Organized by City Leaves, the 17th edition of Knit Show, Tirupur, saw participation of almost 200 exhibitors of technology and solutions for the textile and apparel industry, but many were left disappointed after the event. Apart from many small- and medium-size accessory manufacturers and traders, jobworkers, screen printing, sublimation printing and garment manufacturing machines were the show’s major highlights. Ink manufacturers and traders, besides accessories companies were also seen in good number. But ‘professionalism’ and basic amenities were missing at the show. Exhibitors insisted that the show needs to be organized more professionally. Lack of basic provisions, like proper aisle space between the booths, uneven surface, absence of booth numbers, lack of proper entry and exit points, besides unhygienic washrooms, were the dominant spoilers. Besides, the numbers of visitors attending the show were quite less compared to the previous editions, adding to the woes.
The fair witnessed participation of garment machinery providers like IIGM, HCA, Silver Sun, etc. which represent almost all major brands of stitching technology. The show also had on display embroidery machines of Tajima and Barudan, and few players of circular knitting machines.
Most exhibitors shared similar views with regard to the show. “As far as local industry is concerned, it is a good fair but it needs to improve overall. Even security at booths was not adequate after the show timings. The event should be in B2B pattern and not a ‘casual’ one where one sees children roaming around everywhere,” informed Ajay Gandhi, Senior Manager – Domestic Sales, Garware Bestretch Limited, Pune. The company has innovated its rubber elastics to be used in outerwear also and is enjoying positive results in the same.
“I am already sourcing yarn from South India and exploring beyond this also to find out how India can help me as my company has its own manufacturing.” – Chris McCue, Wholesale Supervisor of Classic Alpaca (Fine Alpaca Clothing & Accessories), Clarks Summit, US
Displaying circular knitting machine of ‘Runshan’ and Kornit’s direct to garment digital printer at the show, Umesh Topkhanewale, CEO, ICC International Agencies, Mumbai shared, “We are not satisfied with the show as infrastructure facilities and arrangements were very poor. The organizers may be having experience organizing events with small exhibitors or accessory manufacturers but they don’t have experience conducting a show for machinery distributors. We could not complete our machinery installation on time for the show.”
Irrespective of the fair arrangements, whatever discussion Apparel Online had with the visitors and exhibitors, they all were of the opinion that despite the challenges within India as well as overseas, the coming season should have good orders. As printing is still dominating value addition with regard to Tirupur garment industry, some of the ink suppliers were enthusiastic about the market. Representing the popular ink company, The Global Inc., V. Prakash, MD and S. Thiruvengadathan, Communication Manager of Lakshmi Bio Chem, Tirupur shared, “We are experts in screen printing ink and cater to most of the major players of screen printing. We are like one-stop solution for ink requirements. Oeko-Tex, and GOTS certification are our strength. Our new offering AIR ink is also an eco-friendly ink which gives very good quality.” Lakshmi Bio Chem claims to have 30 to 40 per cent market share in Tirupur, and despite having quality of global standard, it offers its products on reasonable price. It too has clients like Shahi Exports and Kitex Garments.
“We explored most of the things displayed at the show to gain maximum updates be it technology, accessories or fabrics.” – Rashmi Jakhmala, Manager – Buying & Sourcing, Provogue, Mumbai
Offering a wide range of variety for textile from fibre & yarn lubricants, auxiliaries for preparation, dyeing and finishing and complete range of products for screen printing etc., Italy-based Achitex Minerva was also present at the fair with its Indian associate Indian Dyes Sales Corporation (IDSC). Luca Bottigelli, Sales and Technical Manager of the company briefed AOI: “India, especially Tirupur, is very important market for us and we are quite enthusiastic for the demand of our products. 90 per cent of our production is in Europe and approval from Inditex and many world-famous certifications shows our strength.” The company is also geared up about its association in India with IDSC as IDSC is expert enough to market these products. Achitex Minerva has very strong presence in countries like US, South Africa, Middle East, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan also.
Some of the accessories’ companies were also points of attraction for the show as they were having a wide range of variety which serves most of the needs of a garment manufacturer. Tirupur-based Sree Seetaram Stores offering interlining, tapes, scissors, tagging systems, branded needles etc., was also one of them. Chandresh, third generation of the business and Director of the company stated, “Being one-stop solution is an advantage, so we keep adding new offerings in our product basket. And we have enough stock of all our products, which saves time of our clients, especially the exporters who have less lead time. As we have stock in bulk, it makes us cost-effective too and we are able to offer products at reasonable price.” Enthusiastic about the market, he is quite hopeful for good business in Tirupur as well as other apparel hubs of the country. The company is further planning to offer some parts of stitching machines also.
Some of the visitors at the fair were really keen to explore overall process of garmenting as they have plans to enter into garment manufacturing. S. Gurusamy, MD, Guru Spinning Mills, Udumalpet, suppling yarn to woven mills, is keen to try his hands at garmenting as his exiting business is slow. Provogue team from Mumbai also explored latest technology as well as accessories. Chris McCue, Wholesale Supervisor of Classic Alpaca (Fine Alpaca Clothing & Accessories), Clarks Summit (US), already has his own manufacturing of sweaters, socks and accessories and was seen searching for prospective suppliers at the fair.
Representatives of several Tirupur-based buying houses were some of the other key spectators at the show.