India is a country with rich traditions and skills of its craftsmen. It is not surprising, that the country is having a niche in the knitwear sector as well. Knitwear industry in India is all set to have a major take-off in the global forefront.

Indian knitwear industry is more than a century old. Calcutta, the cultural capital of India, and the commercial capital of East India owns the credit of giving verve to this industry. The initiative started with a small hosiery unit, which later grew multi-fold during the years. Currently, Indian knitwear makes a significant contribution to the countrys economy, and employment. Several other units support this sector by making relative products.

Ludhiana in Punjab, Tirupur in Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai are the important knitwear centres. Almost 100 different types of wool are manufactured in Rajasthan, popular varieties being joria, magna, chokla, jaisalmer etc. These varieties are blended with other relevant fibres. With the advent of ideas from international designers, domestic industry is flooded with fashionable knitted apparels.

Export Market for Indian Knitwear:

Export market for Indias knitwear is showing positive signs of growth. It is steadily emerging as one of the fastest growing export segments. Textile accounts for 30% of the total exports of the country, and knitwear comprises 45% of it; volume wise. The role of knitwear within textile sector shows an increasing pace, as being preferred comparatively over woven garments due to their virtues of comfort, stretchability, easy care, and the pattern of being built within the knitted fabric structure. While the domestic market is mainly based on festive and summer seasons, export markets are mainly based on summer seasons in the West. Mostly apparels with cotton knit is preferred in the export market.

Export figures were maintained at `11,500 crore during 2009-10 and recorded a 10% increase this year. Main markets of exports for India are US, Canada, popular fashion houses in Europe, Australia, Japan, and the Middle East. The country faces fierce competition from the West European markets, Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Taiwan. Despite all the competition, India has carved a niche for its knitted apparels in the global market on the foundation of its quality, competitive pricing, and innovative styles. While style plays an important role in the domestic market, fabric quality, and finish of the apparel is given prime consideration in the foreign markets.