Emphasising that India's textile industry has the potential to double its growth rate, textile giants on Saturday stressed on strategic branding and style positioning in the industry.
On the second day of India's first-ever textile extravaganza -- Textiles India 2017, participants discussed the future of textile industry, colour and design, along with what the future holds for India's traditional handmade carpet industry as well as its tribal weaves.
Eric Duchamp, Worldwide CEO, Peclers Paris, stated that India's textile industry has the potential to double its current rate of growth.
"There is a need for India to focus on strategic branding and style positioning in the textile industry," he said.
Ajoy Sarkar, from the Fashion Institute of Technology, New Jersy, said that India's legacy fibers, like jute and silk, could be improved upon through the use of technology.
"Branding is nothing but quality assurance and that a brand is all about functionality. Hence, it is important that availability, accessibility and assurance of quality are made priorities and worked upon," said Gaurav Mahajan, President (Apparel) of Raymond Group.
During a session on handmade carpet industry and how technology could improve it, many of the speakers talked about how there was a growing market abroad for Indian handmade carpets.
They, however, felt that the quality of machine-made carpets had improved considerably and had given stiff competition to the handmade industry, which needed to work on newer designs and yarns.
"Given the emergence of online market, the handmade carpet industry can utilise it for branding, marketing and promotion, particularly in the overseas market," said M.P. Sharma, Chairman of Carpet Export Promotion Council.
During a session on future of tribal weaves in India, the speakers spoke of the unique nature of the tribal weaves and how they were different from many of the traditional weaves found in other regions across the country.
"Tribals are extremely good weavers, but due to their relative isolation, they don't produce traditional designs," said Mukti Gogoi, Commissioner and Secretary, Textile, Sericulture Department, Assam.
Rajeev Sethi, Founder of the Asian Heritage Foundation, said tribal weavers were facing stiff competition from cheaply-made fibres, which were replacing their rich fibres.
"However, methods such as Intellectual Property Rights can immensely help the creators of these weaves... Protection from their designs being copied and other government help can provide support to this industry," he said.
Madhura Dutta, Executive Director, All India Artisan and Crafts Workers Welfare Association (AIACA), said there was a mismatch of expectations between buyers and retailers regarding products and hence it was a must to educate buyers.
The textile giants also discussed the prevailing and expected trends in the cotton sector.
According to them, India produces very good quality of cotton but is sold at discounted prices because of certain contaminations. Therefore, there is a need to reduce the level of contaminations.
Currently, only about 2.5 per cent of cotton was tested, they said.
They noted that that cotton industries should understand the requirements and pay attention to the downstream process -- towards the finishing levels.