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Report | August 2015

Knitcon-2015: Understanding prospects of knitting industry

Knitcon-2015 was a day-long conference organised for the first time in the eastern region by the Federation of Hosiery Manufacturers Association of India (FOHMA) in association with West Bengal Hosiery Association (WBHA) and Bengal Hosiery Manufacturer Association (BHMA).

Held at The Oberoi Grand in Kolkata recently, there were experts in the field at the Knitcon discussing about the advancements in knitting, processing and stitching industry. Speakers flew down from Germany, Japan, Korea, Italy, Hong Kong´ while there were other experts from all over India. This conference was attended by around 250 delegates belonging to the hosiery & textile sector.

Earlier in the inaugural session, M Chaudhary, Regional Head, Textile Commissioner´s Office (Eastern Region), outlined the assistance it could offer to the hosiery and knitting sector. He emphasised the need for more manufacturing units for faster development of the sector. Referring to the importance of skill development programme, Chaudhary said his office had set up a training Centre at Ranaghat in Nadia district of West Bengal where people are trained to serve the industry. The companies can hire skill personnel from there for the Industry. In his welcome address, KB Agarwala, President of FOHMA, mentioned that the Indian knitwear industry, which started as a domestic player, has expanded into the global markets with great success. And despite 70 per cent of units operating in the unorganised sector, the growth is praiseworthy´ both on the domestic as well as the exports front. The Indian knitwear industry has evolved significantly over the past few years, owing to several inter-related factors that have worked positively for this segment. The slowing down of production in many countries, the bullish nature of the fashion industry and cash rich consumers seeking newer products & stylish outfits have shored up the demand for knitwear products. The online trend for purchasing is growing rapidly and has opened up new vistas for product marketing. He hoped that the domestic knitwear players would make efforts to innovate and upgrade their facilities ´ so as to become competitive and sustain themselves amidst local and global competition.

Pradeep Arora, Convener of KNITCON 2015, spoke about how this conference was conceived with the objective of getting insights about knitting, processing and stitching ´ so that existing manufacturers can know about the new technologies, adopt them and grow their businesses. While this conference was being organised in the eastern region where the knitting industry was predominant, the learnings were applicable for every manufacturer located in India.

In the fibre and yarn session, speakers discussed various aspects of yarns in the context of growing cost of cotton fabric resulting in higher price of the cotton made item, which is now becoming beyond the reach of common people. They stressed the need for selecting good quality of yarns producing different parts of the country for substitute to cotton. They felt that more attention should be given for collection of proper quality of yarns for producing quality items in the face of severe competition world-wide.

Manufacturers should select proper types of cotton avoiding contaminated thread that causes qualitative differences from the quality one. They said India being producer of multi-category yarns, there is no dearth of quality fibre, which should be chosen with great care and proper verification. At the same time, polyester is now becoming the fast growing sector which has to be utilised properly to meet the growing demand of the domestic market in the country. They also urged the manufacturers to take advantage of the declining export in the countries and increase their export volume to obtain the new markets.

In the knitting session, representatives from several international textile related machine manufacturing companie

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