The innovative garment accessories offer appealing looks
If style and fashion are not our family members, then they surely are our best friends! While geographical location and personal preference decide the trends, fashion varies with seasons and comfort. But both largely depend on new developments to grow further. The elements of fabric, silhouettes and sewing pattern play an important role in creating a beautiful garment, but small details like closure devices placement on a garment, whether on shirts, trousers, coats or dresses, also create new trends. Closure elements like buttons and zippers have an exceptional visual appeal on the ramp - smartness and style beyond its uses. Every designer pays a lot of attention to maximize the garment's appeal; hence selection of closure devices is a very tedious job.

Though the practical aspects of closure elements like buttons, zippers, hooks, loops, etc., can never be neglected, producers are increasingly using them for increasing the fashion aspect and making the garment look more appealing. They are chosen on the basis of area of placement and purpose, color match or contrast, looks, shape, size, material, finish, etc to match with the garment. Similarly, zippers are selected on the basis of modification needed depending upon the size of the opening with specifics in material used for teeth, sliders and fabric, shape and size of the slider, color match and so on.

Many international and Indian manufacturers are engaged in constant R&D to develop new products to suit various applications in closure devices. New designs are many a times developed with special applications in mind. The color of closure devices are chosen in accordance with the color of the thread used for sewing and embroidery or other embellishments like sequin and beadwork, etc.

Besides regular metal, plastics, bones and shells, even precious stones, diamonds and crystals in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors are used as accessories on plain garments to enhance the look of the garment. Regular interaction with the buyers, customer preference, seasonal trends in fabrics and garments assist the accessory producers to develop styles that make them comfortably fashionable.

In apparels, buttons have been in use since ages. In very early times, clothing was firmly fixed with ties or pins, but slowly toggles and buttons came into existence. In the Early and Middle Bronze Age, big sized buttons were mainly used to fasten cloaks. By the 13th century, buttons were largely in use, particularly as decoration. As most clothing of that time period was covered with lacing or hooks, garments didn't use buttons as tools of fixing as a usual practice until the last half of the 16th century. During the 17th and18th Century, buttons were mainly worn by men. By the 18th century, buttons were available in very big sizes, and had even more decorative designs.

In today's modern age, buttons still continue to make a fashion statement with its availability in almost every material found in nature or created by man. Nowadays men, women and children are aware about the styles and fashion in which they look more appealing with garment accessories, and the current trend has seen easy availability of materials, styles and designs of buttons. For men, in 2005, the fashion trend of wearing military styled jacket with double rows of buttons - in brass or metallic buttons was prevalent, and in 2004, the trend in business suits was changed from three-button to two. Polyester buttons are widely used for adult garments, while nylon buttons are for infants' and children's wear.
For making any good products, innovation starts with the availability of material. Today, buttons are available in tiny to large sizes, shapes and designs, logos etc and in various materials like transparent polyester, plastics, ABS, acrylics, metal, bronze, copper, metal or breaded buttons etc. Buttons are also available with snap caps with various designs. Nowadays, these trendy buttons are use not only for tying the apparels but are attached on the out side of apparels to give a more appealing look to the wear.
Manufacturers of plastic buttons are exploring avenues in design by using optional materials and various combinations. Nylon and polyester continue to be the most popular materials for practical and economic reasons and they do not rust easily. They are also robust and hold on paints and coatings longer.

Besides these materials, many producers offer button designs made of oil-based synthetics such as ABS and acrylics. As an option, many also look towards nonsynthetic resins such as colophony. Metal, mainly aluminum and brass, is also used for manufacturing buttons. Colophony buttons are well accepted among buyers. Colophony, also called rosin, is a nonsynthetic sticky substance from pine and spruce trees. It is available at cheaper rates as compared to the other types of plastic.
Multiple-material structure is more common nowadays. Some of the latest products are mixed with polyester and metal, polyester with acrylic inlay and acrylic with rhinestone. Some high-end plastic buttons are integrated with natural materials such as pearl and shell. These innovative designs are used on beautiful garments and accessories.
Suppliers worldwide have made a variety of innovative products with various designs to boost competitiveness. Button makers produce buttons with ABS, epoxy, nylon, polyester, rubber, shell or metal as the main material.
With innovation, investment in R&D has become an omnipresent feature in this business and many companies have invested a huge amount in the latest machinery to offer new products.

In India, Kailash Ribbon Factory Limited offers all trims and accessories under one roof and has entered the arena of making polyester buttons. The company produces sheet, rod and imitation shells in all sizes, ranging from 12 - 40 L in wooden, coco, natural hues, etc. The company caters to the export as well as the domestic market, uses lasers to carve the front end and edges of the button. Now it is also developing lead and cadmium free buttons to satisfy the needs of the export market. The company specializes in sheet dyed buttons and offers a variety of finishes like glossy, semi glossy and matt with metal ring. They have installed a facility to offer buttons covered with metal, fabric, printed with photo etching and matched with color and structure of the fabric. The company possess a state of the art Guissi Tullio plant from Italy, which facilitates production of buttons with various shapes like flower, heart, square, laser cut with single, three and six holes apart from the traditional two and four hole buttons.

Many clients are quality conscious and are in need fancy closure devices, for functional and fashion requirements. Besides seasonal change, the trend varies with individual requirements too.

Preet Buttons and Fasteners make metal buttons and they are now also developing buttons with a name and logo for their buyers. Shiny metals are preferred for kids and ladies' wear, whereas dull finish and metallic looks are used mainly in men's wear. Exporters mainly demand nickel free buttons, which are friendly to human skin.
Jindal Polybuttons Ltd is a leading manufacturer of polyester buttons in India with units in Hissar and Gaziabad and with an annual capacity of 24 million gross buttons. It has now added a new product VT-5 Spring Snap Fastener in its product lines. It is available in sizes of 20 and 24 lignes. The button is die-cast and comprises of a cap, socket, stud and post, and is available with side or rim engraving. It is available in brass, copper, zinc, dull nickel or pearl-top designs. Snap buttons produced by mild steel are also available. Jindal Polybuttons Ltd, exports its products to the Middle East and Africa. It largely makes nonmetal buttons made from polyester sheet, horn and shell and snap buttons.
Welspun polybuttons (G. d. Goenka Global Pvt. Ltd) is a manufacturer of polyester and various varieties of buttons and has a capacity to produce over fifteen million buttons per day.
One of the well-known inventions of the 19th century called zip-fasteners, invented in Chicago in 1893 by Whitcomb Judson, was not used for general use until the 1930s, following the discovery that zippers made it easier for children to dress themselves. Mr. B.F. Goodrich of the B.F. Goodrich Company named the term "zipper" while marketing the fasteners.
Beginning only as metal zippers, now zippers are available in all shapes and sizes. There are standard close, double-ended bottom stops, cut and slider, left-side box open-end, right-side box open-end (standard open-end), "R" type (one side top stop and another side bottom stop, but with two sliders tail to tail), "O" type (both ends bottom stops with two sliders head to head), "X" type (both ends top stops with two sliders tail to tail), and many others are available. Sliders and pull tabs are available in gold, antique brass, black, pearl nickel and chrome.

Zippers are made from nylon, plastic, brass, nickel, stainless steel and aluminum. Zipper chains with polyester tape with nylon teeth or nylon zipper with silver-coated teeth are also available. Here, thermal transfer technology is used to make these kinds of designs. Plastic zipper teeth (Perlon) are designed rather in a different way than metal fastener teeth. The chains are not covered with individual teeth, but with loops made by a spiral coil. This type of fastener has the advantage of not being damaged by tearing it open due to its resilient properties of plastic. Nylon zippers are mostly used for lighter and decorative designs. And the various types of metals demand slightly different tooth designs.

Apart from the types of zip fasteners mentioned above, there are many others, all of which work on the same principles; they vary only in the particular form of the teeth used.
Women currently wear dresses with center back, side zipper, and full back with hidden zipper made of polyester, nylon, plastic and metal. With these kinds of latest designs you can zip quickly and easily without making extra efforts.

These zippers can be stitched to your apparels and outwears to help make them easier to pull on and off and are available in trendy and colorful designs.

The zipper market in India is also turning out trendier with the buyers demanding exact color matching in different raw materials. The modified version of using zippers on shirt pockets and sleeves, etc., which shows over the garments and portrays its decorative or fashion aspect. They have to be with latest trends in color, shape and size of both the teeth as well as the sliders. The Indian market is developing very fast and the trend is likely to speed up, which will stimulate the industry to react with the rising innovation.

Tex Corp. Ltd, is one of the leading zipper manufacturers and exporters of India, and it has increased its range by establishing offices in the US, Romania, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It also has selected associates in Belgium, Morocco and the UK to increase services to buyers.

Tex Corp Limited has developed multicolor tape for Gap, which has provided the company an edge in fashionable and trendy zippers. It has also developed many customized pullers as desired by H&M, Reebok and Tommy Hilfiger. The company is a leader in making antique silver finish in India, besides providing antique brass, silver and satin finishes in metallic zippers. The latest products from Tex Corp include the kid's safe zippers and 2-way zippers in antique brass and antique silver.

Recently, Tex Corp Ltd. has selected IFS as its supplier for business applications. IFS Applications (a leading provider of component-based business software which is developed by using open standards) will be used to help the company's business processes with an integrated, flexible system, permitting it to reduce costs and improve its ability to respond to the changing market demands. Execution of this project has begun since January 2005. Tex Corp will put together many components including finance, distribution, quality management, document management, manufacturing-execution and planning, human resources, CRM and business intelligence. The profit of the solution is predictable to be tangible and will enable Tex Corp to obtain a competitive edge.

Tex Corp is working with renowned labels like H&M, Liz Claiborne, JCPenney, FMG, Tommy Hilfiger, Kohl's and Matalan, etc., and possess a market share of 10 per cent. The demand for a specific type of zipper depends on its uses in variety of product categories. Since skirts and dresses are big categories from India, at present invisible zippers are very much in demanded in India. Men's bottoms, jackets and knitwear being well-known from Bangladesh, Turkey and Sri Lanka, metal and coil zippers for fly and open end zippers for jackets are popular in those countries.

YKK India Private Limited was incorporated in September, 1995 after the parent company, YKK Corporation of Japan, gained permission from the government.
The Factory, which is situated in HSIDC Investate Bawal (District Rewari, Haryana), began production in March 1997 with a range of popular zippers such as No. 3 & 5 Polyester Coil, No. 5 Vislon and No. 3 & 5 Metal zippers. Consequently, the range has been increased with the addition of No. 2 & 3 Invisible Coil zippers. Metal zippers are made in Aluminium, Golden Brass and Antique Brass finishes. YKK India sticks to the same product and quality specification as YKK Japan.

The Tirupur-based company Angel Zippel is engaged with producing labels and zippers, and is introducing a variety of metal zippers in brass and aluminum. They are presently focusing on zippers used in winter garments. They have developed a beautiful range of dull looks with antique silver finishes and invisible zippers which are in demand in ladies garments. The company, with ISO and Oekotex certifications, is running on a chemical oxidization plant to create finishes according to the latest fashions and demands. Angel, with an in-house production facility, gets its products checked by Integrated Testing Services, Hongkong.

In India, metal zipper suppliers are also expanding their capacity to receive more orders. In fact, many India producers are now focusing on midrange and high-end production.

Angel Zippel's R&D department focuses on new processes and designs to satisfy the latest trends and frequently upgrades its product lines. The company also intends to increase its production capacity.

Eastern Polyproducts Pvt Ltd, which basically provides midrange models, is also increasing its production capacity. Ansun Multitech (India) Ltd focuses on the midrange too, and it is now stressing on brand development as another way of increasing orders and revenue. It has set up a joint venture with another Indian company in order to increase its market share and production capacity.

Angel, Eastern Polyproducts and Ansun Multitech are confident that their products surpass the BS 3048 and ASTM standards. Already ISO 9002-certified, Ansun Multitech is in the process of receiving ISO 14000 certification. Tex targets its products to go beyond British specifications on the reciprocating test, which covers 500 cycles.

The well-known YKK, the Japanese zipper producer is making concealed (invisible) zippers in numbers 2 or 3 beside the number 5 coil or vision. The nylon coil zipper used for products like jackets and the number 3 metal zipper for bottoms.

D&G Industrial Co. Ltd. Hongkong, dealing in metal fasteners, currently possesses a market share of 10 per cent in India. The US-based company Scovill, producing metal buttons, markets its products to many export companies in India and considers India as one of its major markets. Morito, Japan, a main producer of buttons, markets many new products. The new product from the company is the turquoise finish and the vintage series on metal hard-wear for snaps, rivets and tack buttons. It also focuses on the fabric polyester snap by putting design fabrics.

The variety of products from Morito covers the prong type fasteners for baby/infant wear market in India for leading American and European buyers. The sizes are available from 14 L - 16 L in prong snaps, besides pearl snaps for use in woven shirts. Morito follows the trend of big size and irregular shapes and uses golden, silver and gun - metal colors to give a shiny finish. A combination of various materials is also made to achieve a different effect in the buttons from D&G.

Besides the application of rhinestone and crystals for both buttons and rivets, pronged shapes and big size in snaps for jeans are very much popular. Generally, the fashion in India is almost one year behind Europe and USA.

Scovill applies the modern CAD technology and production capability. It combines them ably with precision machinery and an in-house molding technology to make a variety of designs. It has also set up an exclusive Eco-tech finish which is a shiny white finish, similar to nickel finish, and complies with European environmental and consumer safety laws. Their product development team in the US works closely with fashion designers all around the world to develop the trendiest colors and finishes for snaps. The whisper snap is the new product from Scovill, which is the fastener for active outerwear requirements. It possesses the copper S type spring wire fabrication and mechanism, which permits tight holding strength and fast and easy release. Its exclusive feature is that it removes the requirement for pre�piercing and decreases production lead -time and cost. The anti-�slap tread mark effectively stops snap rotation and feasible damage. They work directly with the retailers to develop customized logos and finishes in line with their requirements. The company produces customized developments for its customers depending on the fashion requirements of different seasons. It offers a wide range of gripper snap and shank buttons which are gaining demand.

Many Chinese companies believe that the Indian market for fasteners and garment accessories could be as big as China.

As many as 110 fabrics and accessories producers and suppliers participated in the Intex event. (Intex is a trade fair for apparel fabrics and accessories, which was held at the Grand Hyatt Convention Centre, Santacruz (East), Mumbai, from October 10 - 12, 2005 and which attracted 6,000 visitors). Along with leading Indian manufacturers many companies from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, and Korea also participated in the fair.

Sky Industries, the leading producer of narrow fabrics and hook and loop fasteners, introduced many new products - satin tapes, velvets, designer cords and tassles for home furnishings. Their aim is to target the high value garment producers and exporters, and to build awareness about how garment accessories can be used to add value to the garment.

China's leading zipper producer, SBS Zipper Company Ltd, also took party in the fair and was capable to satisfy some of the leading Indian garment producers as well as international buyers.

Besides this, many companies are making their fabrics and products more attractive and stylish with dying and other accessories. Ruby Mills displayed their products with new dyeing technology. K G Denim has introduced some new products like pigment prints on denim have gained a good response at Intex and gel finish is another innovative denim finish which has also received a good response.

Many companies from Hong Kong, China, France, Peru, Vietnam, Italy, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Korea, Thailand, Pakistan and Taiwan had also taken part in the fair. Among them, Jiangsu Dongsheng Aike Technology Co Ltd had come up with artificial fur fabrics. And they did not get a good response, possibly the Indian market is not right for these kind of fabrics.

China's Jiangsu CMZ Zipper Co. Ltd is providing a range of midrange and high-end products while enduring to make low-end zippers. Shanghai East Dragon Fabric and Garment Co. Ltd has also shifted its target to midrange and high-end products. Henghai Plastic and Metal Product (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd and Zhejiang Jeanst Garment Accessories Co. Ltd now produce high-end and midrange products along with low-end models.