Source: Pakistan Textile Journal, January 2009

The article is written with an objective to highlight production and manufacturing process of knitted fabrics for foreign markets. The existing working conditions of Pakistan's hosiery and knitwear industry and issues pertaining about the industry's performance regarding the fabric-making process, details of fiber, yarn, count, knit variation selection are discussed in this article. The study was carried out in 12 hosiery industries of Karachi located in three different industrial areas. The results indicate that cotton fiber, carded yarn, 10-20/s count and double knit are very popular in the manufacture of knitted hosiery fabric. Sudden electricity failure and old mechanical process are main problems being faced by this industry. However, despite the problems indicated, Pakistan's hosiery knitwear industry is still giving an average 50% increase in growth rate per year.

Key words: Carded yarn, Double knit, Yarn count


The knitwear (hosiery) industry is playing a vital role in value addition of Textile sector. In the export field, the hosiery knitwear industry of Pakistan has managed to make a big name in many countries of the world. The world produces over 17 million tons of knitted textiles and apparel representing one third of the global textile market. Moreover, output is forecast to grow by 25% over the next ten years, reaching more than 21 million tons. (Textile Intelligence, July 2003). According to an estimate of Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association, current production of knitwear is at the level of 1.1 billion pieces. Out of this production, 60% comprises jersey, knitted fabric, T-shirts, sweat shirts, polo shirts, jogging suits, track suits and children outer wear. (Ahmed, N. January 1970).

This study focused only on the export oriented industries dealing in hosiery knitwear because Pakistan's knitwear industry is almost entirely export-oriented. However, domestic use of garments such as vests and underwear are common in all urban groups. The organized sector exports almost all its products, with the local consumption standing at only around 15 per cent. Often these are brought into the local market because they have either been rejected by quality controllers of the firm for which they were manufactured, or because orders have been cancelled, or due to over-production. (Ali, N. July 2003). The present study focused upon the infrastructure of Pakistani knitted textile industry specifically in the hosiery section. It took into account the variety of fabrics according to fiber, yarn, count, knit as well as machinery and technology and other such factors that directly or indirectly affect the production of hosiery fabrics/ garments.

The study also highlights the problems that knitted-textile industry is facing vis--vis manufacturing process and the reasons behind these problems. The study will be helpful for the small businessmen and industrialists who are interested in establishing their businesses in this sector. In order to become more flexible and make better quality products, producers are investing in machinery which offers benefits of the latest technological development; as a result automation has been used in the past to produce large orders at low price. However, Pakistan still needs advancement in the knitted (hosiery) sector in order to compete with the international market.

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About the Author

The author is Lecturer of the Department of Clothing & Textiles.