Denim Motto “Innovate or Perish”

by Apparel Resources

16-May-2013  |  13 mins read

What is keeping denim alive for years is its comfort and longevity along with new innovations. The best aspect of this product is that it is for rugged wear and also a fashion statement. The denim manufacturers are on the path of innovation design and sustainability to bring in exclusivity and premium value to their products in a bid to stand out in a market, struggling to cope with oversupply. The capacity is being added continually across the country, hence it is now imperative to differentiate oneself. Recently-held Indigo had five denim fabric companies exhibiting their latest developments in denim, namely Malwa Denim, LNJ Denim, Vinod Denim, Modern Denim and a new entrant in denim from Surat, R&B Denims Ltd. Besides fabric, other companies feeding denim with their yarns, dyes and machinery were also present. Team Apparel Online highlights some of the innovative concepts that attracted attention…

To be ahead of their competition, both in the domestic and global market, the denim companies are working closely with fibre, machinery and dyestuff makers on exclusive basis to add value to their products, which could sell at a premium. The companies are investing in research and development for value addition like stretch denim, coating, fluorescent neps, knitted, printed denim and jacquard denim.

The share of value-added denim products in the total production output is still only 10-15 per cent and the Indian denim makers will have to invest in premium washing, finishing and other stages of fabric making to increase the share significantly.

Many industry watchers feel that these innovations come a bit late for an industry which is growing rapidly. “Such value addition should have happened three-four years ago. Even Pakistan, which is a smaller base in Denim, is six-seven years ahead of India in stretch denim, which has gained significance in the Indian markets only recently,” says Rajesh Dudeja, Founder of Denim Club India and Organizer of Indigo Fair.

Key Highlights: Knitted, Printed and Performance Denim & Shirting Fabric

From last years’ 800 million metres, the denim industry is already over 900 million metres in capacity and is soon expected to touch the one billion metres mark. To be ahead of their competition, both in the domestic and global market, the denim manufacturers are seeking the path of innovative designing and sustainability, to bring in exclusivity and premium value to their products.

RB Denim showcased its basic denim range, while Vinod Denim showcased its shirting range in denim along with coated denim, heavy weights, 580 to 600 gm weight and 100 per cent cotton denim. “Since last August, the denim market has gone down; cotton prices are increasing whereas market for denim fabric is decreasing, but there is no alternative for this product. When there is slackness in demand, the denim industry starts moving towards exports. Some people from Oswal came and told me that they are doing 70% export; Shubhalaxmi is exporting 80% of its fabric. I don’t know why everybody is opting for exports when India has bright future in denim fabric because the villages still have not got the denim till date. EH Turel wants a caravan of denim bottoms to go to the villages and sell there at US $ 5 which is peanuts,” says Dhaval Mittal, Director, Vinod Denim.

The most captivating developments were from Malwa Denim and Modern Denim. Malwa Denims’ new developments were printed denims, denims with 3D-effect to give jacquard look and light weight shirting fabrics. “This time we have also showcased our new development in knitted denims which is actually derived from weaving and not knitting, having four ways stretch,” informs P.G. Niyogi, CEO, Oswal Denim.

The Indigo Fair was inaugurated by Turkish Ambassador Burak Akçapar. Also seen in the picture (on the right) are Rajesh Dudeja - Organizer Indigo Fair; Prashant Agarwal, Jt. MD Wazir Advisors; and Enrico Guerreschi, Global Sales Director, Vibemac
The Indigo Fair was inaugurated by Turkish Ambassador Burak Akçapar. Also seen in the picture (on the right) are Rajesh Dudeja – Organizer Indigo Fair; Prashant Agarwal, Jt. MD Wazir Advisors; and Enrico Guerreschi, Global Sales Director, Vibemac

Anticipating the big brands to visit the event, Modern Denim showcased its performance denim apt for workwear. The company also showcased double-faced fabric with one-side denim and other side laminated fleece. This fabric is anti static and can be used for reversible jacket. The fabric has laminated membrane in-between to absorb perspiration. Denim with flame retardant finishes for workwear was also on display. “We have turned denim into a functional fabric,” informs Kiran Panchal, President (Marketing), Modern Denim. The company also showcased two-faced denim with the backside in different colour which has been achieved by tinting.

On fashion side Modern Denim has developed stretch wool denim; knitted denim which is not made on knitting machine but weaving and it has both four ways stretch. The other very innovative product was corduroy weave on denim with sulphur colour and denim with mélange look along with printed denim.

LNJ Denim showcased indigo knits which have been knitted on a knitting machine with indigo yarn. The company also exhibited its coloured denim, both, in bottom and shirt, weights and sulphur coloured denim. The company is now looking at developing printed and jacquard denim in a months’ time. “Light weight shirting is the main focus for us as it’s a growing segment both in the international market and India,” shares Chetan Vohra, Chief Manager (Brands), LNJ Denim.

Modran (4) copy copySurat based R&B which was producing polyester sarees forayed into denim manufacturing in 2012. The company is equipped with 48 air-jet looms and the present capacity is 18 million metres/annum. “Right now our focus would be the domestic market as we are very new in this business and moreover India is a huge market,” says Amit Dalmia, Managing Director, R&B Denims Ltd. Besides selling denim independently to the wholesale merchants, R&B performs weaving activities on a job work basis for larger denim processing units such as Arvind and Raymond UCO Denim.

To be ahead of their competition, both in the domestic and global market, the denim manufacturers are seeking the path of innovative designing and sustainability, to bring in exclusivity and premium value to their products.

Yarn Displays

Besides fabric, there were two yarn manufacturing companies also present at the event. Indo Rama Synthetics was displaying its lycra products mainly focusing on denim and was happy with the fair, as they got two new customers apart from their old ones. The company observed that due to cost issues people are now moving towards polyester lycra and since they have a good hold in this category, the future is looking bright for them. “To give a different experience to the visitors we displayed the final denim fabric so the visitors can see and feel how effective our yarn is,” states Rajiv K. Girotra, Head – Marketing (DTY). The company is producing 225 tonnes of yarn per day and is now planning for brighter yarns.

The share of value-added denim products in the total production output is still only 10-15 per cent and the Indian denim makers will have to invest in premium washing, finishing and other stages of fabric making to increase the share significantly.

PKPN Spinning Mills/Goodwill Textile Mills, another yarn manufacturing company present at the exhibit, is producing 500 tonnes per month with its 60,000 spindles, has a wide variety of yarns like 100 per cent viscose, modal, viscose bland, acrylic, organic cotton, slub yarn, tencel, cotton silk bland, cotton bamboo (anti bacterial) and claims that its cotton lycra is very popular among denim fabric manufacturers. “We have very good hold on domestic market and were expecting domestic players but it did not happen,” declares a disappointed C. Suresh, GM – Marketing, PKPN Spinning Mills. Talking about the market conditions, Suresh felt that the business is growing gradually and the domestic market is doing better compared to the export.

Star attraction at the event was the operational assembly line for jeans manufacturing at the EH Turel & Co booth right from cutting to bundling to sewing, using Vibemac machines for special operations and machines from Typical for basic operations. A hit with the industry, the display attracted attention from many companies, both already into jeans manufacturing and those looking to foray into the segment.

Visitors’ Feedback

There was mixed reactions from the visitors at Indigo. Harinder B.S. Lamba, Executive Director – Projects, Must Garment Corp. Ltd., Bahrain was a special invitee at the fair. While interacting with Team Apparel Online at the AO booth he shares, “Presently we are sourcing all our denim fabric from China but now I am looking at the Indian market quite seriously. I really liked the products of Oswal Denim.” Must Garment was incorporated in 1981 by Mahtani family in Hong Kong and today, the company has its offices and manufacturing units in US, UK, China, Bahrain, Egypt and Bangladesh. The company specializes in bottom wear for women.

Amongst other visitors there were some start-ups exploring the opportunities in the jeans market and such companies were happy and upbeat as they got to see and interact with fabric, technology and the accessory players on a single platform. Majestic Handicraft, Noida having 300 stitching machines for export is soon starting jeans manufacturing. Harpal Singh, Director of the company met various denim mills’ representatives to discuss how to move forward.

CTA Apparels is another export house planning to enter into jeans segment and the company’s product development team visited the fair to understand the complete chain, as the design team is already working on the samples. Few jeans manufacturers and wholesaler also visited the fair from Khanapur (Maharasthra), Hyderabad, Chennai, Raipur and Ahmedabad.

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