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KNITWEAR INDUSTRY IN TIRUPUR Tirupur is a textile town in Coimbatore District of Tamil Nadu and is popularly known as Banian City / Knit City. Tirupur is situated at 50 Kms. East of Coimbatore and the Municipal area of town is spread over 27.20 Sq.Kms. with a population of around 7.00 lakhs. Tirupur is a Centre for cotton market and Cotton Ginning Factories. Though Cotton Trading and Ginning operations has shrunk, Tirupur is still a popular market for unginned cotton.

Tirupur is a textile town where commerce precedes everything. Tirupur's gain stem from its performance in technology and the quality of its macro economic environment. It also derives much of its ascent from improved perception of its public service. Buyers from 35 countries frequently visits Tirupur regularly. Tirupur can deliver customized samples in less than12 hours; half a million pieces in a matter of days. 56% of India's total knitwear exports come from Tirupur. No doubt, the Export Import Policy of 2002-07 makes laudable tribute to Tirupur for its contribution to the export efforts and calls it a 'Town of Export Excellence' The rich availability of Raw materials, being in close proximity to Coimbatore which is a major centre of cotton spinning industry in the Country makes Tirupur being able to access its basic raw materials quickly and as and when required; the strong entrepreneurial élan and personalized management contributes to efficient management of negotiations and direct control of operations causing cost effective competitiveness of the Industry; quick delivery and quality products add dimension to the Tirupur's prowess as a centre to outsource excellent products.

The India Knit Fair, the India's biggest exposition on Knit Garments and the India Knit Fair is now at the centre stage of leading International Garment Fairs in the world. The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) in co-ordination with Tirupur Exporters' Association (TEA) has formed a society called 'INDIA KNIT FAIR ASSOCIATION' under the leadership of Shri A.SAKTHIVEL, and constructed a Complex of international standard called 'INDIA KNIT FAIR COMPLEX'. The first ever India Knit Fair was organised in 1995. Each India Knit Fair adopts its theme from the seasons, namely, Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter and depicts the trends being followed in that particular season. Since this India Knit Fair has already attained the International Fame and with these type of wide publicity the response for the fairs was extremely good. During the fair time, Fashions Shows is also being organised. When you visit the IKF you can be sure to feel the winds of fashions set to sweep the 21st Century. As the trend setting fashion show, that will be a Welcome break for the business matters.

The IKF-Acmatex fair will offer latest fashion trends in color, designs and fabrics for all seasons to the exhibitors as well as visitors to develop their collection for the international buying season, most attractively. Further, this fair has been timed to match the active product development and sourcing seasons of the exporters, buying offices as well as foreign buyers. The exhibition will be held regularly at centrally air conditioned IKF Complex at Tirupur. Accessories, Materials and Trend Exposition Fair being held annually during January. The exhibition will be spread over to two halls. Some of the biggest names in international fashion, some of the world's leading fashion labels and most of India's reputed fashion designers, buyers and dealers in India will confluence at Tirupur for one-to-one interaction with local hosiery accessory manufacturers. So we will get to showcase the trimmings and embellishments like buttons, interlinings, elastics, appliqués, threads, labels and fasteners to the entire world. Around 2500 Nos.of visitors represents about 1200 No.of firms from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra , Rajasthan, Gujarat and New Delhi have visited the fair during all the three days, which speaks of optimum strength and prominence of the fair. A Short Film with a pride that the IKFA has come out with consolidation on Tirupur Knitwear Industry through CD-ROM which envisages on the areas like availability of infra structural facilities and advance technology, etc. for disseminating information on Tirupur Knitwear Industry and project of image of India Knit Fair alike / on 'TIRUPUR KNITWEAR INDUSTRY'

A direct initiative of the Tirupur Exporters' Association is to promote a state-of-the-art Netaji Apparel Park at Tirupur spread over a sprawling 220-acre land in the Avanashi-Perumanalloor National Highway, New Tirupur. 65 units will set up their facilities here. The power for these units will be provided by captive power plant having a capacity of 4 MW. Half a million liters of water will be supplied to the Park by NTADCL. It will have aside from the units, green belt, R&D facilities, Auditorium, Conference Halls, Buyers lounge, Working Women's hostel, etc. This Park is expected to become operational by September 2004.

It is the first of its kind promoted by the local entrepreneurs in the whole of India while all the other Apparel Parks are 100% sponsored by the State Government.

Tirupur, a developing township has already acquired high ranking status and established its prominent existence in the world market. Tirupur is one of the largest foreign exchange earner of the nation earning Rs.5000 crores through 7000 units and provided ample employment opportunity to around 6 lakh people.

It is learnt from the reliable sources that first hosiery factory with hand-operated machines was set up in 1935 and for more than 30 years they were producing mainly grey and bleached banians.

It is in the late 60s that the Industry slowly diversified towards manufacturer of other inner garments. The strength of Hosiery Industry in Tirupur in 1961 was 200 Units.

During 1970's this town was mainly producing under garments. Viz., banians and underwears consumed largely by the domestic market. Fortunes took dramatic turn in the early 1980's when Tirupur suddenly woke up to launch its entry into its export arena. Early in the 80s, export of knitwear, mainly basic T-Shirts were made in small quantities. Export of other items of knitwear gained momentum from 1985 onwards.

With a beginning of Rs.19 Crores in the year 1985, exports of knitwear from Tirupur rose to Rs.3937 crores during the year 2003. In the late 80s, Knitwear Industry diversified very quickly and took up manufacture and export of other outer garments Viz. Cardigans, Jersey, Pullovers, Ladies Blouses, Dresses and Skirts, Trousers, Nightwear, Sportswear and even Industrial wear, with the commendable interest shown by the Entrepreneurs and with the support from the Government in the form of higher investment limit allowed for ancillary industrial undertakings including Hosiery Industry to avail facilities of SSI Units. With this impressive growth over a period of about two decades, Tirupur has emerged as the Country's highest knitwear Export Centre. In terms of quantity also there has been a parallel growth pattern. Having exported 172 lakh pieces in the year 1985 the number of pieces exported during the year 2003 stands out at a gigantic figure of 3704 lakhs pieces.

This dramatic transformation of Tirupur from domestic market to international market is mainly attributed to the fact that most of western countries started disbanding their garments manufacturing due to pollution and high cost of labour. Concurrently, the Asian Tigers Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea started moving to hi-tech areas thus enabling Tirupur to capitalize the opportunity of penetrating into the European Market.

Besides, knitwear units catering for exports and local markets, there is a large number of other ancillary any supporting industrial units operating for manufacture of elastic tapes, cartons, printing of labels, polythene bags and other packing materials.

The main reason for the successful phenomenal growth rate in exports of knitwear items from Tirupur over a period of about two decades, ultimately goes to its export culture, which is not found anywhere else and also due to the following:-

- Easily availability of Hosiery yarn - Availability of cheap/r

In order to augment the export of knitted garment an Inland Container Depot was opened in Tirupur.

A Knitwear Fashion Institute in collaboration with National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and TEA-NIFT has been set up to conduct diploma courses and certificate courses with a duration of 3 years and one year respectively. 300 students are admitted each year in the institute. Short-term courses with a duration of one month to 3 months are also offered to the persons already employed in the industry.

In its endeavour to produce excellent work, AEPC has set up an AEPC-SITRA Knitwear Service Centre, which has been functioning in Tirupur. It offers services such as testing of samples of various quality entrepreneur development programmes, imparting training in various disciplines of garment manufacturing, etc.

New Tirupur Area Development Agency, a joint venture company with equity participation from the State Govt., Central Government, Industrial Leading and Financial Services (IL &FS) and Tirupur Exporters' Association came into being for the purpose of promoting infrastructure facilities in Tirupur. Its is matter of deep satisfaction that the knitted sector of the garment industry which traditionally was a laggard, has become aware of the changes taking place in the domestic and international arena and has already geared itself to seize the opportunities that present themselves to this sector. This is evident from the growth of this sector during the decade as compared to the overall growth of the garment industry.


Knitwear industry has clearly identified the definition of fashion meaning thereby combination of many things put together and corresponds to feeling of something. Fashion is mainly dependable on industry and society in a probationary manner. Creation of hi-style and value added knitted garments are instrumental in driving out the value-hidden stuff of the knitwear exporters with a motive that it reaches the intending onlookers who believe in right choice of selection.

Export of knitwear products from Tirupur has recorded a growth, both in quantity and value in terms of US Dollars during calendar year 2003 compared to the previous calendar year. Tirupur exported 370 million pieces worth $ 793 million of knitwear products during the year 2003 compared to 349 million pieces valued at $ 667 million shipped during the year2002.

Tirupur's contribution to the total value of readymade garment exports (woven and knitted) from the country went up during the 2003 compared to 2002. Meanwhile exports for the 2004 calendar from the knitwear town looks positive.

Knitting industry in Tirupur has emerged as a premier supplier of value added items earning high foreign exchange. For the past 6 years, there was a phenomenal change in technology and large number of sophisticated computerized knitting and embroidery machines, full fledged processing units, individual machines, compacting machines and other machinery required in knitwear manufacturing have been imported. Moreover exporters have started concentrating on value added products and high unit value realisation.
Tirupur Knitwear Exports as A % to all India Knitwear Exports19962,574 (47.87%)5,443 (38.29%)1,892 (38.16%)
19972,943 (46.54%)6,042 (37.77%)2,214 (37.81%)
19983,385 (49.63%)6,168 (37.91%)2,540 (37.79%)
19993,680 (48.52%)6,897 (36.58%)2,968 (36.55%)
20004,104 (49.58%)7,616 (37.28%)3,423 (37.29%)
20013,724 (51.87%)7,186 (40.30%)3,389 (40.30%)
3,448 (52.83%)6,667 (41.78%)3,239 (41.78%)
3,704 (54.57%)7,935 (43.62%)3,700 (43.61%)
Jan-Mar20021,187 (55.26%)2,327 (43.05%)1,112 (43.08%)
Jan-Mar20031,243 (56.17%)2,826 (47.20%)1,279 (47.25%)

Apparel Cities
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 Ahmedabad  Alleppey  Badrinath  Bangalore  Belgaum
 Bhopal  Cannanore  Chennai  Coimbatore  Columbia
 Delhi  Erode  Fatehpur Sikri  Hyderabad  Indore
 Jaipur  Kanchipuram  Kanpur  Karur  Kochi
 Kolkatta  Kollam  Lucknow  Ludhiana  Madurai
 Mumbai  Nagpur  New Delhi  Pune  Rishikesh
 Salem  Srikakulam  Surat  Tirupati  Tirupur
 Trichy  Trivandrum  Vadodara  Varnasi  Warangal

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