1: Product Concept


The Bamboo and bamboo-cotton blended yarns are a key part of the 'natural product' theme and being endorsed for use in 'soft look /soft feel' textiles, like Towels, knits and socks and also in home-textiles being sourced by leading global MNC Brands. Yarns of bamboo fiber provide the desirable properties of high absorbency, anti microbial and soft feel in textiles and made ups.


Based on its perception as natural eco friendly organic product, the demand is now originating from MNC brands which are more into bath and bed linen rather than the garments. However, as of yet the requirements are not volume based and rather in short tonnage. Unlike, organic cotton products, No certification is required.


Bamboo fiber is endowed with USP of high absorbency and anti bacterial property, but low strength when Wet.



Preferred End Uses of Bamboo yarns are thus Towels, Knits etc. The future demand for bamboo yarn products will come strongly from the Home textile i.e. Bed-linen segments. At present 2/3rd of Consumption in Towels, Knit Garments, Socks etc


2: Bamboo yarns in Home Textiles


Unlike organic, the demand for Bamboo yarn products is just beginning to evolve, and mainly from:

  • Towel industry which is mainly export and retail focused. The yarn counts used are 6s to 13s and, 14s to 30s as 100% bamboo or in 50/50, 40/60 or 30/70 blends with cotton or organic cotton, mainly for the terry Towel segment.
  • The Dom. demand for bamboo yarn is thus derived on the following basis:
  • the Size of the Towel industry in India is about 2.40 Lac tons p.a, and of which,1.5 % is for bamboo yarn, based on demand of MNC importers like Wal-Mart, Target, JC Penny, others.
  • Thus, the present demand for bamboo yarns from home-textile sector [both, 100% and bamboo-cotton blended] works out to about 3600 ton/year i.e. a limited 300 ton/month. The table below highlights the production-consumption-demand matrix, for domestic markets.


Metric Ton P.M.]- 2007-08

India

A) Production-

B) Consumption, incl. EOU imports

C) Demand projections

2200

2800

3600


3: Drivers of Demand


Demand from home-textile sector and, natural product appeal are main demand drivers. The Core Factors driving the Demand are:


% of Total Global

Demand for eco friendly products: 20

Marketing needs of Brands: 30

Marketing needs of Kids wear: 10

Consumer preference Home textiles: 20

Retail margin for natural Products: 10

Anti-bacterial need for close to body underwear and socks etc: 10


TOTAL % 100

 


 

Future Growth of bamboo products will be driven by natural Organic products story & proposition for better margins by the retailers.


4: Value Addition Potential of Bamboo Yarn Poducts Vis a Vis Normal Cotton Yarns.

 

Yarn Cost Heads

14s/1KW ,of 100% Bamboo Towelpile

20s/1CH of 100% Cotton Towelpile

40s/1CW 60%Bamboo/ 40%Cotton Bedlinen

40s/1CW,of 100% Cotton Bedlinen

Sale Rate, Rs /kg

excl. VAT

N S R



240


230.7


123


116.7



230


219.7



145


139.0



Sale Expenses


9.30



6.30



10.3



7.1



Indirect Costs



5.86



7.36



19.18



19.18



Direct cost



218.0



112.83



191.5



126.8



Total Cost bef. sale, 233.2 Rs/kg


EBIDTA margin, 6.8Rs/ Kg


126.5


-3.50


221.0


9.00

153.01


-8.00


Note that at Todays high Cotton rates most Spg. Mills are having -ve Ebidta, which is the gross or operating profit; the Bamboo yarn products provide opportunity to create higher Ebidta for the mills despite limited demand in slow markets.


 

5: Zone Wise Demand Potential in India


The break up of regional/ zone wise demand in India is as below:


Zone-wise

Demand Potential


A


% of Total



B


Est. TPM



Remarks



Western+central & South zones


50



1800



Consumption by Bed linen and towel units


North*



30



1080



Consumption esp. by terry Towel units


Export



20



1200



Mainly to Italy, and Portugal etc


Total



100%



3600



Towel industry is main Driver of Demand in India



6: Process Route for Production of Bamboo Yarns







 




7: Quality Parameters for Bamboo and Blended Yarns




It may be noted that, CSP for Bamboo yarns is low due to lower Fiber Tensile Strength and higher Twist [TM] is recommended in Spg.


 

Recommended bamboo fiber for spinning on cotton ring system is 1.4 Den x 38 mm.



8: End Uses and Product Application of Bamboo Yarns


Product End-uses of Bamboo yarn


Bamboo fabrics are made by pure bamboo fiber yarns, which have excellent Wet Permeability, moisture vapor transmission property, soft hand, better drapery, easy dying, and splendid colors. It is truly a natural, organic material for production of eco friendly or green fabrics.


Bamboo intimate apparels


Intimate apparels include sweaters, bath-suits, mats, blankets; towels have comfortable hand, special luster and bright colors, good water absorbance. Bamboo fibres have anti bacterial abilities suitable for underwear, tight t-shirt, and socks. The anti-ultraviolet nature of these fibres is useful in making summer clothing, especially for expectant mothers and children from the harmful ultraviolet radiation.


Bamboo non-woven fabric


This fabric is made from pure bamboo pulp, which is similar to viscose fibers. Due to its anti-bacterial nature, bamboo has a wide area of application in the field of hygiene including the preparation of sanitary napkins, masks, mattresses, food packing bags etc.


Bamboo sanitary materials


This includes bandages, masks, surgical clothes, nurse wears and so on.  Due to its natural effects of sterilization, bamboo fibers have a wide foreground in the application of sanitary materials like sanitary towel, gauze mask, absorbent pads, food packing and so on. In the medical field, these fibres can be used to make operation coats, nurse dress etc.


Bamboo decorating series


Bamboo fibers have useful applications in the decoration industry. With the deterioration in atmosphere, and ozonosphere, more and more ultraviolet radiation reaches the ground. Long time exposure to these rays will cause cancer. Wallpapers and curtains made from bamboo fibers absorb these harmful rays and thus minimize the hazard. Various decorative products like television covers, curtains, wall papers, and sofa slipcover can be made from these fibers.


Bamboo bathroom series



Bamboo fibers posses good moisture, soft feel and splendid colors, along with anti bacterial property, which are popular in home textiles. Towels and bath robes from these fibers are soft and comfortable with excellent moisture absorption function. Its natural antibiosis function, keeps bacteria away, thus preventing bad odor.


 

9: SWOT of Bamboo yarn products


Strengths & Market Opportunities


1)    End uses in soft feel textiles, e g. Towels & sheeting, and in non woven sanitary napkins.

2)    A better Quality alternative to viscose fiber products, and

3)   Ideal blending materials with cotton, polyester, modal, and

4)   Ideal for Kids knitwear/garments.

5)       5)  Ideal for innerwear garments, socks etc


Weakness & Threats

1)    Competition from cheaper Viscose and modal fiber products,

2)    Low CSP and wet- strength

3)    Monopoly of fiber Co` s in China, and price dependence

4)    EOU consumers in India directly importing from China.

5)       5)   Higher landed cost of bamboo fiber, for non-EOU units.


10: Key Producers & Customers


A summary matrix of key producers &customers is as below:


Key Producers

TPM

[Tentative]

R S W M

120

TRIDENT

100

GPIL + ALPS

20

OTHERS, including Mills in the South

30


SOME CUSTOMERS

EOU Towel units

T P M

150

WELSPUN

30

TRIDENT

20

SARATEX, GOLDEN & OTHER TOWEL & KNITWEAR UNITS

75

ALOK INDUSTRIES

15


This article is based on the detailed presentation on Bamboo yarn product opportunities delivered by Consultant, Munish Tyagi, at Textile Association- PHC chapter, at Chandigarh On 12, July 2008.


About the Author:


The author is the Senior Textile industry consultant.