What will women buy? This is a challenging question especially if consumers are metrosexual women. Here is a study that was done by the authors to know which sells better in the Apparel Fashion market for Womens wear in Delhi. Is it Jacquards or Printed fabrics? These are the most popular techniques in the textile world.


Know Jacquard fabrics


Fabrics of jacquard weave are costly because it involves more time and skill in making the Jacquard cards to produce new pattern. Moreover the weaving operation is also very slow. The fabrics have the tendency to have floats. It has luster contrasts. It is more stable and resilient than the basic weaves.


The different types of jacquard are: Brocatelle, Brocade, Matelasse and Damask


The most popular of the jacquards is the Brocade which is considered a royal fabric. Damask fabric and brocade fabric both have a long history.  For many centuries damask and brocade fabrics were only used as an indication of status and as garments kept especially for ceremonial events.  The richly patterned fabric is the most glamorous of clothing since it needs no further embellishment.


Brocade has always been associated with luxury and opulence.  It has been used both for clothing and for furnishings.  Down the eras brocade has come in and out of fashion as style and house interiors. The charm and subtle beauty of the brocade depends upon color synchronization. Earlier, vegetable dyes were used during weaving.


Brocade weaving, a craft that was on the decline, is again showing a very promising trend. Most of the credit for this goes to the village handloom weavers and designers who, with their combined efforts, have kept alive Indias tradition of weaving.


Brocade-The luxury fabric


Designers have recently looked into the past in order to revive the most loved of fabrics - brocade. Manufacturers have produced a range of luxury brocade fabrics using up-to-date CAD (computer aided design) technology and modern yarns.  These luscious materials are a blend of old with new. 

Brocade and damask fabrics were showcased in many designer shows in 2005 and 2006. By autumn 2006 the use of brocade in fashion reached new heights in mass produced goods. Jewel trimmings and beautiful gold Damask weave decoration are IN for the season.


Know Printed fabrics


Textile decoration is an ancient art. It refers to the various processes by which fabrics are printed in colored design print fabrics. The printing on a fabric can be done by either with ink or dye. It represents different patterns of different culture. It adds color and glamour to the fabrics. The printed designs are usually associated with thinner and delicate fabrics.


There are various techniques in printing. Some of them are:


Block printing, Roller printing, Rotary printing, Flock p rinting, Discharge printing

Resist printing, Transfer printing, Photo printing, Digital printing


Moving into the digital age developments in digital printing of fabric are being adapted more and more for the textile market. Digital print technologies results in faster production and larger cost-effective print runs. Digital printing will grow to become the technology that provides the majority of the worlds printed textiles.


Color Forecasting- An important factor


According to the color marketing groups the line between male and female color preference has disappeared. All colors in fashion are now acceptable for men's and women's clothing as well. The look is bright yet shiny and glamorous. Black remains CLASSIC in apparel for any kind of age groups. A new color or color scheme gives new life to an old product. It also gives life to a number of industries responsible for introducing and maintaining the latest in" look.


 

The world economy depends on product viability as well as product buy-ability. If the product sells, it is certain that the color forecasting and therefore color trends played a large part in that sale and perhaps may have defined the color trends for the decade.


Jacquards have always been a huge demand in the Apparel fashion market mainly for party wear. Jacquards are famously known for their rich look, their intricate work and color combination. They come in a wide variety range and have been a reviving craft in India since the ancient days. Jacquards, mainly in brocades is generally known to be apt for brides who look elegant and luxurious in a garment made out of it.

Table 1: Preference of Jacquard Designs


Garments
Types

Retailers Supply Consumers Demand Gap
Traditional 71% 80% Demand > Supply
Floral 13% 12% Nil
Abstract 13% 8% Demand < Supply
Animal 3% 0% Demand < Supply

 

In the above Table No. 1, it is seen that retailers are keeping designs not so much in demand by consumers. Retailers must concentrate on Traditional Jacquard designs than those of Abstract and Animal designs.


GARMENT CATEGORY PREFERRED IN JACQUARD FABRICS


Table 2: Preference of Garments with Jacquard Designs


Garments
Types

Retailers Supply Consumers Demand Gap
Party Wear 50% 96% Demand > Supply
Casual Wear 40% 4% Demand < Supply


In Table 2, it is clearly evident that there is gap between consumers preference in buying jacquard fabrics and supply of the retailers. Consumers prefer jacquard designed garments only for party wear.


Table 3: Preference of Print Designs

Jacquard Designs

Retailers Supply Consumers Demand Gap
Traditional 20% 20% Nil
Floral 90% 80% Nil
Abstract 55% 50% Nil
Animal 45% 60% Demand > Supply


In Table 3, it is clear that the supply and demand of print designs is in parity. Retailers must concentrate to get more animal prints to match the demand.


 

GARMENT CATEGORY PREFERRED IN PRINTED FABRICS

Table 4: Preference of Garments with Print Designs


Garments
Types

Retailers Supply Consumers Demand Gap
Party Wear 16% 10% Demand < Supply
Casual Wear 26% 24% Nil
Formal Wear 3% 3% Nil
All 56% 63% Demand > Supply

 

In Table 4, it is seen that 63% of the consumers prefer printed fabrics for all type of clothing.


PREFERENCE OF PRINTS OVER JACQUARDS


This clearly shows that branded stores like Shakuntalam, Bombay Selections, etc are specialize in jacquards since they cater to party wear generally.


Prints demanded more than Jacquards


After the completion of this research, it was confirmed that the Prevalence of Prints in the Indian apparel fashion market is more than compared to jacquards. The reason for prints being popular is comfortable, durable, affordable, huge variety to choose from, etc. Prints also come in a wide range with different techniques and colors. Techniques like transfer print and flock prints are the look of the season these days, they come in a variety of fabrics, colors with various techniques combined with them which makes it more interesting and different for a consumer as well as a retailer.


CONCLUSION


After the completion of this research, it was confirmed that the Prevalence of Prints in the Indian apparel fashion market is more than compared to jacquards. The reason for prints being popular is comfortable, durable, affordable, huge variety to choose from, etc. Prints also come in a wide range with different techniques and colors. Techniques like transfer print and flock prints are the look of the season these days, they come in a variety of fabrics, colors with various techniques combined with them which makes it more interesting and different for a consumer as well as a retailer.


About the Author:


The authors Priya Mary Mathew and Farha Tabassum are associated with Pearl Academy of Fashion, Delhi as Associate Professor and student of Textile Design respectively.



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