New prospects for Ready­made Gar­ments In­dus­try

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The ready­made gar­ments in­dus­try is one of the key sec­tors of Pak­istani tex­tiles. It has the po­ten­tial to use a high per­cent­age of in­dige­nous raw ma­te­rial and con­vert cotton fab­rics to ap­parel which earns valu­able for­eign ex­change for the coun­try and cre­ates a sub­stan­tial num­ber of jobs.

The ready­made gar­ments in­dus­try falls un­der the com­pos­ite (made-up) seg­ment of the tex­tile in­dus­try. Com­pos­ite, also known as val­ueadded seg­ment, is made up of in­te­grated units pro­vid­ing com­plete fin­ish­ing fa­cil­i­ties that in­clude spin­ning, weav­ing, pro­cess­ing, bleach­ing, dye­ing and fin­ish­ing and stitch­ing.

The ready­made gar­ments in­dus­try as an or­ga­nized sec­tor Pak­istan started in the 1970s and with the growth of the tex­tile sec­tor, the in­dus­try has ex­panded rapidly. The ma­jor­ity of the units mak­ing cotton gar­ments are medium and small-sized in terms of ma­chines, work­ers and out­put, with a few no­table ex­cep­tions and are scat­tered through­out Pak­istan.

Be­sides meet­ing in­creas­ing do­mes­tic re­quire­ments, the in­dus­try is pro­duc­ing large vol­umes for ex­port and is turn­ing out a wide range of qual­ity for men, women and chil­dren, such as shirts, blouses, gowns, skirts, night dresses, track suits, trousers, chil­dren’s wear, etc. These gar­ments are made from cotton and syn­thetic fab­rics..

Other fash­ion fab­rics are silk, linen and ar­ti­fi­cial ma­te­ri­als, which are gen­er­ally blended with cotton. Much of the suc­cess of any de­sign de­pends on the skillful han­dling of such el­e­ments as line, shape, colour and tex­ture.

The mar­ket for wo­ven gar­ments has also grown rapidly in re­cent years and now ac­counts for al­most 10 per­cent of Pak­istan’s to­tal ex­port earn­ings. North Amer­ica and the EU are the ma­jor mar­kets supplied by Pak­istan and ac­count for over 60 per­cent of Pak­istani gar­ment exports.

Com­po­nents of Ready­made Gar­ment In­dus­try Raw Ma­te­ri­als

Pak­istan’s ready­made gar­ment in­dus­try uses both lo­cal and im­ported raw-ma­te­ri­als. The pro­duc­tion of cotton and cotton blended cloth, which are largely used by the gar­ment in­dus­try, is quite suf­fi­cient and also leaves a sur­plus for exports.

Be­sides the mill sec­tor, the non-mill sec­tor also pro­duces cotton cloth which is widely used by the gar­ment in­dus­try. The non-mill sec­tor is scat­tered and un­or­ga­nized. The power loom sec­tor pro­duces pure cotton, polyester, vis­cose and blended fab­rics, which usu­ally fetch low prices in the mar­ket. These are ei­ther im­ported or man­u­fac­tured by the lo­cal un­or­ga­nized sec­tor.


Pak­istan pro­duces ap­parel of var­i­ous pat­terns and styles in line with the lat­est fash­ions and qual­ity. Lead­ing Pak­istani de­sign­ers, gar­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers and ex­porters reg­u­larly dis­play their de­signs and prod­ucts round the world at in­ter­na­tional fairs and exhibitions and at trade cen­tres uch as Paris, Lon­don, New York, Tokyo and Ber­lin.

The ready­made gar­ment in­dus­try is based on small, medium and large scale units, most of them com­pris­ing 50 ma­chines or less. With the growth of the in­dus­try, large units are com­ing up in the or­ga­nized sec­tor. Ac­cord­ing to an es­ti­mate, cur­rently about 75 per­cent of its units are in the un­or­ga­nized sec­tor and are es­tab­lished in small shops, flats and houses. These units still do not have modern equip­ment for over lock­ing, creas­ing, col­lar press­ing, but­ton­ing and cut­ting, etc. They mostly have 4 to ten sewing ma­chines and one or two elec­tric irons.

Over the past years, larger gar­ment pro­duc­ing units have in­vested more than $3.2 bil­lion n the value-added sec­tor on sewing ma­chines, stitch­ing, knit­ting, fin­ish­ing and knit­ting pro­cess­ing. Pak­istan has im­ported a large numbers of sewing ma­chines from China, Ja­pan and Sin­ga­pore. These imports de­creased from 175,158 units val­ued at Rs. 2.05 bil­lion in 2006-07 to 44,582 units val­ued at Rs. 0.85 bil­lion, show­ing a de­cline of 58 per­cent in terms of value. At present, the


Ex­port of ready­made gar­ments from Pak­istan de­creased from 42 mil­lion dozens worth US $1.59 bil­lion in 2007-08 to 27 mil­lion dozens worth US $1.27 bil­lion in 2009-10, which rep­re­sented a de­cline of 20 per­cent in terms of value. Pak­istan has been a ma­jor Asian player in the gar­ment ex­port mar­ket, es­pe­cially dur­ing 1990s and early 2000. To­tal ap­parel exports from Pak­istan amounted to US $1.59 bil­lion in 2007-08. At present, the ma­jor thrust of gar­ments exports from Pak­istan is to­wards the US mar­ket, while the Euro­pean Union is the sec­ond largest mar­ket. Ma­jor mar­kets that Pak­istani man­u­fac­tur­ers have so for not been able to ex­plore are Ja­pan, the UAE some new mar­kets in Europe. These mar­kets re­quire high prod­uct stan­dards and in re­turn of­fer higher prices.

Pak­istan’s tex­tile exports in­creased by 20 per­cent in seven months from the start of FY 2010. Ma­jor prod­uct ar­eas that helped these exports grow in­cluded knitwear, bed­wear, tow­els and ready­made gar­ments. Cotton prices around the globe have in­creased phe­nom­e­nally in the July-june 2010 pe­riod, mak­ing fin­ished prod­ucts ex­pen­sive than last year. Pak­istan has also di­ver­si­fied its prod­uct range and mar­ket­ing ap­proach over the last few years

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