The two world War and the Swadeshi movement provided great stimulus to the Indian cotton textile industry. However, during the period 1922 to 1937 the industry was in doldrums and during this period a number of the Bombay mills changed hands. The second World War, during which textile import from Japan completely stopped, however, brought about an unprecedented growth of this industry. The number of mills increased from 178 with 4.05 lakh looms in 1901 to 249 mills with 13.35 lakh looms in 1921 and further to 396 mills with over 20 lakh looms in 1941. By 1945 there were 417 mills employing 5.10 lakh workers.
The cotton textile industry is rightly described as a Swadeshi industry because it was developed with indigenous entrepreneurship and capital and in the pre-independence era the Swadeshi movement stimulated demand for Indian textile in the country.
The partition of the country at the time of independence affected the cotton textile industry also. The Indian union got 409 out of the 423 textiles mills of the undivided India. 14 mills and 22 per cent of the land under cotton cultivation went to Pakistan. Some mills were closed down for some time. For a number of years since independence, Indian mills had to import cotton from Pakistan and other countries.
After independence, the cotton textile industry made rapid strides under the Plans. Between 1951 and 1982 the total number of spindles doubled from 11 million to 22 million. It increased further to well over 26 million by 1989-90.
CURRENT POSSITION OF TEXTILE INDUSTRY IN INDIA
Textile constitutes the single largest industry in India. The segment of the industry during the year 2000-01 has been positive. The production of cotton declined from 156 lakh bales in 1999-2000 to 1.40 lakh bales during 2000-01. Production of man-made fibre increased from 835 million kgs in 1999-2000 to 904 million kgs during the year 2000-01 registering a growth of 8.26%. The production of spun yarn increased to 3160 million kgs during 2000-01 from 3046 million kgs during 1999-2000 registering a growth of 3.7%. The production of man-made filament yarn registered a growth of 2.91% during the year 1999-2000 increasing from 894 million kgs to 920 million kgs. The production of fabric registered a growth of 2.7% during the year 1999-2000 increasing from 39,208 million sq mtrs to 40,256 million sq mtrs. The production of mill sector declined by 2.6% while production of handloom, powerloom and hosiery sector increased by 2%, 2.7% and 5.1% respectively. The exports of textiles and garments increased from Rs. 455048 million to Rs. 552424 million, registering a growth of 21%. Growth in the textile industry in the year 2003-2004 was Rs. 1609 billion. And during 2004-05 production of fabrics touched a peak of 45,378 million squre meters. In the year 2005-06 up to November, production of fabrics registered a further growth of 9 percent over the corresponding period of the previous year.