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Lumiere commences production at new knitting plant
Jan '13
Lumiere Textiles Limited, a US $15 million BOI (Board of Investment) approved investment for the production of knitted fabric in Sri Lanka successfully commenced delivering fabric for its first set of customer orders. The garments made out of this fabric will reach the stores of a world renowned retailer soon.

The 95% Cotton 5% Elastane 135 GSM Single Jersey fabric delivered is one of the most needed fabric in Sri Lanka used for the production of intimate garments. What is special about this delivery is that it also included printed fabric. Incidentally Lumiere became the first Textile Mill in the country to be equipped with rotary printing capability from the commencement of operations.

It was a tough and challenging task for the startup company to come in to commercial production within 1 ½ years of signing the agreement with the BOI. Led by Mr. Bandula Weerasinghe who needs no introduction in the industry having been a live wire in it from nearly two decades ago the company successfully overcame all these challenges to come to this stage so quickly. Mr. Weerasinghe is both the Deputy Chairman and the Managing Director of the company.

Lumiere Textiles comes into production at a time when the Sri Lankan government no less has given special attention to the industry which is not surprising since around 40% of the export revenue of the country is generated through garment exports.

His Excellency the President in his capacity as the Finance Minister presenting the budget speech in November 2011 proposed many incentives for start-up companies in fabric production including tax holidays. The government was focusing on encouraging import replacement through these proposals.

Even though the garment industry revenue in year 2011 was US $ 4 billion, a significant portion of this revenue flowed out of the country since much of the fabric needed for the production of garments was imported. It is encouraging to note in this context that the very first set of orders delivered by Lumiere was in fact an import replacement.

Lumiere has an immediate production capacity to produce 10,000kg (around 40,000m) of knitted fabric a day. This capacity will be increased to 20,000kg (around 80,000m) a day by purchasing further state of art machinery in the coming 6 months. The infrastructure in place will enable Lumiere to increase its production capacity upto 40,000kg a day within the next 2 years. Presently it manufactures cotton and cotton blends with value addition. Viscose and viscose blends will be added to its product portfolio within the next 2 months.

The company is buoyant that many customers have already placed orders while others are looking forward to place their first order with Lumiere even before the official opening of the mill. Lumiere’s Official opening will be held in May when the entire building is completed in construction. Meanwhile the company will be producing knitted fabric at its current capacity of 10,000kg a day.

Lumiere Textiles will bring in a whole lot of amazing and exciting new possibilities to the entire industry. The company, with a capable and experienced management team will no doubt achieve what many thought was impossible changing the paradigms of fabric industry.

Lumiere Textiles Limited

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Courtesy: AWI

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