While global demand for cotton continues to pick up, the natural fiber still faces challenges from manmade fibres. Today the competitive fibres such as Polyester are better than they used to be. The other fact that gives an edge to the manmade fibres over the natural one is that the brands, retailers and consumers are demanding MMF over natural ones. This is particularly so for the millennial generation who needs lighter weight fabrics in multiple product categories. Performance features are required in a growing number of products, not just for active wear. Sustainability is increasing in importance as well to push the MMF up even more.
Overview of the market demand
The global demand for textile fibres is expected to witness a growth of 2.5-2.7 per cent between 2016 and 2021, primarily driven by increasing consumption of MMF due to limited cotton production and supply as well as other factors such as lower prices of MMF. In the past three decades, when global population grew by 35-37 per cent to reach 7.3 billion, consumption of fibres reached 84,870 KT by registering a growth of almost 140 per cent. While the global increase in population is one of the basic reasons of increased consumption of textile fibres, there are other factors such as rising incomes, variety of affordable fibres, textiles and apparel products as well as changing attitudes to traditional textile products – used increasingly as disposable fashion, that have also played an important role in the growth of the global textile fibres demand all these years.
Man-made Fibers – types & varieties
Man-made fibers are produced by combining polymers or small molecules of raw materials, mainly of petroleum-based chemicals. Man-made fibers can be classified into Organic and Inorganic majorly. Organic MMFs are made either by transforming natural polymers or from synthetic polymers.
Today the natural polymers include Acetate, Triacetate, Alginate, Cupro, Elastodiene1 (rubber), Lyocell, Modal and Viscose. On the other hand, the synthetic polymers include Acrylic, Modacrylic, Aramid, Chlorofiber, Elastane2, Elastodiene2, Fluorofiber, Polyamide, Polyimide, Polyester, Polyethylene2, Vinylal etc. The other type of MMF in the market is the Inorganic ones which are Carbon, Ceramic, Glass, Metal. Also they are produced by bi/multi-component fibers etc.
Growth of MMF
A very large part of the growth in polyester has come from China followed by India and Southeast Asia. In the case of China, both polyester production and apparent domestic demand for the fiber have been very strong. China accounts for 69 percent of all polyester fiber production globally, and if India and Southeast Asia are added, these three regions represent 86 percent of global production. In global apparel trade, share of polyester based apparel has increased 9 percentage points (pp) since 2007.
Market by Statistics
- Global production of synthetic staple fibres is estimated to reach 20.5 mn tonnes by 2020 with highest growth among the fiber categories.
- Nonwoven is the fastest growing segment than the traditional weaves.
- Weaving is driving polyester based spun yarn consumption in the domestic market by 50% share while knitting and sewing thread segments constitutes 40% and 10% share respectively.
India in Global competition of MMF
Despite being in the race, India today is still behind the schedule of global competition as we still rely on cotton more than man-made fabrics. India is still holding the heritage fiber and focuses in growing with cotton. The textile and apparel exports and raw-materials are yet lesser in case of MMF in comparison with China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Turkey statistically.
The MMF industry in India is quite progressive one though. Indian fabrics are known for their excellent workmanship, colours and durability. Due to heavy investments in world-class manufacturing plants, continuous innovation, new product mix and strategic market expansion, Indian man-made fibres (MMF) are set to take centre stage in the global arena.
According to the Synthetic and Rayon Textiles Export Promotion Council (SRTEPC),established in 1954 to extend all possible assistance to Indian exporters of synthetic and rayon textiles and to overseas buyers with business in India, Textile industry contributes two per cent to India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) , seven per cent to India’s industrial production and 15 per cent to the country’s exports.
|Country||Total Exports (2017)||Cotton Textiles||Cotton Apparel||MMF Textiles||MMF Apparel||Others|
|China||279 bn US $||11%||24%||19%||35%||11%|
|India||37 bn US $||26%||23%||16%||17%||18%|
|Bangladesh||35 bn US $||2%||69%||1%||22%||6%|
|Vietnam||33 bn US $||9%||28%||7%||49%||8%|
|turkey||27 bn US $||12%||34%||22%||21%||11%|
INDIA SHINES IN MMF
- Technical Textile Industry is estimated at Rs 1, 16,217 crore (US$ 18,032 million) in the year 2017-18.
- During the April-February 2017-18, exports of readymade garments of all textiles stood at Rs 97,984 crore (US$ 15,203 million).
- Made-made yarn, fabric s, made-ups grew 2 per cent in 2017-18 to Rs 31,089 crore (US$ 4,824 million) from Rs 30,559 crore (US$ 4,748 million) as compared to last year.
- The textile and apparel exports stood at Rs 1.2 lakh crore (US$ 35.36 billion) in 2017-18.
- India is second largest world producer of polyester and viscose, but India is ranked sixth in the exports of Man-Made Fiber (MMF) textiles.
- This year in March The ministry of textile and the textile commissioner’s office have launched a study to promote the growth of Man Made Fibre(MMF) in India and to identify the gaps and suggest measures.
Environment and MMF
Manmade fibre industry has a greater environmental impact than natural fibres. Hence, pollution prevention techniques, including optimisation of the process, adoption of cleaner operating practices and safety measures to avoid fires, explosions and accidents is necessary to improve the efficiency of production and minimising environmental impacts. This can be further done by reducing material and energy inputs, re-engineering processes to reuse by-products, improving management practices and substituting benign chemicals for toxic ones. India’s industrial competitiveness and environmental future depends on improvisations such as Man-Made Fibre industry adopting energy and resource efficient technologies. Recycling and reuse of materials is critical. To keep pace with changing technologies and needs of sustainable development the sector would require regular updating in the future. A large number of technical textile products are consumed by industries like automotive, healthcare, infrastructure, oil & petroleum, etc. With increase in investments in these industry sectors and increased awareness level of the workers of those sectors regarding personal safety, consumption of technical textiles is increasing rapidly. The increased per capita income level has also helped to make those products affordable to a wider section of the population.
Indian MMF differs from Global fiber mix
Having a warmer climate as compared to the western regions such as EU and US, in India more of breathable and moisture absorbent fibers such as cotton, viscose blends are preferred over polyester fibers. India has a short winter and hence, winter categories like sweaters, jerseys, jackets are less consumed by the domestic market. Yarn mixes and brand have changed a lot over time, making polyester mixes with cotton and rayon to fit the market . The consumers are not generally aware of the fibre/yarn and pay more attention to the product attributes and designs. Designers therefore take the role of the fibre as secondary priority in the design process as well.
Globally Women’s wear category constitutes a larger market share than that of men’s wear and the prior has the higher MMF consumption. Whereas, in India the men’s wear category constitutes a larger market share and is dominated by cotton than the other fibres. Categories such as sports wear and active wear though have majority of MMF share but have a much smaller market in India comparatively. In India’s textile market, Blended yarn are becoming popular and growing at a faster pace. The production of blended yarn is growing by 6% CAGR, compared to 3% for 100% cotton yarn.
Never-the-less, the trend of blended fabrics dominating the Indian market is also taking over the world due to global warming and average temperature rise day-by-day globally. The blends can produce good looking and functional products and the modern manufacturing technologies are versatile enough to make the production easy and cost effective as well. In India, the Polyester-Cotton blends (PC) form the largest share with 50% share of blended yarns followed by Polyester-Viscose (PV) blends with 30% share. Other major blends include cotton/viscose and polyester-cotton -viscose blends.
changing fashion trends with pushing growth of MMF.
The market is more inclined to fast fashion, that changes frequently with growing casual fashion and has lesser focus on durability. This has led to surge in shift from cotton to viscose yarn blends, especially in women’s wear. Consumers today want products of latest fashion with value-for-money attribute to it. Due to this price sensitivity, the brands have started to search for cheaper raw materials with premium comfort and feel in a lower cost. For example, the Polyester-Cotton-Viscose blends in various ratio have replaced the 100% Cotton-Viscose to reduce cost but at the same time maintain the product features. Consumers are looking for products with better comfort and ease of care. Hence, comes the MMF to rescue with polyester-viscose based having surface treatment to make them more comfortable and undoubtedly with higher ease of care.
Innovations in technology with wider variety and faster turnaround has further boosted fast fashion specific products with Modern Screen Printing, Chemical Finishes, Cheaper Fibre blends comprising viscose and polyester instead of cotton. Consumers are increasingly looking for product attributes in garments like wrinkle-free, breathable, water proofing fabric properties etc. The European regulations require flame retardant finish on kids garments and such norms are finding their way into India as well.
Category-wise Average Yarn Consumption Mix of Indian Brands, 2017-18
|Cotton and Blends||Polyester and Blends||Viscose and Blends/Others|
- As per a recent survey, 60% of people purchases garments primarily on the basis of touch and feel, 20% go by reading information on the label or tags,9% goes by looking at it and only 5% and 6% by asking the salesperson and logo and seal respectively. Also it is noticed that the importance of durability is reducing while design and look is increasing amongst the consumers.
- Indian brands decide on the Quality and yarn mix of fabric at the time of sampling mainly to meet the target price. For Fabric manufacturers also the price fitting aspect contributes to 40% of the design or decision making process followed by touch and feel of it, fall/drape and least by the consumption trend ( only 10%).
- More number of fibres can be used interchangeably now depending on their product attributes required and relative price, for example:
- Dhoti/Lungi/Saree earlier used to be made using viscose yarn but nowadays cotton, polyester & their blends are preferred due to increasing prices of viscose.
- Similarly, sportswear nowadays is manufactured predominantly with polyester due to relatively lower price than cotton and advancements in technologies making polyester suitable for sportswear.
|Example of Technology Changes||Key advantages driving interchangeability|
|Spinning Technology Advancements|
|Modern spinning systems like compact spinning, airjet spinning||Improvement in viscose in terms of smoother, clear appearance making it suitable for usage in fashion garments and replace cotton|
|Siro Spinning||Reduces the pilling and shrinkage in viscose fibre which further makes it suitable to use in place of cotton|
|Core spinning technology||Helps in making advanced yarn like stretch yarns that includes combination of cotton/viscose and spandex. For e.g. this has helped in growth of stretch denims over conventional denims|
|Solvent spinning technology for viscose||Increases wet and dry strength, luster of fibre and makes it suitable to use instead of cotton in home textile, ladies tops etc.|
|Processing Technology Advancements|
|Improved HTHP Softflow dyeing, Stenter with chemical padding /coating attachments||Ability to develop better product attributes (touch, feel, and comfort) from same fibre. Polyester fabrics treated/coated with wicking finish, breathable finishes etc. has replaced cotton consumption providing similar attributes of hand feel, breathability etc.|
MMF hubs of India
Unlike majority of the other sectors of Indian Textile Industry, synthetic aka man made fibre industry of India is an organized sector and it is the largest export earning industry of the country. Although the fact remains that even being the second largest world producer of polyester and viscose, the country still ranked sixth in the exports of MMF textiles. Indian MMF sector has reportedly been troubled by the dumping of imported MMF textiles from countries like Vietnam, China and Bangladesh. During April-July this year, the import of MMF textiles has increased by almost 26 per cent in value terms at $869 million compared to $711 million in the previous year. The polyester based textile value chain of India can be divided into organized and unorganized sectors. The unorganized sector primarily consists of small and medium scale units which normally focus on only one process (e.g., weaving or knitting, processing etc.). On the other hand, organized sector units have large, more integrated or composite type production capacities and normally focus on multiple processes (e.g., spinning, weaving or weaving and processing etc.). Polyester fibre manufacturing and spinning are majorly organized sectors, whereas many small and medium enterprises exist in weaving, processing, cut and sew and embroidery sectors.
country’s largest mmf hub : surat
Surat is considered to be the country’s largest man-made fabric (MMF) hub with the daily production pegged at 3.5 crore meters contributing 40 percent of the country’s man-made fabric demand. Earlier this year The Synthetic & Rayon Textiles Export Promotion Council (SRTEPC) launched the efforts of the central government for launching the support and outreach programme for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), which would boost the man-made fibre (MMF) industry. The concern of the basic duty charges was also raised as they were affecting the domestic market. After the revised duty charges, today the industry is relaxed and reportedly there has been a positive hike in sales for this year winter season. The industry is happy as they finally can compete with the pricing offered by the imported China or Bangladesh products. Earlier there was a buzz that Maharashtra government is providing 25 per cent capital subsidy and there is no cap on investment made in the textile sector that could have encouraged the textile entrepreneurs in setting up power loom weaving units in the textile pockets in Maharashtra, thereby giving a stiff competition to the MMF industry in Surat. But today the Surat industry seems to have a very confident and relaxed attitude towards this issue. The goods and service tax and demonetisation has broken the back of the power loom sector, with many weavers shutting down their units and more than a lakh conventional power loom machines sold in scrap in the last few months. After GST the market has gone down especially for the small businesses with lesser capital and labourers. They are unable to survive the tough situation. Even after the revisions of GST the market is unstable till now. However the larger companies are reportedly doing well and some of the industry is rather happy with GST implementations. Unlike the majority of the industry, some are satisfied with the growth they have seen and the industry being more organized after it. The polyester demand is growing and the industry can do well in future provided our Govt. solves the issues quickly. The cost factor in this segment is very crucial so the demand of MMF is mostly in international market as compared to the domestic market. Both cotton and MMF market are going parallel having a different individual niche.
ludhiana : the center of variety in fabrics
Ludhiana occupies a vital position in the industrial scenario of Punjab and even India. It is even called the industrial capital of Punjab. The Ludhiana textile industry has about 10,000 industrial units, comprising of exporters, brand producers and high-scale manufacturers. The industry employs more than five hundred thousand skilled workers. Ludhiana is one of the principal producers of woolen and acrylic knitwear, apart from it also uses cotton and blended fiber to produce hosiery, knitwear and various ready-made garments. Ludhiana contributes to nearly 21% of all the industries and more than 28% of the output of Punjab, with a majority of them in the MSME sector. In Ludhiana, the industry reports to have demand of cotton, higher than MMF, both in domestic and international market. Polyester is however doing well in the market. Nylon and functional yarns are becoming more and more popular like coolmax, cooltex, hollow fiber, anti static etc. These industries produce T-Shirts, shirts, pullovers, cardigans, track suits, socks, jersey, sweat shirts, gloves, shawls, inner garments, etc. fulfilling the requirements of the domestic market, although for nearly ten years it has also exported its products. As for technology, although the machines are new and they keep circulating over the years, but the basic technology has not been changed much. The industry is under disturbance due to the rising imports of man-made fibre textiles from China due to lower import duty as the pricing becomes very competitive. Due to GST the market is fluctuating from month to month. GST has very immensely affected the industry as a major part belongs to the MSME sector and hence the industry is still suffering for it. This year the market has reportedly been good with winter coming on right schedule. Lots of old stock has been cleared and some also are relaxed with the GST troubles. Innovation is the way to go for surviving in the competition and the Ludhiana industry is well aware of it.
Top Players of MMF in India
The textile industry of India covers all the segments of MMF based textile value chain i.e., from fibre / filament manufacturing to cut & sew operation of final products. India is the second largest producer of polyester fibre globally with presence of large plants having state-of-the art technology and presence of large companies such as Reliance Industries, Bhilosa Industries, RSWM limited, Sanathan Textiles pvt. ltd., Nimbark Fashion ltd., Nirlon, SRF,JBF Industries and more. India occupied a share of 8% in global polyester fibre production in 2014. The polyester based textile value chain of India beyond fibre can be divided into organized and unorganized sectors. The unorganized sector primarily consists of small and medium scale units which normally focus on only one process (e.g., weaving or knitting, processing etc.). On the other hand, organized sector units have large, more integrated or composite type production capacities and normally focus on multiple processes (e.g., spinning, weaving or weaving and processing etc.).
Reliance is the world’s largest Polyester Staple Fibre manufacturer with the modern manufacturing plants using leading process technologies and located in various parts of India. They are able to offer a complete range of staple fibres and tow specially designed for Woven, Knitted and Non-woven. Their finest variety of innovative specialty Recron staple fibres and tow offers great value to customers and desired functional requirements to satisfy the ultimate consumers.
Bhilosa Industries on the other hand is the India’s first polyester industry and today is synonymous with leading companies for the best and quantitative Polyester Yarn manufacturing in India. Bhilosa has built two huge plants at Rakholi and Naroli in Silvassa powered by modern technology, equipment and systems. It has automated packing lines for finished product which ensure uniform textured yarn packing, automated material movement and machines equipped with air jets from world leaders for making specialised ROTO yarn in fine and coarse denier.
Aditya Birla Group, a trusted name in staple MMF is considered to be the best in Regenerated Cellulosic Man Made Viscose Fibres (MMF) and also their brand Birla Cellulose is highly considerate about sustainability. They offer Birla Viscose-a regenerated cellulose fibre made from wood pulp, Birla Modal-second generation in man-made cellulosic fibres that is a distinct viscose fibre genre having a higher wet modulus and satisfies a minimum value of tenacity in the wet stage at 5% elongation. The other noticeable fibres are Birla Spunshades which are coloured, man-made cellulosic fibre where pigments are injected into the viscose dope before the fibre is spun and cut and Birla Excel which has an wonderful lustre, fluid drape, luscious hand feel and pliability to the fabric. Different hand feels are achievable with fabrics made from Birla Excel fibre, as it has a unique propensity to fibrillate at the surface forming micro fibrils, which can be controlled or accentuated. The Aditya Birla Group includes varied products such as men’s trousers, shirts, denims, knitwear, Women’s wear and uniforms and also home textiles.
Madhusudan Group is well established conglomerate in textile industry and has business presence in yarn air texturising and yarn dyeing, weaving, fabric processing and value addition. Madhusudan Rayons Pvt. Ltd. (yarn division) specializes in fancy type air textured polyester yarn. It has highly advanced Aiki and SSM air texturing machines with production capacity of 750 tonnes per month of fancy type yarns, catering to a wide variety of high quality fabrics. There is also a yarn dyeing plant with dyeing capacity of 500 tonnes per month. In the weaving sector, it manufactures polyester synthetic fabrics for suiting, shirting, sarees for ladies, ladies dress materials, embroidery fabrics, and home textiles. It has high quality and extremely efficient Picanol Rapier looms and Tsuda Koma Waterjets producing exclusive quality fabrics.
“MMF products are all recycled products and used in both garments and manufacturing. We manufacture those and also do printing on them. The cost factor in this segment is very crucial so the demand of MMF is mostly in international market as compared to the domestic market. The market is very down since demonetisation and it has not only been unstable but also consistently going down. There is no improvement at all. The export market is also down as the Govt. policies are not as supportive as our neighbouring countries.”
Jignesh Rangani, Madhuram digital, Surat.
“We manufacturer fancy polyesters and also do some digital printing. Not much has been improved in case of technology in the past few years. The overall market is in a slow phase both for cotton and polyester or any other fabric for that matter. It’s not only the domestic scenario but the internationally the market is down as the liquidity has decreased since last three years. If end customers do not have money, the business will automatically go down only. After GST especially the textile sector of India has become very slow and no matter what revisions, the situation is the same and decreasing. The polyester demand is growing and the industry can do well in future provided our Govt. solves the issues quickly. We have the potential to grow but it all depends on the Govt. policies.”
Ayush Mittal, SB Impex, Surat.
We make high-end fashion garments, mostly indo-westerns and in our business we are reliable on MMF, especially the polyester. The demand of polyester is high now-a-days. The cotton market is there but it for regular wear unlike the premium polyesters that we are using. The value additions of the fabrics are varied these days like different embroideries and embellishments and those are what new in fashion or market in terms of technology if you see. As for technology there hasn’t been any significant change in some time now. Both cotton and MMF market are going parallel according to me. India is a huge market and I will be lucky if I can cater the half of it, no need to go for the exports. We have to understand the fashion and get ourselves updated with time to succeed in business. There are many who just think about the costing but the understanding of fashion is more important. After GST we rather have experienced a 20% growth in the business so no complaints at all. Yes the profits fluctuate but that is what business is about. No huge problems we have faced as such.”
Parag Jagoni, Trends Solution By Shree Sanghvi Creations, Surat.
We are into high-end knitted fabrics and innovative yarns. Our factories are in Ludhiana and under the able guidance of my grandfather who has 65years of experience in this sector; we have achieved the place of top 3 inventors of MMF. Demand of cotton is higher than MMF, both in domestic and international market. Polyester is however doing well in the market. We keep changing the machines but the technology has been more or less same since some time. We have invented some new fabrics by yarn twisting and coating. The market is pretty shaken since the implementation of GST and there is no sign of improvement yet. Specifically speaking, the demand is unstable. It is fluctuating from month to month. GST has been bad for the industry as the majority of the industry is still suffering for it and I do not think it will improve before 6-7months.”
Abhinav Jain, Roop Knits, Ludhiana.
“We are into circulated fabrics with special attraction towards reactive digital printing. We export our products to the US, China, Germany, Greece and some to Jordan and Africa. As for my business, the demand of MMF is far below the cotton. I have rather had a better business experience since GST unlike the buzz. The market is quite good now. My capacity and planning are going full-throttle so everything is more than just satisfying.
Pranav Jain, Adinath Dyeing & Finishing Mills, Ludhiana.
“We have a processing unit of dyeing and printing of fabrics. We are using both polyester and cotton as provided by our customers. There are new synthetics in the market and more are coming. The polyester is growing weaker in the market in comparison with cotton. Many companies are going for cotton that previously used polyesters. Generally the market is weak now. After GST the market has gone down. The small businesses with lesser capital and labourers have suffered immensely. They are unable to survive. Even after the revisions the market is unstable only. Yes the mentality is changing and people are coping up with it but not the entire industry has been able to improve yet. Market demand is there but now there are a lot of restrictions in the business. The stock capacity has decreased now. The open way of business has changed. The large companies however have grown after the GST. For them it has been beneficial.
Mani Jain, Rupa dyeing & Printing Ltd., Surat.
We are one of the Largest Garment Exporter of India & our company products are Fashion Garments Specially for Ladies Wear & Kids Wear & some part for Man’s Wear Category for U.S and U.K Market. In MMF segment, demands in Indian Market & Exports both has been increased in past few years for our special finish & soft hand feel fabrics of MMF ,which were previously done in China & Korea Countries . Various kinds of Textured, Dobbies pattern, Soft hand feel, BSY fabrics are in much trend now-a-days & we are expecting further 10-20% growth in coming future for Indian Manufacturers to fulfill their supply in India & Export market. Our Company produces lots of Ladies & Kids product out of MMF & Products like Crepes, Georgette, CDC, Heavy weight Satins, Surface Dobbies, Textured, Jacquard patterns are getting Good demands in both Indian and global market. In coming season for ladies wear, we are planning new products with different range of Pleated garments, different textured Garments and for kids we are planning for heavy weight satins, drill, CDC Fabrics & also yarn dyed will be in. As we are one of Largest exporter ,GST has not effect much to us .In India, Business sector for Big & Medium scale companies it also not effected ,but till some extent small scale sector it has been effected. Although, in long run it will be beneficial for our country & I hope that SSI (small scale Industries) will also overcome with it. In MMF product we have competition with China and Korea as well and India is also developing comparable fabrics with these countries, so we are looking for better growth in coming future for Indian Market in MMF Products.
Rajeev Sharma, General Manager (Fabric Sourcing), ORIENT CRAFT LTD.
The Aditya Birla Group’s Pulp and Fibre business is a global leader in VSF (Viscose Staple Fiber). The business derives its competitive edge from its integrated business model, with captive raw materials – dissolving grade wood pulp, caustic soda, carbon-disulphide, combined power and steam generation. Aditya Birla Group is committed to sustain its leadership in MMCF (Man-made Cellulose Fiber) and is currently investing about Rs.7, 500 Cr (USD 1 billion+) in a Brownfield expansion in Gujarat for both VSF and Chemical businesses. We have created an ingredient brand LIVA and a partnered value chain the LAPF (Liva Accredited Partners Forum) to expand the VSF consumption in India; which is an Industry first and has been instrumental in kick starting double digit growth for VSF in the country. Being a part of Aditya Birla Group has been a key factor in the success of this pioneering initiative to drive the growth of MMCF industry as we benefit from the Aditya Birla Group’s presence across the complete value chain from ‘forest to fashion’, perhaps the only group in the world to have this kind of reach.
Dilip Gaur, Managing Director, Grasim Industries Limited & Head,Global Pulp and Fibre Business, Aditya Birla Group.