Mr. Avinash Mayekar, MD & CEO, Suvin Advisors Pvt. Ltd.
Home textiles have shown significant involvement in various end uses. If we see our home hotels & showrooms, home textiles have played very important role. It has given liveliness to these places. An additional x-factor is added to the rooms due to the varied colour & designs of home textiles that help decorate the rooms. The Indian textile industry has fortunately shown flying colours in this segment. It is mainly because of innovative products that are self-designed produced by Indian companies. Let it be bed sheets, curtains or decorative textile materials Innovation & uniqueness is the key driving factor in home textile segment. As a lot of products are already produced in this segment, I would like to concentrate on Innovations which are going to happen in future in this particular segment.
If we take the case of textile curtains, these curtains perform the basic function to block the sun heat & rays from entering the room in addition to the aesthetic appearance of the room. With new developments in nonwoven industry especially by using spunlace nonwovens we can produce these curtains by using much cheaper raw material as curtains do not need much strength. The curtains are usually hung from one end and stay in one position so they should have the self-weighing properties hence we can reduce the weight of the curtains by using spunlace technologies. The spunlace curtains would take care of the aesthetic look of the fabric having the inherent capability of creating various structures & shapes that can be embossed on the fabric. Thereby the manufacturing cost of the curtains can be minimized drastically by using spunlace technology. So the curtains which were once being used for months or years can now be replaced after specific days or as per occasions or events due to the price benefits and even additional set of curtains can be kept to replace them alternatively
The raw material required for producing curtains using spunlace technology can also be the by-products of textile industry like spinning waste and the short staples. The major requirement is that the fibre length must be up to 15mm. So the cost incurred on raw material using spunlace technology is much low as compared to woven curtains. Similarly the entire spinning weaving & then fabric processing i.e. bleaching & dyeing technologies will be completely eliminated as the fibres will be directly converted to fabric by using the spunlace technologies. This technology is now getting popular worldwide & replacing most of the applications in which strength is not the major criteria but we need a fabric or felt which can be used as enhancing factor for that particular application.
In home textiles the second major product is towels. Towels are of various types and they are produced by using various types of raw material e.g. if we are catering to American markets open end towels are much famous. Whereas in case of European market towels having pile loops with high quality combed yarn are preferred which makes towels softer & good looking as various design/ patterns can be incorporated on them.
With the recent trend of optimization of raw material and using very low cost of production, I think we need to start using disposable towels which can be produced by using nonwoven technology. With this method we can use 100% cotton or the byproducts of cotton like comber noil or flat strip. Such towels will not be very strong but will be having the essential property of absorption. It can easily absorb water or moisture & wipe or clean the body parts. These towels may use cotton or any natural raw material so it is skin friendly & will not cause any allergies to skin. There is no need to color them thereby eliminating the use of dyes & chemicals as they will be for use & throw purpose. However the aesthetic look can be taken care by the self-embossed technique used in nonwovens technology. Many developments for using this technology to produce towels are already being done. This will not only reduce the manufacturing cost but will also reduce the carbon foot prints & hence will be more environmental friendly. The other innovation is using bamboo fibre as raw material for producing towel. Still there is not much research done in this area but I am confident bamboo fibre can be used in place of cotton and have good functional properties and it can be transformed into bamboo towels which are in a great demand.
In other products like bed linens, table covers, table napkins or wall covering a lot many innovations have taken place. We can also use disposable textiles for these products. Various types of patterns and structures can be the design elements for the self-developed fabric.
The ease of use & cost effectiveness is the major reason for growth of disposable textiles in home textile. To avoid any infections, allergies & contamination most of the hospitals also promote use of disposable pillow covers, curtains & bed sheets. Five & Seven star hotels have also started adopting disposable textile in the form of napkins, towels to provide hygiene & quality products. The hotel brand labeled personalized goodies likes wipes, napkins entrust the customers with high standard products. Disposable textiles having main feature of “use & throw” is highly demanded by travellers. Today monthly trip or weekend outing is the phenomenon widely practiced by Youths & even mid-forty population. This constant travelling has urged the use of disposable textiles like towels which are cost effective.
Restaurant, cafes & hotel chefs to the pani puri stall vendors in mall’s & sophisticated outlets all are using hats, gloves & aprons to maintain hygiene standards although at maximum places the conventional cotton aprons or hats are still noticed along with disposable plastic caps & gloves at local outlets, time is not behind when these will be replaced by nonwoven disposable textile due to stringent ban on plastic & for maintaining highest level of hygiene. These kitchen disposable textiles are even used by individual for day to day task like flour kneading, batter preparation etc. to keep their hands safe & neat.
The use of spunlace technology in home textiles will give a different dimension to this segment. We can reduce dyes & chemicals totally as most of the products are usually preferred in plain white shade. Disposable textiles using no dyes & chemicals can be used especially in Hospitals, hotels & offices thus contributing a small share for saving the environment.