it can
be a distinct colour, logo or styling,” says Holger.
India Plans… Reliable Converters Wanted
The Indian industry is presently going through a phase, faced by most developing economies in the world with different priorities; workers are not as well protected at the same level as we see in Europe or the US. The social and environmental concerns are also not so well dictated and implemented. However, the awareness is increasing by the day. This creates great opportunity for companies like Klopman. “This is the opportunity we see for ourselves in India. We are a part of an Indian group and we see India as a future production base for our customers back in Europe,” says Holger.
Work for a larger presence in India has already begun. The company is currently in touch with all major associations in the country, which are formulating the rules and regulations for workwear. On the other hand it is in the process of identifying garment converters for the European market. “China is quite strong but I see a trend that more and more garment makers in Europe as well as in the US are interested in the Indian market for garment production. We are trying to get that business to India,” states Holger who is looking at building technical and manufacturing partnerships between Indian and European companies. “We are looking for reliable converters in the Indian garment industry who understand quality and have a firm commitment towards social and environmental obligations,” adds Holger.
To manufacture workwear in India it makes business sense for Klopman to first start its fabric manufacturing which presently is being done in Italy. The detail of the proposed factory is still in the planning stage. “Strategically it has been discussed and approved however it’s too early to say anything about it, but yes, India is recognized as a garmenting base for fashion garments and we want to use our leadership position in workwear to make India a large workwear garment centre also,” avers Holger.
According to Holger, all the big names in the European workwear industry are presently producing garments in Europe and various Far-East countries like China, Indonesia and Vietnam. “We would like to demonstrate India advantage and that would be more viable if we have a fabric manufacturing plant in India as it’s easy to handle if fabric production is near the garment production centre,” confides Holger.
According to Holger, Klopman apart from being a fabric manufacture and having presence in India, has a ready user customer base back in Europe and it understands their requirements. “We have all the ingredients for being the best match-maker,” avers Holger.
Klopman claims that along with offering business opportunity to the garment manufacturers, it is also offering continuity of business to them. “We are developing parameters for vendors as to how to cater to our clients like for example it is very important to have flexibility of service in terms of volumes and delivery. The European garment producers are still buying a lot from East European countries and North Africa to make sure that they are getting a quick service. The one who supplies first gets regular business,” points out Holger.
Klopman is very clear on its role and interest to support the development of workwear production in India. “We are not here to play a mediator’s role; we are just helping our European customers while creating additional business
for ourselves. Not all our customers are buying 100% fabric from Klopman, unfortunately it’s not the case but if we are offering garment production service,
we believe that it might create
an additional opportunity
for us and strengthen our existing business relationship,” concludes Holger,