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'Denim may graduate from casual wear to formal wear'
May '13
Denim fabric was introduced in the market as workwear, initially meant for miners, and gradually jeans have become a fashion statement. With the increasing popularity of denim products, the denim manufacturers are planning to give new look to the fabric by introducing formal wear collection.
Speaking to fibre2fashion, co-founder of US-based I/O Denim, Ms. Gitanjali Venkatrao said, “The trend is changing towards more formal and clean denim. It will get a more professional look and we will begin to see more polished jeans for men and women.”
In the same vein, Mr. Rajesh Dudeja, founder of Denim Club India, says, “Though around 95 percent of denim fabric is currently used for manufacturing jeans, there is a lot of scope for manufacturing formal wears with the fabric. However, the industry will have to take serious initiative for developing innovative fabrics and finishes which are acceptable as formal wear.”
In fact, as part of its effort to create new clothing collection with the denim fabric, the Denim Club India launched new Handloom Denim line, which includes shirts, trousers, jackets, formal coats etc., last year.
According to Mr. Dudeja, the denim manufacturers and the fashion designers need to understand the fabric and make very conscious effort to give it a new look. 
Explaining the uniqueness of denim, he says, “Denim has always been associated with youth and rebellions and it has also been considered as casual wear. But denim is the only fabric which changes its characteristic even after it has come out of the mill.”
“The washing and finishing technology of denim is a complete industry in itself which changes the character, feel, touch and color of the fabric once it has been brought out of the mill. The product developers and designers must work together to harness the versatility of denim to offer collections of graceful and elegant formal dresses,” he adds.
Talking about the market for denim, Ms. Venkatrao says, “The denim industry is still on the rise since people around the world love to buy denim clothes and we believe that denim sales have room to grow due to the rising middle class around the world”. 
When asked about the challenges faced by the denim manufacturers, she mentions, “One of the major challenges faced by the denim industry today is that the manufacturing is mainly done by contract manufacturers.”
According to her, “The denim brands need to make sure that the quality of their denim fits their brand. Each brand needs to do quality check in order to ensure that each batch falls in line.” 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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