Turkish carpet industry invests in French machinery
The production of traditional and modern style carpets in the fast growing Turkish city of Gaziantep is about 300 millions square meters in 2008. The process includes state of the art spinning and weaving machines, much of them from France.
Gaziantep, the Turkish cluster for carpet manufacturing - Turkey has a long tradition of carpet craftsmanship. In the South-East of the country, a little more than one hour fly from Istanbul, close to the Syrian border, a 1 million people city, Gaziantep, has grown to become the capital of the machine made carpet industry. Modern housing and manufacturing plants are built at such a speed that the city looks really different every few months.
The textile industry and particularly the carpet manufacturing are responsible for a good part of this exceptional growth explains I.Yalçin Konukoglu, the President of the Gaziantep carpet makers Association.
He explains “in Gaziantep and its close vicinity, there are 189 carpet mills which employ directly or indirectly more than 30 000 employees. These mills represent more than 80% of the Turkish carpet industry and 70% of them are vertically integrated, they spin their own yarns and weave the carpets. Not long ago they were running about 3 000 locally made weaving machines, less than 200 are still in use but 650 modern weaving machines have been erected giving the area an annual capacity of 300 millions square meters.”
President Konukoglu analyses the success of these companies, small or big: “their entrepreneurship spirit with a clear and consistent strategy to go after the mass market worldwide, offer good quality, maintain low production costs and sell at reasonable profits; follow the fashion trends on the different markets worldwide”. One main trend has been the shaggy carpets (long hair), it is here in Gaziantep that it has been developed.
He adds:" We are confident in our future, we can sustain competition from countries with much lower labour costs, in fact we export all over the world, to the US (18% of our exports), Saudi Arabia (14%), many European countries and even China”.
To consolidate Gaziantep leadership a first edition of a carpet fair took place in October 2008 with more than 50 exhibitors and many buyers from all over Turkey and the neighbouring countries.
French textile machinery: a technology partner - To fit the needs of this modern carpet industry, the French textile machinery manufacturers are very well positioned. Bruno Ameline, the chairman of their association, UCMTF, explains “in France, we have state of the art, very active specialized SMEs, leaders in their sectors of application like spinning, preparation of yarns, dobbies, Jacquard, etc.”
Turkey is a very important market for the French textile machinery, approximately 100 millions US Dollars worth were shipped to Turkey in 2007 (about 10% of the one billion
For Evelyne Cholet, the association Secretary General “the Turkish market is important for us but we are also important for Turkey as we are the fourth among importers. This shows that the French offer from technology and service oriented companies is considered to meet the best standards."
UCMTF supports ITM exhibition in Istanbul as the French machinery manufacturers' goal is to be as close as possible to their customers and understand their needs, to listen to them, to better evaluate how they can create value for them . She concludes In fact, the French textile machinery manufacturers are no longer machines suppliers only but technology partners.
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French Textile Machinery Manufacturers' Association