Tie&dye, pigment dyeing and spraying, 100% organic products and new kinds of washing techniques for soft hand feel are the trendy new strides in knitted garments. Many of these innovations were on display at the recently concluded 31st India Knit Fair (IKF), Tirupur. Though the cotton price worries took some charm out of the show by lower participation of exhibitors, still buyers, manufacturers and market watchers were very buoyant about the future of India.
Tirupur cluster could scale newer heights as the cotton-based knitwear products coming from here were already competitive price-wise vis-à-vis the ones manufactured by their counterparts in countries like Bangladesh, China, Vietnam and Thailand,” said Ron Dutta, Sourcing Director of Garan Incorporated, USA while inaugurating the show. Federation of Indian Export Organizations President A. Sakthivel and Apparel Export Promotion Council Senior Director D.G. Reddy were also present at the occasion.
Mayo Chix, a fashion brand from Hungary plans to start sourcing from India soon as production cost in China is going up and quality of the products sometimes suffers. The team of Terez Szucs (Import Manager) and Daniel Sebestyen (Foreign Trade Executive) of Mayo Chix were at the show looking for cardigans and heavy garments in cotton. According to Szucs, fashion is more clear, simple and basic now. “Not much embellishments. And buyers are looking for more soft hand feel. Different kinds of washes are a trend now,” she added.
Many buyers were looking for kidswear. “Singapore and Malaysian retail market is experiencing a great boom mainly for kidswear,” said Sanandan, Merchandiser, Caliico, Sri Lanka. They were looking for baby products in micro modal fabrics. Jeff Stuart and Fiona Stuart, Just Hatched, a baby product brand in Australia, also wanted to source baby products from India. They have 35 stores all over Australia. Shreenivas Shah, President, Babyvision (US-based baby care product brand) was seen at the fair. Vijay Kumar Sharma, a buyer from Hong Kong was looking for knitwear products for South American market. “Recession is over and our market is good now,” he said.
Elie Maman, Somotex, France, was scouting for winter dresses (fleece garments), T-shirts and sweaters in fleece. This was his first-time visit to Tirupur and he was interested to source garments at cheaper prices than Bangladesh and China. Having his own design unit, he sells to major department stores. His company’s current turnover is $ 10 million. Vinny, buying agent, Style Icon, Jamaica, focusing on Jamaican tourism market was searching for all kinds of T-shirts with print, foil, embroidery and other value additions. Ravi, Manager, Garment Division, Atlas Global, China, came to the fair on the lookout for cotton T-shirts and was able to get good price quote from Tube Knit Fashion, Tirupur.
Some snapshots of trends in knit fashion in IKF
Praveen Tex, Tirupur, showcased new tie&dye garments on viscose fabric in line with new export orders. Girl’s top in this fabric is going to be a big vogue in the coming summer in Europe. Lately for the winter season they sent tie&dye sweat shirts and jackets on velour fabrics. Their dedicated product development team has successfully experimented with 4 colours on velour fabrics and they have already sent almost 15,000 pieces to Finland.
Tube Knit Fashions, Tirupur, have got many tie&dye T-shirt orders from UK and Europe recently. Sweat shirt for kids in tie&dye is a very new product from Tube Knit Fashions stable. Amaravathi Garments, Chennai, have bagged orders for tie&dye sleeveless girls’ top in woven. A tie&dye top in waffle knit also received good order booking. Order book of N.C. John & Sons Tirupur, also showed great demand for tie&dye T-shirts from the US.
All over print, pigment wash and spraying
For Poppy’s Knitwear, one of the leading exporters, Tirupur, buyers generally come for winter fashions like short shirts, jackets, fancy jackets. Print and embroidery on T-shirt are perpetual elements of fashion T-shirt. But the in-thing is the buyers demand for special finishes for soft hand feel like enzyme washes, bio wash and acid wash, etc.
According to Sathish, Production Manager, Eastman Exports Global Clothing, washed polos are hip and cold pigment dyeing cold pigment spray is also hot. “After reactive dyeing, we spray pigment dye for an uneven finish. That gives a vintage look to the garment. Ready for Dyeing (RFD) fabric (a half-dyed fabric) is an off-white fabric. First we make garment with off-white fabric. Then treat the garment with pigment dyeing,” explains Sathish. JCPenny and Diesel demand this fashion. T-shirts based on dip dye and pigment spray are valuable products of BNT Innovations, Tirupur.
Garments in viscose fabrics with all over print brought big orders for Praveen Tex, Tirupur. Pigment washed garments are also in huge demand. For Pandit Hosiery Mills, Tirupur, Bubble washed viscose garments are in the buyers’ wish list.
Organic garments for kids are creating good response in the international market for Kay tee Corporation, Tirupur. Their speciality, organic baby products with 95% organic cotton + 5% elastane and ladies knitted garments made with 95% organic cotton + 5% elastane were in good demand. N.C. John & Sons, Tirupur, also got good orders for their organic T-shirts, though the organic T-shirts were 20% costlier than ordinary cotton products.
100% knitted linen, nylon silk rain coat, cardigan
100% linen in flat and circular knit is the latest offering from Jayashree Textiles, a subsidiary of Aditya Birla Group. “Linen garment is a high-fashion product and India is going to be strong in high-end fashion. So knitted linen is here to stay strong,” says S. Shreenivasan, Marketing Manager (South), Jayashree Textiles. Currently the knitted linen fabrics consumption in India is 25 tonnes per year. But Jayashree Textiles has marketing plans to raise the consumption to 150 tonnes per year.
Wrinkle on knitted cloth is the new offering from BNT Innovations, Tirupur. Their wrinkle T-shirt in knit is a great rage. Leggings in viscose with alternate lace are a fast moving new product in Europe. Nylon silk rain coat for ladies are the new product of Beauty Fashion, Tirupur. They imported this water proof fabric from Korea. There is a polar fleece inner lining for the garment.
Heavy jersey (360 gsm) cardigan is going well for Tube Knit Fashions, Tirupur, in this winter. Peach finished, stone washed cardigan with heavy metal zips and coat buttons is a regular staple for the company. Added feature is a flat knit collar inside with contrast colour with attached woven twill is an attraction. This stunning cardigan is for both the US and European market.
US-buyer Eleanor’s baby bag is a new offering from Clifton exports in this winter. It is a 100% polyester garment in polar fleece. There is an inner lining in printed interlock cloth. In-between there is poly wadding. Attracted appliqué work with embroidery on pocket is nice. Jeff Stuart and Fiona Stuart of Just Hatched were extremely happy to find the exact products including a patchwork woven garment for boys and girls in this stall. Kay tee Exporters displayed a check woven Romper set with patch work. In baby products multi colour print is big thing.