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Textildruckerei Heinrich Mayer GmbH, Michael Steidle (c) Textildruckerei Heinrich Mayer GmbH
21.07.2020

„COVID-19 - We could and should have appeared better as noble knights" Michael Steidle, Textildruckerei Heinrich Mayer GmbH

  • Interview with Michael Steidle, Managing Director Textildruckerei Heinrich Mayer GmbH

At least Europe seems to be able to breathe a sigh of relief after weeks of lockdown during the corona pandemic. The textile industry, an industry that has lived globalisation for so many years, is facing the challenge of maintaining its place in the new normal and building on its previous performance as quickly as possible.
Textination talked to three company representatives along the textile chain about personal and operational experiences.

  • Interview with Michael Steidle, Managing Director Textildruckerei Heinrich Mayer GmbH

At least Europe seems to be able to breathe a sigh of relief after weeks of lockdown during the corona pandemic. The textile industry, an industry that has lived globalisation for so many years, is facing the challenge of maintaining its place in the new normal and building on its previous performance as quickly as possible.
Textination talked to three company representatives along the textile chain about personal and operational experiences.

The Interview with Michael Steidle, managing director at the textile printing company Heinrich Mayer GmbH, marks the provisional end of our series that started with Wolfgang Müller, Head of Sales & Services at Mayer & Cie. GmbH & Co. KG and was continued by Andreas Merkel, managing director of Gebr. Otto Baumwollfeinzwirnerei GmbH & Co. KG. The textile printing company Mayer, a family business on the Swabian Alb, is a leader in textile printing, in screen, rouleaux, rotary, sublimation and flock printing and as well as in 3D coating. They are increasingly using these skills in the area of technical textiles.

How have you felt about the corona era to date - as a company and personally?
What would you on no account want to go through again and what might you even consider maintaining on a daily basis?

 The corona time hit us hard. At the beginning of April, sometimes it felt like the lights would go out within the next 24 hours. In numbers there is a drop in sales of 30 percent.
And that's not just the way we are, this crisis has incredibly broader implications. Involved in the word of the Chamber of Commerce I am concerned with many companies in the region. Sectors that would not come to mind spontaneously also feel the effects. This also includes recycling companies. After all, there is also less commercial waste when companies are on short-time work.
At a personal level you can deal with the crisis, hand hygiene, sneeze etiquette, you can learn all of this. But we miss people-to-people contacts. We have a teenage daughter; young people in particular lack the ability to be out and about with their peers.

 
What has the pandemic meant for your company so far?
As I said, the Corona period brought us a significant drop in sales. That means we think twice before spending money. At the beginning of the year we moved to our new, spacious company building. There are still a few small investments to be made. So far, we have put it off until the situation has calmed down again. And so do many. The economic network extremely got out of hand due to the lockdown.
We applied for short-time work, which has been running for three months now. However, you have to see how long that makes sense. Our customers also had a drop in sales, which they first of all have to recover.

 
What adjustments or innovations to your product portfolio have you felt obliged by the pandemic to undertake?
The mask production was a very strong topic in April and May, the phone almost rang continuously. This enabled us to compensate for many orders that were lost otherwise.
We reacted quickly, not only printing masks classically, but also developing coatings for medical face masks and protective clothing. The coatings that we offer are antibacterial and have the lotus effect. This results in the formation of droplets in the aerosols. We have had checked and certified these innovations in an urgent procedure.
We converted our machines ad hoc so that we could apply innovative coatings instead of paint. This was even possible for ready-made masks.
In general, I rate this ability to react quickly as one of our great strengths. We are a small company, so the path from idea to implementation is rather short. If we recognize a trend, an opportunity in our industry, we examine ourselves: Do we have resources that could be used or adapted to offer a solid, marketable solution in a very short time? This refers to know-how, ideas, machines and, for larger projects, also partners. Experience has shown that on the one hand we have the necessary imagination, but on the other hand we also have a fairly realistic view of ourselves. If we can answer the question with “yes”, then we get started without delay. We can evaluate a trial in the evening and continue working on it the next day. There is no need for a meeting with five persons beforehand.
 

What are your views on global supply chains in the future, and will you be drawing consequences for your procurement policy?
We cannot avoid global supply chains; and it will remain this way. In the short term, you may reflect on regional procurement, as far as that is still possible. Many things are simply no longer available and the development over the past 30 years cannot be turned back. Let's take pigment paint: it comes from India and China, otherwise it doesn't exist anymore. Nobody in Europe can keep the prices. And yes, that also means that the production of systemically relevant products can no longer be guaranteed.

          
How do you rate the importance of partnerships within the industry in the future? Does Covid-19 have the potential to promote the creation of new cooperation arrangements in the industry? Or have they already taken shape?
Existing partnerships are important. We must keep the ball rolling: Interrupted projects have to be continued with existing partners.
I think it is important to maintain partnerships at eye level. Sure, now everyone has to see how they can make ends meet. It will be shown, however, who works loyally in the long term and with respect to the business.
Personally, it is important for me to be true to my word. Only a few days ago I spoke to a student, whom we promised her internship and a corresponding payment in February. This young woman can start her internship with us; what paying is concerned, I had to tell her honestly that we have to talk about it again. Fortunately, that was not a problem. It is important to the student that she can complete the required internship at all. This is not so easy since most companies do not accept anyone right now. That is understandable too, but we will need the well-trained people again soon, that’s for sure!

 
What initiatives or approaches for your industry would you welcome for the near future?
I would be very interested in a positive and comprehensive description of what value added is still available in Germany. An initiative that illustrates that the textile industry is an important industry, with many companies that have been family-owned for generations, often with a young, dynamic management and high-quality products. Really nobody has that on his radar. Just today, two designers from a company nearby visited us. They were surprised which services we offer in the field of technical textiles - they were not even aware of it.
The textile industry has played itself down for a long time, that has to stop. Of course, we no longer have added value like the machine building industry. But now, in the corona crisis, it would have been the right time to take advantage of the situation and to initiate much-needed lobbying..


What would you like to see as part of the German textile industry? Do you feel that the status of the German textile industry has changed as a result of the pandemic, especially in respect of public procurement?
No, only at very short notice. Everything was taken during the crisis, the main thing was that the requested product, i.e. masks and protective clothing, was even available. Now the old cycle is back: I have a certain budget, where can I get the most for it? This is frustrating because the willingness to face this challenge was high on the part of the companies.
We also have driven the development and had our coatings for masks certified in an urgent process. Others have switched their entire production at a significant cost to meet demand. Nobody became a millionaire this way.
I think the textile industry could have sold better here. We could and should have appeared better as noble knights. Unfortunately, this was lost in the heat of the battle.

Until now the big issues have been globalisation, sustainability / climate change / environmental protection, digitisation, the labour market situation and so on. Where do they stand now and how must we rate them against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic?
We take sustainability into account with our certifications, with GOTS and ISO 9001. Digitisation does not work quickly for us; it will take years before we can digitise processes. Sure, in administration we are now increasingly working with web meetings and video conferences, but personal contact is important to me. I regularly give lectures; my next one will be at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences and I very much hope that it can take place. I am just a guy for direct contact.
The labour market situation depends on the pandemic and how it develops. In any case, it remains difficult to get young people excited about textile professions. When I open a mobile phone store, I don't need a day to have my employees together. When we present ourselves at a training fair, we are happy to have a handful of good conversations.
Training is so valuable. Someone who has one will always have a different status than an unskilled person, even if - at some point - he works in a completely different branch. The dual training system is absolutely untouchable for me, because we live from this economic performance. We have nothing else but our knowledge. And we have to keep developing because only the high level gives the necessary output.
 

What lessons are to be learnt in respect of these targets for the post-corona era?
Innovation, innovation, innovation. You must not stand still. Nobody knows what to do next. But in three years from now I have to live from what I am developing today, just like I live from what I developed three years ago. Now, in times of Corona, it is much harder to remember, but it does not help: I can’t stand still, waiting for what is happening next, being like a deer caught in the headlights.

This interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

(c) SANITIZED AG
16.06.2020

‘WHAT SMELLS LESS HAS TO BE WASHED LESS OFTEN’

Swiss Quality Principles plus Innovation Strength: Hygiene and Material Protection from SANITIZED 

SANITIZED AG is known as a worldwide leading Swiss company in hygiene functions and material protection for textiles and plastics. Globally oriented, pioneering work is done with federal thoroughness in the development of innovative, effective and safe technologies for antimicrobial equipment. Textination had the opportunity to speak to CEO Urs Stalder about the growing importance of hygiene in times of the pandemic.

Swiss Quality Principles plus Innovation Strength: Hygiene and Material Protection from SANITIZED 

SANITIZED AG is known as a worldwide leading Swiss company in hygiene functions and material protection for textiles and plastics. Globally oriented, pioneering work is done with federal thoroughness in the development of innovative, effective and safe technologies for antimicrobial equipment. Textination had the opportunity to speak to CEO Urs Stalder about the growing importance of hygiene in times of the pandemic.

Founded in 1935, the majority ownership of the public company SANITIZED still lies with the founding families. You are the market leader in Europe in hygiene functions and material protection for textiles and plastics. If you had to introduce yourself in 100 words to someone who doesn't know the company: What influenced you in particular in the development of the company and what made it unique?
Preventing odor in shoes, that's how it started in 1935. This is where our business model came from: the antimicrobial protection of plastics and textiles.
SANITIZED develops ready-to-use additives that are individually tailored to the protection goals of the end products and that work, for example, against the development of odors in work clothing, against permastink (resilient odors) in synthetic textiles or against mold growth.
The 360-degree service is unique: This includes backing in product development, support for all regulatory questions and assistance with marketing topics.
SANITIZED AG is globally active and yet committed to Swiss quality principles. More than 400 brands worldwide use the ingredient brand Sanitized® on their end products.

Think global – act local? You have sister companies in France, the United States and Asia. Your roots and headquarters are based in Switzerland. The pandemic is currently increasing the question of intact supply chains. What does this mean for your company in the future?
Indeed, the broad global positioning enables us to do business locally. The local anchoring results in synergies, also in sourcing. That will be even more important for us in the future. And, of course, the issues of speed and customer proximity are also positive aspects of this approach.

From textiles to plastic surfaces to cans: SANITIZED Preservation AG was founded in 2018 to take care of colors and coatings. SANITIZED is thus opening up another market. Which markets are you particularly interested in and which product areas do you feel particularly challenged by?
Customers want paints and varnishes without solvents, which is better for people and the environment. But with the alternative water-based products, there is a high risk of contamination by microbes. This starts with the production, continues with the storage in the can and also in the application. The result is mold formation.
Antimicrobial protection for paints or coatings is particularly relevant in hygiene-sensitive areas of industrial production and, of course, in the medical environment. The risk of contamination and mold multiplies in regions with high air humidity. This is another reason why India is a growth market for this business area.   

To break new ground means decisiveness, overcoming fears - and thus the courage to fail. Not every project can succeed. In retrospect - about which entrepreneurial decision are you particularly glad to have made it?
Let me mention just three decisions that are important for corporate development: This is definitely the foundation of the SANITIZED Preservation division. This is about the antimicrobial protection of paints and varnishes. This also includes setting up our in-house TecCenter, in which we can perform laboratory services even faster. It was recently accredited by the International Antimicrobial Council. And right now it is the sales cooperation with Consolidates Pathway on the US market for our textile hygiene function solutions.

You state that innovation is embedded in the company's DNA. How do you live your inno-vation management and which role do the requirements of end consumers and your indus-trial customers play in this setting?
We ourselves as well as our global sales partners are in close contact with the manufacturers of textile products. This is also why we know the requirements and needs of the market. Sustainability is emerging from the niche in the mass market.
This is exactly what our product Sanitized® Odoractiv 10 has been developed for and awarded by the Swiss Innovation Award.
It is a dual-acting, biocide-free, patented technology against odor development and odor adsorption in textiles. Many customers appreciate our expertise and use it in the development of new products to create innovative textiles with additional benefits for the requirements of the market.

Tailor-made or solutions only for major customers? The topic of individualization up to lot size 1 takes up a lot of space today. What do you think about individual product solutions - or can you cover everything with the SANITIZED portfolio comprising 40 products?
We have a very versatile technology “kit” at our disposal. It is part of our daily business to respond individually to the special customer needs and the respective product requirements. We offer tailor-made recipes for this and our extensive application know-how flows into the advice for the individual application situation at the customer.

There are various definitions for sustainability. Customers expect everything under this term - from climate protection to ecology, from on-site production in the region to the ex-clusion of child labor, etc. Textile finishing does not always sound unproblematic. Public procurement is increasingly switching to sustainable textiles. What does this mean for SANITIZED and what do you do to bring the concept of sustainability to life for your company, and which activities and certifications do you focus on?
Resource conservation is a key issue for us. Since we “think” about the topic of sustainability along the entire production chain, including in research and development, resource-saving application techniques for the textile industry are important to us. Sanitized® additives can be integrated into standard production processes, so that additional energy is not required for complementary finishing processes.
Our portfolio also includes biocide-free products. Sanitized® Odoractiv10 prevents odors from sticking to textiles. Sanitized® Mintactiv uses the natural antibacterial effect of mint and was specially developed for cotton textiles.
And what smells less has to be washed less often. This saves water and electricity and extends the useful life of textiles.
          
SANITIZED supports its customers with a so-called 360° service. What do you mean by that and why don't you concentrate exclusively on the technical aspects of the products?
The SANITIZED brand wants to create real added value for its customers. That is why we have expanded our core competence as a developer and provider of innovative antimicrobial additives with an all-round service. The obvious thing to do is to support the production process, of course that is part of it. Furthermore; we also provide the latest knowledge on regulatory issues - world-wide. And we offer comprehensive marketing assistance for our license partners who use Sanitized® as an ingredient brand. Making correct advertising statements is important not only in times of Corona. Because it's always about transparency and security for people. Warning letters or delivery stops due to incorrect claims can be prevented.
Cooperation with the institutes is absolutely sensible; after all, it is their job to do research for com-panies that they cannot shoulder on their own. This includes testing facilities, as well as applying for funding, which is only possible in cooperation with research institutes. However, they are public institutions and therefore have different objectives per se than a company: We have to bring a promising idea to the market as quickly as possible to show a profit. A research institute does not have this pressure.

Which goal do you pursue with the website https://www.sanitized.house for example?
Yes, it may seem unusual when SANITIZED as a B2B company designs a platform for end customers. But more than 400 brands use Sanitized® as an ingredient brand. So, we are connected to the end customer in this way.
In the virtual house - Sanitized® the house -, visitors can playfully experience in which areas of life hygiene and material protection contribute to the quality of life. A click in the wardrobe links to products - including brand names - that have been equipped with Sanitized®: clothing in the wardrobe, the carpet in the living room or the towel in the bathroom. The best thing to do is try it yourself.

The company is working consistently on implementing Sanitized® as a brand. The hygiene function for textiles and plastics shall be documented and thus offer added value to customers and consumers. Co-branding is not always welcome, especially in the clothing, sports and outdoor sector. How rocky was the road until Sanitized® was advertised as an ingredient brand by 400 license partners on the product?
Of course, there are brands that do not want a second brand on their end product. But a trend is causing more and more manufacturers to rethink: Customers are increasingly asking questions about ingredients and their origins. Elucidation and transparency are growing needs. And that's exactly what we contribute to. In addition, this is an opportunity for a textile brand to stand out positively in the flood of suppliers. Differentiation through added value - donated by Swiss technology from SANITIZED. Those arguments work worldwide.

You have a diversified network. Just to mention to two of them - you have been a system partner since the foundation of bluesign® and you work closely with Archroma in sales matters. In which aspects do you see the special value of partnerships? Are there segments existing where you can imagine new partners and collaborations?
Partnerships are important and work if all pursue common goals and can mutually fertilize each other. For example, the partnership with the company Consolidates Pathway in the United States is brand new one.

For which socially relevant topics do you see a particularly great need for innovation and action in the next 5 years? What is your assessment that your company will be able to offer solutions for this with its products? And what role do the experiences from the corona pandemic play in this assessment?
Nobody can predict what the corona pandemic will change in the long term. Environmental protection and thus the conservation of our resources is and remains an important issue.
The fact that the textile industry can make a big contribution to this is slowly gaining awareness among the masses. Keywords are cheap production or water consumption for jeans production. People are becoming more sensitive to what companies and brands are doing. It will be all the more important to act and communicate openly and transparently.
For SANITIZED, it is a mission and a matter of course that only products with official approvals are used and that we work ac-cording to the bluesign principle. This is where traceability and transparency begin.


This interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

TV TECSTYLE VISIONS: TRADE FAIR ATTENDANCE WITH VALUE-ADDED (c) Messe Stuttgart
17.12.2019

TV TECSTYLE VISIONS: TRADE FAIR ATTENDANCE WITH VALUE-ADDED

  • More than just a product exhibition
  • Talent promotion during the Young Professionals Day

Knowledge transfer and inspiration are the focal points of the accompanying programme of TV TecStyle Visions which will be held in Stuttgart from 30 January to 1 February 2020. In addition to a broad product portfolio, the eleventh edition of Europe's leading trade fair will offer trade visitors various special shows and technical forums in the L-Bank Forum (Hall 1).

  • More than just a product exhibition
  • Talent promotion during the Young Professionals Day

Knowledge transfer and inspiration are the focal points of the accompanying programme of TV TecStyle Visions which will be held in Stuttgart from 30 January to 1 February 2020. In addition to a broad product portfolio, the eleventh edition of Europe's leading trade fair will offer trade visitors various special shows and technical forums in the L-Bank Forum (Hall 1).

Knowledge transfer for doers
The special technical show TecCheck Area is a new addition to TV TecStyle Visions: Visitors will be able to follow the complete production process for a polo shirt during this special show. A shirt - from its 3-D design through to the finished product - will be produced live within one hour on stand 1B80 in a digital textile micro factory, i.e. a digitally networked production line. The German Institute for Textile and Fibre Research (DITF) is responsible for the technical management of this special show with the support of Albstadt-Sigmaringen University and Cologne University of Applied Sciences. Renowned manufacturers and retailers such as Assyst, Caddon, HP, Multi-Plot Europe, Schöller Textil, Rebstock Consulting and Zünd Systemtechnik will present the latest products on the market for the live production demonstration. The production line will bridge the gap between virtual and real products, virtual reality and networked production, based on specific requirements.

In Charlie’s Corner Charlie Taublieb alias Dr. Print will shed light on the technical aspects of textile finishing by means of screen printing. On Stand 1C11 visitors will be able to print a T-shirt themselves under the supervision of this expert and profit from his know-how through its design. Together with his expert network, Dr. Print will be pleased to answer all unresolved questions.

Fair trade, sustainable products and ecological production methods are in demand. At the fair•eco•bio Infopoint (Stand 1G22) experts such as Mantis, Neutral and HRM will explain in more detail to visitors how the production, sale and finishing of advertising textiles are organised sustainably. Interested trade visitors will have an opportunity themselves to print a sustainably produced item of clothing using water-based inks.The programme of the Technical Forum (Stand 1D22) will include talks and best practice examples relating to the topics of smart textiles, finishing techniques and sustainability. Panel discussions in which experts from the industry talk about the latest developments in the industry will also be held every day. These discussions will be followed by a get-together which will enable visitors and participants to carry out networking.

Experience inspiration live 
During the TecStyle Fashion Show on Stand 1H70, models and dancers will present the latest fashion trends and outfits in a show accompanied by music. The show will feature the latest collections from    
renowned national and international textile labels such as HAKRO, JHK, Adler Czech, Result Clothing, Falk&Ross, Master Italia, Premier and Promodoro.

Talent promotion: Young Professionals Day
The Young Professionals Day will be held for the first time and is aimed at industry newcomers. Schoolchildren, students and young professionals are invited to attend the Action Day (30 January 2020) in order to become acquainted with the occupational fields of EXPO 4.0, i.e. textile finishing, advertising technology and visual communication. Students from the Stuttgart Media University and Messe
Stuttgart are jointly developing a programme by young professionals for young professionals. The Young Professionals Day will feature special talks, hands-on activities and tours of the trade fair tailored directly to the target group.

Information for visitors
TV TecStyle Visions will be held from 30 January to 1 February 2020 concurrently with the trade fairs WETEC and GiveADays in the L-Bank Forum (Hall 1) at Messe Stuttgart. Europe's leading trade fair for textile finishing and promotion will be open from 09.30 to 18.00 on Thursday and Friday, 30 and 31 January 2020, and from 09.30 to 17.00 on Saturday, 1 February 2020. Visitors attending TV TecStyle Visions can access the event via the Entrance East which directly adjoins the L-Bank Forum (Hall 1). A total of 7,000 parking spaces are available in the area around the trade fair grounds while the S-Bahn (suburban train) at Stuttgart Airport is just a few minutes walk away.
Tickets for TV TecStyle Visions can be purchased online at: www.tecstyle-visions.com/ticket. A free day ticket is available with the promotion code "TV20IhrTicket" and entitles the holder to visit all events in the EXPO 4.0 trade fair combination.
 
About EXPO 4.0 – Print.Produce.Promote.
EXPO 4.0 is the leading platform for visual communication and haptic advertising. The three trade fairs TV TecStyle Visions, WETEC and GiveADays showcase new products and innovations in the areas of textile finishing, advertising technology and promotion. In spring 2018, the trade fair combination recorded a total of 566 exhibitors from 28 countries and 13,700 trade visitors from 41 countries.

More information:
TV TECSTYLE VISIONs
Source:

Messe Stuttgart

PromoTex Expo (c) PromoTex Expo
08.10.2019

Make your brand wearable - PromoTex Expo to enter second round in 2020

  • Sustainability at the Textile Campus
  • Make your shirt: Digital textile finishing process

It’s colourful, it’s loud and it shouts: “Make your brand wearable!” With its new claim PromoTex Expo brings together textile finishers and experts, signmakers, designers, promotional product distributors, agencies and marketeers to present their highlights in promotion, sports and workwear. The event will once again be held concurrently with PSI and viscom from 7 – 9 January 2020. Together these three trade shows – boasting optimised hall occupancy – form the World of Advertising and Selling.

  • Sustainability at the Textile Campus
  • Make your shirt: Digital textile finishing process

It’s colourful, it’s loud and it shouts: “Make your brand wearable!” With its new claim PromoTex Expo brings together textile finishers and experts, signmakers, designers, promotional product distributors, agencies and marketeers to present their highlights in promotion, sports and workwear. The event will once again be held concurrently with PSI and viscom from 7 – 9 January 2020. Together these three trade shows – boasting optimised hall occupancy – form the World of Advertising and Selling.

A total of 14.9 billion euros in sales are generated annually in Europe by the business with promotional items: This is shown by the "Industry Structure Analysis 2017-19", the first empirical study on the European promotional products industry. The structural data collected on markets, suppliers and retailers systematically and representatively covers the entire value chain.

The study shows: More than one third of the total European turnover is generated by micro-enterprises with fewer than 10 employees. Together with large companies with more than 250 employees, they form the main source of sales in our industry. Together they account for more than half of the turnover. Germany generated with total 3,5 billion Euro about 23 of the European annual business and is thus one of the top 10 nations in the European promotional products industry.
 
PromoTex Expo to move closer to PSI again
Exhibitors’ wishes and needs were centre stage when allocating hall space for this trio of trade shows. This is also why PromoTex Expo will move closer to PSI again occupying parts of Hall 12 in future. In exchange for this, floor space so far unexploited in the other halls will be used for selling. “On the one hand, this move allows us to preserve the independence of PromoTex Expo within this alliance and, on the other, to ensure the proximity with PSI called for by the market,” says Director Petra Lassahn accounting for this move and adding: “Upon the request of both exhibitors and visitors we will already be implementing this adjustment in 2020 and, hence, one year earlier than planned.”

viscom will find its new home in Hall 13. Two walkways create a direct connection between the two trade shows thereby ensuring optimum visitor flows. The trade show for visual communication will also be directly accessible via the entrances Ost and Nord-Ost. As a result, the tactile, textile and visual forms of communication will again be presented under the same roof and within even easier reach at the beginning of the year. As before, admission to all three trade shows will be exclusively restricted to qualified trade visitors and PSI members.
 
Sustainability a trend at the Textile Campus
In Hall 12 visitors to PromoTex Expo will find such familiar faces in this industry as TeeJays, Lynka, Vossen, Matterhorn, Regatta and MASCOT International A/S. However, new faces like stilfaser and the IGUANA GROUP will also feature, introducing their product highlights as part of the international trade show.

Alongside the exhibitors’ ranges an extensive line-up of side events will also convince visitors. Serving as a centre piece here will be the Textile Campus. In cooperation with sustainable companies, it will be shown how new workwear is created from plastic fished from the sea or how old clothes are turned into new promotional textiles. The focus is on ideas from innovative companies that use them to make production and trade fairer and ecological. On the catwalk adjacent to the campus, the participating exhibitors will present their latest collections to a wide audience.
 
Strolling along the fashion Boulevard
Visitors looking for innovations and directions in the fields of sports, career, promotion and leisure will find these at a glance at the new Boulevard. The corridor leads completely through the exhibition hall and shows the trends in a theme-oriented and staged way.

The production chain from design to finished product will be featured on the special area “Mach Dein Shirt/Make your Shirt” in Hall 13. Under the heading “Textil 4.0” this area will focus on Mass Customisation. IT experts and solutions providers will guide visitors through tomorrow’s buying process using a QR code. Once these have generated a print motif, they issue a print job and then follow their individual QR code on its way through the finishing process up to shipping. In an illustrative way, the linking of digital IT solutions with analogue finishing techniques will be demonstrated here, with the IT solution care of our curated partner Smake playing a key role. In the process, the synergies between tactile, textile and visual communications become apparent and with it the concept underlying this trade show triad.
          
About PromoTex Expo
All facets of Mass Customisation, smart clothes, sustainability in the textile chain as well as textile finishing as a service: these are the trend themes of PromoTex Expo. As a new information and knowledge platform for this industry the trade show for Promotion, Sports and Workwear in Düsseldorf is the central point of contact for international textile finishers, promotional product distributors, signmakers, designers, textile experts, retail and agencies. After its successful debut in January 2019 attended by 13,217 trade visitors from 39 nations, the forthcoming event will be held in Düsseldorf from 7 to 9 January 2020 – concurrently with the trade shows PSI – Leading European Trade Show of the Promotional Products Industry and viscom – European Trade Show for Visual Communication. Taken together they form Europe’s biggest trade show alliance for Advertising and Selling.

Textildruckerei Mayer: Innovation management in Swabian © Textildruckerei Heinrich Mayer GmbH
03.09.2019

CEO Michael Steidle (Textildruckerei Mayer): Innovation Management in Swabian

  • “Keep it up! is not an option"

The textile printing company Mayer is a family business on the Swabian Alb. As a leader in textile printing, in screen, rouleaux, rotary, sublimation and flock printing and as well as in 3D coating, the enterprise is increasingly applying its leading expertise to the field of technical textiles. An in-house quality management system ensures the traceability of all production processes, an environmental portfolio the efficient use of energy, sustainability and resources. Textination talked to Managing Director Michael Steidle.

  • “Keep it up! is not an option"

The textile printing company Mayer is a family business on the Swabian Alb. As a leader in textile printing, in screen, rouleaux, rotary, sublimation and flock printing and as well as in 3D coating, the enterprise is increasingly applying its leading expertise to the field of technical textiles. An in-house quality management system ensures the traceability of all production processes, an environmental portfolio the efficient use of energy, sustainability and resources. Textination talked to Managing Director Michael Steidle.

Textildruckerei Heinrich Mayer GmbH is a family business that has been active in textile printing and finishing for 45 years. If you had to introduce yourself in 100 words to someone who doesn't know the company, what makes you unique?
Over the past ten years or so, our family-owned company based in rural Baden-Wurttemberg has changed from a classic textile printing company into a system supplier. A central precondition for this is our knowledge of our own strengths. We rely on proven printing solutions. We do not rush into exchanging them with the latest trend. Instead, we examine whether another, innovative application can be found for them. Or whether one it is possible to combine the tried and tested with a new approach. For example, we were able to solve electronic requirements by printing technology. This area is our second focus. I am a Master of electronic engineering and completed my apprenticeship at Bizerba, a worldwide leading specialist in industrial weighing and labeling technologies. My wife brought me to the textile industry.

In which product area do market and customers challenge you in particular? And on which socially relevant areas do you see a particularly great need for innovation in the upcoming 10 years? What is your assessment that textile finishing will be able to offer solutions?
Mobility is an issue that will be of great concern to all of us in the coming years. In this area trump is what brings little weight, can be produced in a resource-saving way and is easy to shape. All these requirements are met by textile carrier materials and composites. However, textiles as a pure material are still not well-known in public and in our target industries. This understanding should be promoted.

Were fashion and clothing yesterday and do hybrid product developments like your ceramic-coated high-tech fabrics represent the future? When would the company name have to be adjusted, and how long will you keep your broad range of products and services?
In any case, it is true that the textile market, especially the clothing sector, is becoming smaller and smaller in Germany, while the market for technical textile solutions is growing. Of course, this also has an impact on our business and our priorities. Textiles are now found in so many products - we would never have dreamed about before!

As far as the company name is concerned, we have discussed it extensively. We decided to keep it because it is still right. The textiles we talk about are mostly a functional material, but they still remain textiles. And the technology with which we manufacture our high-tech coatings continues to be the printing technology ...

"Without innovation no future" - In five years time, you celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary, with which fundamental corporate decisions will you then have secured the future of your customers and employees?
You already mentioned the landmark decision: "Innovation, innovation, innovation." We can secure our future through innovation only. This means that we must constantly question ourselves and be prepared to be widely interested in attending trade fairs and exhibitions and find out what people are looking for.

Innovation manager or tinkering: What does it mean for a medium-sized family business high up on the Swabian Alb having to profile on specialties in the niche? What advantages do you see compared to large companies?
The Swabian Alb is a traditional textile region. In 1980, about 30,000 people worked here in the textile industry. In 2005 it was barely a sixth. There is not much else left to do than to look for profitable niches and to show a clear profile. Perhaps the special thing about it is that we are not alone in this. Basically, all successful textile companies in our region have undergone a similar process.

As a small - and owner-managed - company, we have the shortest and fastest decision-making channels. That makes us more flexible than a big company. A budget is not questioned five times, but it is decided. If we make a trial, we can evaluate it in the evening and react the very next day. If something doesn't work, we don't need a meeting – then that's it.

At the same time, we do not automatically have a budget for research and development. We first have to carve this out elsewhere. And we do so in the knowledge that it can also be for the trash can. Within the framework of this budget, entrepreneurs have the greatest possible freedom.

To break new ground means decisiveness, overcoming fears - and thus the courage to fail. Not every project can succeed. Which entrepreneurial decision are you particularly glad to have made in retrospect? What makes you proud?
That's easy (Michael Steidle laughs)! We have realized a company’s request that has driven us for months, which in the end has also awakened personal ambition. That was the introduction to these technical coatings, the key and door opener for technical textiles in general. In doing so, I revived old resources, almost by chance. Meaning: my knowledge in electronics. That's when I realized that with a textile you can do completely different things. When you see the finished product on sale after two or three years, it makes the whole team proud!

Every man for himself, God for us all: With which sectors in the textile industry and from neighboring sectors do you want to get closer cooperation beyond competitive borders? For which higher-level problems do you consider this to be indispensable?
Actually, it is not so much a matter of competitive boundaries - cooperation with innovative competitors would always be good for the end product, but that is the case in every industry!

For us, cooperation with other companies in the textile chain is important, i.e. the upstream company. Let’s assume that I am looking for a special fabric for my coating, which in turn has to be made from a special yarn. Then I am already dependent on two companies. Fortunately, we have innovative companies right on our doorstep. But sometimes we have to go further to find the right partner. Characteristics such as willingness to take risks, a common entrepreneurial interest and a passion for the final product are enormously important in a successful cooperation.

Together with your customers, universities, specialist institutes and research institutes, porject-related you work on market-ready solutions. Do you think Germany is a good breeding ground for innovative entrepreneurs? What should happen to stay successful in international competition?
The cooperation with the institutes makes perfect sense; after all, it is their task to carry out research for companies that cannot shoulder such assignments on their own. This includes testing facilities as well as applying for funding, which is only possible in cooperation with research institutes. However, they are public institutions and therefore per se have a different objective than a company: We need to bring a promising idea to market as soon as possible so that it generates a return. A research institute does not have this pressure.

And Germany as a location? Germany is a brilliant location! But we have an infrastructure bottleneck: I mean roads and internet connections as well as access to funding or venture capital. That does not exist in Germany in the true sense anyway. Finding investors for an idea is therefore extremely difficult.

Let me give you an example: Over the years, I have received around 14,000 euros in subsidies for a coating innovation. An American entrepreneur had a very similar idea. He was able to raise about $ 35 million within three years through venture capital, crowd funding, and grants. In the end, he did not even know what he should spend the whole money on!

In addition, for us as a company in Germany, the large, open economic area of Europe is important!

You are the first textile printing company to be certified for screen printing as well as for rotary and rouleaux printing according to the GOTS standard. How important do you consider such certification as a unique selling point in the competition?
Such certifications are important because we work with clients in the upper and premium segments. Especially in times in which - undoubtedly justified - ever greater demands are placed on sustainable business and also the external presentation receives a steadily growing attention, we can support our clients this way. We therefore offer different printing methods, all of which are certified. One thing we have to be aware of is, that if we - and all the other members of the textile chain – charge the additional costs, the price mark-up would be so enormous that nobody would accept it anymore.

How do you feel about the willingness to perform of the succeeding generation? And who would you recommend to join the textile industry and to whom would you dissuade from it?
We work a lot with students and interns. Every year we give two students the opportunity to work and research in our company for their master's thesis. With these young talents, we often experience great commitment and the ambition to bring their own project to a meaningful completion. At the same time, it is difficult for us to fill our apprenticeships; the idea of working eight hours daily, five days a week seems daunting.

And who would I recommend to join the textile industry? For decades, we vehemently discouraged our offspring from working in the textile industry, because one said it has no future ... As a true high-tech industry, it is interesting for engineers, process engineers, chemists or electronic engenieers. Very important: for people with visions! If you are looking for the classic textile industry you have to be prepared to work worldwide and you will not be unemployed. Many companies are desperately looking for plant managers or managing directors for their non-European branches.

 

Kettherstellung (c) Schmitz Textiles Kettherstellung (c) Schmitz Textiles
23.04.2019

Interview with CEO Stefan Ruholl (Schmitz Textiles): We are Textile

  • Innovations for Indoor and Outdoor Applications

At the beginning of 2018, the textile company Schmitz-Werke GmbH & Co. KG, Emsdetten, was restructured. In order to be able to react more quickly and flexibly to the markets and their demands, the brands drapilux, swela and mobiltex have since been combined under Schmitz Textiles.

Managing Director of this legally independent company is Stefan Ruholl, who has been working for Schmitz-Werke for more than 30 years, answering the questions of Textination. In 1996 he became head of the finishing department, three years later head of production and development for the textile finishing division, in the beginning of 2000 technical director, and finally 2018 he took over the management of the business unit and of the company Schmitz Textiles.

  • Innovations for Indoor and Outdoor Applications

At the beginning of 2018, the textile company Schmitz-Werke GmbH & Co. KG, Emsdetten, was restructured. In order to be able to react more quickly and flexibly to the markets and their demands, the brands drapilux, swela and mobiltex have since been combined under Schmitz Textiles.

Managing Director of this legally independent company is Stefan Ruholl, who has been working for Schmitz-Werke for more than 30 years, answering the questions of Textination. In 1996 he became head of the finishing department, three years later head of production and development for the textile finishing division, in the beginning of 2000 technical director, and finally 2018 he took over the management of the business unit and of the company Schmitz Textiles.

Schmitz Textiles is a family business that has been offering textile solutions for indoor and outdoor applications for more than 90 years. If you had to introduce yourself in 100 words to someone who doesn't know the company, what makes you unique?
As an almost fully integrated manufacturer in Germany, we have advantages that many other market players are likely to envy. We can respond flexibly, technically and with good service to the needs of our customers. Under the drapilux brand, we distribute intelligent design textiles for the contract sector, outdoor and sun protection fabrics under the swela brand and textiles for the automotive segment under the still young label mobiltex. All brands benefit from the broad know-how in production and product development. A few years ago, Germany as production location may have been regarded more negatively as a pure cost factor, but today we see this as valued by our partners as a clear strategic advantage.

In which product areas do market and partners particularly challenge you?
And with which product innovations in the field of technical textiles do you think you can move most?

In each of our fields of activity, we are confronted with comprehensive challenges. At drapilux, for example, we have to meet strict safety requirements in the context of fire protection certifications for the use of our materials on cruise ships and have invested massively in this subject. The sun protection sector is characterized by high demands on color and light fastness combined with optimum resilience - here we were able to gain a major technological advantage with the change from acrylic to polyester qualities years ago.
With the new, award-winning development of our convertible top fabric for mobiltex, also based on polyester, we were able to realize product properties that are completely new in this form in this segment.

For which socially relevant topics do you see particularly great need for innovation in the upcoming 10 years
and what is your assessment that the textile industry will be able to offer solutions with its products?

When we look at the next ten years, then it is surely the topic of sustainability that is already omnipresent today. At the moment we are living in a phase where we want sustainable products on the one hand, but, on the other hand, the willingness to pay higher prices for them is not yet pronounced and people tend towards staying with conventional products. This will change. Sustainable products from companies that really live sustainability in the dimensions of ecology, economy and society will win the race. The textile industry offers the best conditions to turn this vision into reality - albeit under investment in production and research and development.

Today, product and technology innovations mean to a large extent digitalization of production and business processes.
New business models often aim at verticalization and demand the path to batch size 1 - what does this mean for Schmitz Textiles?

For an industrial company with a B2B focus, such as Schmitz Textiles, "batch size 1" must be answered with a certain bandwidth. However, in principle, this topic is not new to us, for example in yarn dyeing, we can couple micro-installations for larger batches - and conversely control correspondingly smaller batches through our process chain. In the digital printing sector for the contract business, we are very individually and customer-oriented positioned with a minimum quantity of 25 meters. For our sister company and customer markilux we are supplier for their "Color on Demand" offer for the individual awning cloth with a choice of 1625 RAL colors. With an industrial production scale, you can hardly get much closer to "lot size 1".

To break new ground means decisiveness, overcoming fears - and with that the courage to fail. Not every project can succeed.
Which entrepreneurial decision are you particularly happy about having made it in retrospect?

If we look further back, about ten years ago, the decision to invest in digital printing and to build up know-how and our own production capacities was the right one. Having passed through these learning curves enables us today to expand our offer into the outdoor market without major problems. We are currently more convinced than ever that by entering the automotive segment with the still young mobiltex brand, we have established a new, important keystone for the long-term future of Schmitz Textiles.

The textile industry has been growing steadily worldwide for decades. The consumption of chemical and textile fibres more than quadrupled between 1975 and 2016. In terms of sustainability, there is, to put it mildly, a mixed feedback for our industry.
What is Schmitz Textiles concentrating on in order to fulfil their social responsibility?

If textiles are produced exclusively in Germany, the regulatory framework already requires a certain sustainable orientation. But of course, there is also room for maneuver. In order to meet the high demands of a sustainable and environmentally friendly production, we operate a very high expenditure. For example, all dyestuffs and textile auxiliaries are first checked for compliance with laws and regulations and for environmental and occupational safety aspects before they are used in-house. In addition, voluntary measures were implemented in the area of production long before legislation came into force, such as regenerative thermal post-combustion for the post-treatment of process exhaust air from finishing plants. This ensures that no harmful emissions are caused by exhaust air, waste water or noise. Many projects have also been successfully implemented for energy recovery from process waste water and process exhaust air. All process waste is either returned to the production workflow, recycled or professionally disposed of. A contribution to environmental protection, that should not be underestimated, is the use of synthetic fibres (here: polyester), which can be modified with much less chemicals than natural fibres and are much more durable.
 
The next Techtextil is just around the corner. What are your expectations at the Frankfurt trade fair?
We are a young but at the same time an almost 100-year-old company, having emerged from the corporate reorganization of Schmitz-Werke GmbH + Co. KG on January 1, 2018. Consequently, we are exhibiting for the first time as Schmitz Textiles GmbH + Co KG with our three brands mobiltex, swela and drapilux. We want to present ourselves as a textile competence center. However, the automotive textiles theme will be somewhat in the foreground. We are exhibiting a complete convertible roof with our mobiltex 388 soft top fabric, which was nominated for the German Innovation Award 2019 by the German Design Council, and we are confident that we may accept an award at the end of May.

 

Source:

The interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

As part of its Newsline, Textination will give innovation leaders of the industry a special place to talk about success, experiences, forecasts and trends.

Photo: Pixabay
26.02.2019

TURKEY REMAINS AN IMPORTANT MARKET FOR GERMAN TEXTILE MACHINERY

  • Competition from the Far East increases modernization pressure

Turkey is an important market for German manufacturers of textile machinery. However, the textile and clothing industry has a problem: exports have been stagnating for years.

  • Competition from the Far East increases modernization pressure

Turkey is an important market for German manufacturers of textile machinery. However, the textile and clothing industry has a problem: exports have been stagnating for years.

The Turkish textile industry is broadly based: Companies manufacture all intermediate products in the country, including yarns, fibers and fabrics. Production along the entire textile value chain means great sales potential for German suppliers of textile machinery. In fact, Turkey is the second most important export market for German spinning, weaving, textile finishing machines and the like after China, as it can be seen from the figures of the Federal Statistical Office Destatis.Nevertheless, the sector is not a growth market. Apart from a few outliers upwards and downwards, Turkish textile machinery imports have remained at the same level for several years. This is due to the fact that Turkish exports of textiles and clothing are also stagnating. Particularly noticeable: companies benefited only marginally from the weak lira last year.

Textile and apparel industry benefits little from weak lira
Year Turkish exports of clothing and textiles (in US$ billion) Annual change (in %)
2015 26.3 -10.3
2016 26.1 -0.6
2017 26.7 2.1
2018 27.7 3.6

Source: Turkish Statistical Office TÜIK (http://www.tuik.gov.tr)

Increasing pressure from the Far East
Turkish clothing manufacturers are increasingly feeling the effects of competition from the Far East. Despite the high number of informal workers, wages in Turkey have risen to such an extent that they cannot keep up with the low wages of Asian sewing factories. The geographical advantage of Turkish companies over Chinese competitors is at stake because of the new Silk Road and the development of faster transport routes. Free trade agreements that the European Union is currently negotiating with India and South Korea will further increase the pressure on Turkish producers.

Slump in 3rd quarter 2018
In addition, there is the difficult economic situation in the country: the Turkish lira reached a record low, especially in the months of August to October 2018, and commercial banks raised their lending rates. As a result, financing costs for machinery from abroad suddenly increased, orders from Turkey failed to materialize, especially in the third quarter. The German knitting machine manufacturer Mayer & Cie has also noticed this, as Stefan Bühler, who is responsible for the Turkish business, reports: "In the last three months of 2018, the market was virtually dead. In the meantime, however, the industry is gradually recovering.

Akar Textile plans new factory
Announcements about new investments cannot yet be heard at this time. As early as June 2018, Akar Textile (http://www.akartextile.com) announced that it would build a new factory for 47 million Turkish lira (TL) in the municipality of Savur in southeastern Turkey. 3,000 employees are there to become employed. Akar Textile produces for companies such as C&A, Mango and H&M. Only a few months after the announcement of the project, the economic crisis in Turkey deepened in September. The extent to which the turbulence has affected the project implementation is not known.

Technical textiles as a driving force for growth
Far Eastern competition is increasing the pressure to modernize the Turkish textile industry. In the future, industry will have to compete primarily with high-quality products. Growth impulses are currently coming from the sector of technical textiles. According to industry reports, more than 200 small and medium-sized enterprises are already producing technical textiles and nonwovens in Turkey. These textiles and fabrics are being used in the automotive, packaging and cosmetics industries.

In June 2018, the Turkish METYX Group (http://www.metyx.com) invested in its machinery parc. The company is manufacturing technical textiles and has ordered a line of warp knitting machines from the German textile machine manufacturer Karl Mayer. The manufacturer of composite materials is thus increasing its capacity by 12,000 tons of glass and carbon fibers. In recent years, more and more research and development centers have emerged to promote the necessary technology transfer in the industry. The Institute for Technical Textiles at RWTH Aachen University (ITA) founded a research center in Istanbul in October 2016. In the Teknosab industrial zone in Bursa the BUTEKOM research and development center for textile technology was established in 2008. The institute offers training as well as research and development cooperation to and with companies.

However, many medium-sized textile companies often lack the money to invest in modern machinery. The short planning horizon makes an access to research and development more difficult. As a member of the management board of the German-Turkish Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Frank Kaiser has been observing the Turkish business landscape for eight years. He points out that the textile manufacturers, like other medium-sized companies in the country too, often plan in short terms. "In view of the volatile business environment, this is rational," Kaiser explains.

Turkish imports of textile machinery and exchange rate comparison  1)
Year Import from Germany
(in USD million)
Total imports
(in USD million)
Exchange rate
(1 US$ = ?TL)
2009 143 505 1.55
2011 521 1,851 1.67
2013 619 2,211 1.90
2015 382 1,398 2.72
2017 447 1,478 3.65
2018 1) 2) 490 1,774 4.81

1) the slump in the 3rd quarter is not yet visible in the annual figures for 2018; it will not become noticeable until 2019
Sources: UN-Comtrade, TurkStat 2), Bundesbank

 

 

 

 

INDIA'S GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS TEXTILE INDUSTRY Photo: Pixabay
11.09.2018

INDIA'S GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS TEXTILE INDUSTRY

  • Clothing exports are declining 

New Delhi (GTAI) - Structural weaknesses and fiscal reforms are affecting the Indian textile industry. Modernization and diversification are necessary. For this where support measures will come into force.

  • Clothing exports are declining 

New Delhi (GTAI) - Structural weaknesses and fiscal reforms are affecting the Indian textile industry. Modernization and diversification are necessary. For this where support measures will come into force.

In the 2016/17 fiscal year (April 1st to March 31st), India's government initiated a number of fundamental reforms such as the introduction of the nationwide Goods and Services Tax (GST) and a partial currency devaluation. These measures are intended to advance the economy as a whole in the medium to long term, but have led to uncertainty and difficulties in individual sectors, including the textile industry. Added to this are high cotton prices. The government is now trying to help the industry with individual measures. It remains to be seen whether these will be sufficient and lead to a sustained improvement. Finally, there are structural weaknesses which are also slowing down the growth of the Industry.

"The by the introduction of GST caused dent and monetary depreciation has now been overcome. However, the structural problems remain, so that no fundamental changes in the textile industry are to be expected", according to the assessment of a German supplier with many years of experience in India in talks with Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI).

Government launches aid measures
However, some government measures should provide relief. At the beginning of August 2018, import duties on 328 textile products, especially fabrics and nonwovens, were increased from around 5 to 10 percent to up to 20 percent. Also, at the beginning of the month, the Executive Board introduced four bills to amend the general VAT Act introduced on July 1st 2017. This should make refunds, for example of taxes on intermediate products, easier and faster. The introduction of GST and the delays in reimbursement have put particular pressure on the liquidity of small and medium-sized companies, which make up the bulk of textile companies. For example, the denim industry temporarily had to take 25 to 30 percent of its capacity out of production after the tax introduction.

 Also, the Ministry of Textiles wants to strengthen the to it entrusted weakening industry. At the beginning of August 2018, for example, it added changes to the Technology Upgradation Funds Scheme (TUFS), which has been in existence since 1999. This now expanded technology promotion program allows cooperative banks to provide financing to textile companies for technological improvements. They also become accessible for liability partnerships. Of the approximately USD 1.1 billion, that the central government budget is holding for the textile industry in the fiscal year 2018/19, one third, 14 percent more than in the previous year, are intended for the TUFS. Manufacturers of synthetic fibers and the clothing industry in particular are likely to benefit from this, according to industry sources.

The existence of an own Ministry of Textiles shows how important this industry is for India, not only as a source of foreign exchange, but also as an employer. The entire sector, from spinning mills, weaving mills to clothing and other finished goods, contributed around 14 percent to value creation in the manufacturing industry and 13 percent to foreign exchange revenues in 2017, and employs directly 40 million and indirectly 60 million workers.

As one of the world's leading producers of cotton, jute and silk, India has comparative advantages in the textile sector and can look back on a long tradition in processing. Accordingly, cotton is the main raw material in yarn and fabric production. After all, 5.7 billion tons of yarn were spun in 2016/17, achieving an annual average increase of 3.1 percent between 2011 and 2017. The weaving mills processed 63.5 billion square meters of fabric in 2016/17, after 61.7 billion in 2011. The proportion of cotton fabrics rose from 51 to 61 percent in 2011 to 2017. The remaining part is accounted for approximately equally by synthetic and blended fabrics.

 
Production and export growth come to a halt Based on the previously strong growth the government is optimistic. According to forecasts by the Ministry of Textile, India's textile and clothing industry is expected to more than double its sales between 2015 and 2021. Exports are expected to increase from USD 35 billion to USD 82 billion, after doubling in the period from 2006 to 2014 from USD 17.6 billion to USD 37.6 billion. After that, however, they stagnated and, at USD 35 billion in 2017/18 and missed the by the government set target by USD 10 billion. The production of textiles and clothing declined from 2015 to 2017. It is unlikely to improve in 2018.

Textile and clothing industry in India 1)
  2015/16
 
2016/17 2)  2017/18 2)
Export of textiles and textiles products USD in USD billion 18.1 18.2 18.7
Export of clothing 17.0 17.4 16.7
Import of yarn, fabrics, made-ups in USD billion 1.7 1.5 n.a.
Change of production of textiles in % -0.2 -3.2 n.a.
Change of production of non-knitted clothing in % -3.6 -3.3 n.a.


1) Financial years from 1 April to 31 March; 2) Provisional data for 2016/17 and 2017/18
Source: Statistical Office India
     

Clothing industry needs to modernize 
India's textile industry has cost advantages over industrialized countries and advanced emerging countries such as China. Smaller developing countries, however, have become well-known competitors in the meantime and have partly surpassed India in terms of clothing. So Bangladesh and Vietnam exported more clothing than India. In addition there is growing competition from other low-wage countries such as Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Some of these countries have free trade agreements with the EU, while India has difficulties in negotiating them. The smaller competitors have also geared their clothing industry to exports and modernized it accordingly. After all, they do not have significant local markets. The Indian textile manufacturers are different: If there is not enough quality for export, the domestic market, which has a population of 1.3 billion inhabitants and is growing strongly, is still there, industry representatives explain to GTAI.

India's apparel industry therefore still has a considerable potential for modernization and requires new production technologies, particularly to improve operating efficiency. Other structural weaknesses include strong wage increases with insufficient productivity growth and a shortage of well-trained skilled workers. Other disadvantages are the fragmentation of the clothing industry - many companies lack size - and the lack of adaptation to global fashion trends. While the fashion world is more prone to fiber mixed fabrics, the Indian clothing is not yet following this trend. There is a lack of product diversification.

The spinning and weaving sector looks more modern. Industry experts attest to it a leading international position in terms of size, technology, productivity, quality and price. This is also evident when importing machines. India was the most important export market for German spinning machines to China in 2017 and the fifth largest market for weaving machines, according to the Textile Machinery Association of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA). In textile finishing machinery, India does not rank among the top six export markets, but its competitor Bangladesh does.

Double-digit growth in foreign direct Investment 
Foreign investments in the Indian textile industry are welcome and 100 percent foundations by foreign companies are welcome. On promotional trips to countries such as Japan, Germany, Italy and France, India is actively attracting investors and has not been unsuccessful. The inflow of foreign direct investment into the textile sector, including dyed and printed textiles, amounted to USD 2.7 billion between April 2000 and September 2017. Cumulative investments increased by an annual average of 17.3 percent between 2010 and 2017. However, the bulk of the investment is being stemmed by national Indians. Total investments in India's textile sector from June 2017 to May 2018 amounted to USD 4.2 Billion.

Contact Details
Name Internet Remark
Germany Trade & Invest http://www.gtai.de/indien Foreign information for the German Export Business
AHK Indien http://www.indien.ahk.de Contact for German companies
Ministry of Textiles http://www.texmin.nic.in Ministry
Office of Textile Commissioner http://www.txcindia.gov.in Government 
Confederation of Indian Textile Industry http://www.citiindia.com Textile Association
Textile Association India http://www.textileassociationindia.org Textile Association India
The Clothing Manufacturers Association of India http://www.cmai.in Clothing Association


    

More information:
India Bangladesh(7621)
Source:

Rainer Jaensch, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de