Exporters like retailers have more advantage to raise prices for upscale and formal wear items as that involves more skilled design workmanship, higher value additions and richer fabric choices, which fetch better prices and higher profit margins for the type of work involved.
Makers in India are offering casual dresses for a price range of 4.0 to 20.0 $, mainly depending upon the style cuts, pattern designs, fabric choice and consumption and value additions. Dresses falling in the low-end slab of 4.0-6.0 $ are made in cotton blends, voile, viscose, rayon, knits, with short, knee lengths, sleeveless, strap shoulders, plain or prints, layered, frills, minimal embellishments; 6.0 -8.0 $ as the midrange category has dresses in cotton blends, polyester, voile, viscose, rayon, knits, short knee lengths, sleeveless, strap shoulders, V neckline, halters, round necks, plain or floral prints, multi tiered, frills, waist bands, crochet, embroidery, with some embellishments of bead and sequins and the 8.0-18.0-20.0 $ category offers dresses made of 100% cotton, viscose, poly chiffon/georgette, voile, viscose, knits 20s & 40s, floral/geometrics/tribal/animal/human figures prints, bias cut, A line, layered, reversible, multi tiered, frills, ruffles, smocks, pleats, pin tucks, short sleeves, sleeveless, halters, noodle strap, single shoulder strap, embroidery & embellishments. Women's casual dresses made in India are mainly hot and chic and romantic in themes. Embroideries and embellishments are little less in demand for casuals in the stated price slabs.
Price remains to be stable or may fall by 0% to 5% in the next few months, depending upon the effective implementation of the cotton ban of exports and good cotton crop, which is anticipated by the growers.
Suppliers are improving on design capability as the biggest focus of their R & D improvement. They are focused on print designs for exclusive models, such as Ikat prints, dots, full floral and haphazard floral, new techniques in cuts and patterns like pin tucks, ruffles, frills, pleats and bias and reversible cuts. In a move to face the stiff competition from other countries, many players have set up in house printing, stitching, embroidery and finishing units to carry out the manufacturing operations, at the same time ensuring good quality of the products.
The products reach out to global clientele in USA, Europe (both EU and non-EU countries), Canada, Japan, Australia and few Latin countries added in the list lately. North India, with Delhi & NCR regions and Jaipur is the leader among the manufacturing centers of garments, when it concerns the ladies wear. The complex workmanship used in these regions is unmatched and unbeatable in prices also. A single dress made in North India, can have multiple processes, including hand embroidery, ornamental work with studs, bead & sequin, patch work, stitch detailing, washes, over dyeing etc.
The forecast for the summer/spring 2011-2012 womens casual dresses is predicted to move in a positive note, as dresses will be the strongest category next season. Volumes are going up as international buyers believe in spending less for more volumes. Global warming has also shown its impact on apparel industry, as there is more demand for summer wear and womens summer wear dresses have received a high boost as a matter of fact. However, although the market is expanding, competition from neighbouring countries, environment issues and quality norms getting stringent, raw material prices are shooting up high, labour and power problems have become acute, which has forced the overall cost of garment to increase, affecting Indias competitiveness.Till yet, prices in US have not increased, only the value addition and quality has changed. To give heather look to a product by using fiber dyed heather-yarn, however the back up plan followed by many exporters is to use dyed poly cotton yarn, which can give the same look. Indian manufacturers are also working with brands which have global operations.
Suppliers are optimistic of good demand as well as control of cotton prices, accompanied with its smooth supply also. But, some of them have raised their fears over the rupee depreciation, rising inflation, poor infrastructure and competition from China in spite of the ban and other neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan. These factors seem to still plague the garment industry as a whole.