Interview with Mr Ulrich Schmidt

Face2Face
Mr Ulrich Schmidt
Mr Ulrich Schmidt
Managing Director
MADEIRA Garnfabrik
MADEIRA Garnfabrik

Can you also share current trends in the sector? Present scenario in textile and clothing industry is definitely difficult due to global economy meltdown. In your views what can help players of your capacity to cushion the consequences?

The present situation sees a lot of change in the industry. Big production quantities move out of the traditional producing countries in Europe, Latin America or even in Far East, and go to emerging markets which enjoy cheaper production costs. We have seen however a trend, where for the real high quality production brands have already come back to those markets near to Europe or the US, where they get smaller series in good quality and with a fast turn-around-service. The key factor is quality and a reliable service.

How is the competition in your sector? On the basis of which all strategies Madeira maintains its lead in the industry?

Competition is tough in the domestic segment e.g. in China, India and other Far East countries. As mentioned before, this is however not the segment Madeira is playing in. You cannot compare apples to pears, as we say in Germany. Although cheap rayon (viscose) threads are sold in big quantities especially in the Far East, we don’t really consider them as competition because they don’t offer a good performance on the fast running multihead embroidery machines. What is the advantage of a cheap thread, when the machine has a lot of downtime during production because of continuous thread breakages? Madeira is keeping a high level of quality due to strict quality control – from checking the raw material before dyeing up to tough test runs of each dyeing lot. One very important point is the consistency of dyeing lots – Madeira is catering worldwide brands and they need the same look of their products, whether they have been produced in India or in Turkey.

Our NEWS team at Fibre2Fashion has covered certain News on Madeira headlines -“Threads producer Madeira keeps developing new products”. It seems Madeira has a proactive R&D wing! Isn’t it? What helps maintain this spirit?

R&D is a must in these days. Without looking for new trends, you soon will be out of the race! Developers of apparels are always out on the look for new ideas, and at Madeira they for sure they can find some new inspirations. This challenge keeps us young. We are attending several fashion exhibitions and are in close contact with designers of all famous, but also young and trendy brands – thus we learn about their needs and try to offer them what they are looking for. Madeira furthermore has established many years back two GECO centres (Global Embroidery Competence centres). Designers of many important brands choose this service to get solutions how they can embellish their products with embroidery, and we help to convert their ideas into embroidery.

What ethos on ‘Ecology and Environment safety’ does Madeira believe in and carry out in its products as well as corporate walk?

Madeira actually means ‘wood’ in the Portuguese language. Madeira’s most-seller is viscose thread – made of natural fibers from wood, originating from sustainable resources. That’s why CLASSIC – Madeira viscose threads – goes very well along with all natural or ecological products. Polyester threads on the other side are made of raw material based on petrol and thus not from sustainable resources. Of course Madeira also produces polyester threads which have to be used for specific applications, but we strongly believe in the unique and accepted quality of viscose thread.

Madeira – with its production site in one of the nicest areas in Germany (Black Forest) – also has a strong commitment to environmental responsibility. Through a patented dyeing technology called aquaZERO we today consume only 40% of the water which has been used some years ago. We furthermore have developed a special Energy Transfer / Heat Exchange drying system, which only uses recycled heat form other processes. As result, from 2003 to 2007 there was a 40% reduction in overall total consumption of energy.

I thank you for the opportunity to present our company to your readership -Ulrich Schmidt

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Published on: 19/01/2009

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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