From being the traditional hub of man-made fabric (MMF), Surat's textile sector is now weaving yet another success story. Around 20 textile dyeing and printing mills in the city have turned to processing high-end mercerised cotton fabrics, which are in high demand in southern and northern parts of the country and have a strong export potential.
Industry sources said more than 20 lakh metres of unfinished cotton fabrics from Bhiwandi and Ahmedabad are dumped on a daily basis in the textile processing mills of city's Pandesara, Palsana and Sachin industrial areas for mercerisation. The textile mills have been doing job work for traders in Bhiwandi and Ahmedabad.
South Gujarat Textile Processors' Association (SGTPA) president Jitu Vakharia, who has installed a mercerised cotton processing plant in his factory at Pandesara, says, "Though the cotton fabric processing is at a nascent stage, but I foresee it growing rapidly in the next few years. Surat's textile mills offer best rates for job work and we have a range of colour choices as well."
Vakharia added, "Polyester fabrics see many ups and downs, whereas the demand for cotton fabrics remains steady. Thus, mercerised cotton fabric processing helps textile processors to tide over tough days."
Market sources said a few powerloom units, which use high-end rapier looms, have started manufacturing cotton fabrics. Most of the powerloom units in the city are using traditional or water jet looms, which are non-compatible to manufacturing of cotton fabrics.