Denim: Consumers prefer branded wear
by Dr. Noor Ahmed Memon
Denim is the most preferred clothing of today’s youth. Various items of denim like pants, shirts, skirts, jackets, and belts, etc, are available in the global market. To give distressed denim look, many types of washing effects are given to denim fabric. Denim jeans have consistently been fashionable in American culture and also have changed in style significantly throughout the years. Denim was traditionally coloured blue with “Indigo dye” to make blue “Jeans”, though jeans denoted a different, lighter cotton textile. Blue jeans started becoming popular among young people in the 1950s. In the year 1957, around 150 million pairs were sold worldwide. This growing trend continued until 1981 and jeans manufacturers were virtually guaranteed annual sales increases year after year. In the United States, 200 million pairs of jeans were sold in 1967, 500 million in 1977, with a peak of 520 million in 1981. When jeans first caught on, some reasoned that their low price determined their huge success. During the 1970s, however, the price of blue jeans doubled, yet demand always exceeded supply. Recent survey on children’s denim products showed that comfort, softness and easy care, lightweight and fabric quality of the attributes are considered to be important by both parents and children. Another survey conducted among the denim consumers shows preference towards the branded wear due to the superior quality. The top global denim fabric exporting countries are China, followed by Hong Kong, Turkey, Italy, Pakistan, the USA, India, Japan, Spain and Brazil. Together, these countries accounted for as much as 83% of world denim fabric exports. Almost all of these countries witnessed a decline in their denim fabric exports in 2009-10. The only exception was Pakistan, whose exports rose by a remarkable 75% during the year 2009-10. On the other hand export of cotton denim fabrics from Pakistan increased from 45 million sq meters in 200506 to 229 million sq meters in 2009-10, thus showing an average increase of 50% per annum in terms of quantity. Turkey is one of the major markets for denim fabric exports from Pakistan. With about 39 million meters of denim fabric being exported to Turkey in 2009-10, it is a major market for Pakistan. However, this export is going to be severely affected with Turkey increasing duties on imports and now 24.5% from 24th July 2011. The duties on garments also would be 52%. This step taken by Turkey is going to further affect the denim mills in Pakistan which are already facing the brunt of worldwide fall in demand of denim fabric during the current year. The other markets for Pakistan like Bangladesh (the most important one) and others are expected to keep on performing unlike Turkey. India is becoming an important market for Pakistani denim fabrics. Though the quantities of about 2.5 million meters in 2009-10 is still small, it is indicative of the potential of the Indian denim market and it seems that it will become more important in the coming years. Both the garment exporters from India as well as the local brands are becoming important in India as they are getting more aggressive and to differentiate themselves, they buy fabrics from around the world – Italy, Turkey, Spain etc and with Pakistan becoming an important supplier to service their export market. Country-wise export of cotton denim fabrics from Pakistan is given in Table. Denim manufacturing process Denim accounts about 3% of total world fabric production. Traditional blue denim is a “warp faced” cotton fabric in a 3x1 twill construction, and as a result denim fabric is bluer on the face and almost white on the back. The range of fabric construction is 60-72 ends per inch and 32-44 picks per inch. In 1990s, twothirds of all denim cloth produced in the world was woven on Sulzer Ruti Projectile weaving machines. Air-jet looms consume less raw material and less maintenance compared to the...
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