The third edition of Textrum, the biannual textile trade show showcased by the Vardhman Group, put forward the best in textile innovation for the S/S 2020 season. The largest textile conglomerate in India encapsulated twelve different collections that boasted of innovation in sustainability, blends, construction techniques, surface exploration, design sensibility and functional finishes. The first day of the fair was a hit as visitors from ITC, ABFRL’s Madura, Arvind, Myntra, Raymond and K. Mohan discerned several favourites out of the exhibits. This year, the textile pioneers collaborated with Tencel and R|Elan, the innovative fabrics division of Reliance.
Team Apparel Resources interacted with the Vardhman team while discussing the verdict of the fair with the visitors and buyers about their experience at Textrum S/S ’20. B.K. Choudhary, Managing Director, Vardhman talked about how personalised trade shows help in understanding the consumer psyche better. He stated, “Textrum gives us a platform to present our best to the customers; we can show fabric innovation through various collections that are displayed clearly while explaining their viability to the buyers through one-on-one interactions.”
Sustainability at its Peak
Shedding light on this season’s theme ‘sustainability’, Mukesh Bansal, Sr. Vice President at Vardhman said, “Apart from explorations in colours, textures and designs, our major focus this year was sustainability, from the point of view of raw materials as well as the methods we are employing to process those raw materials. We are moving forward with our operations with least water consumption, least emissions while keeping our Higg’s Index high. We call it ‘sustainability plus’, i.e., sustainable fibres processed in a sustainable manner.”
For this category, Vardhman exhibited several new fibres, fabrics and product categories, especially under its partnership with R|Elan and Tencel. The Green Gold fabric released with R|Elan is made out of fibres that boast of lowest carbon footprints constructed from 100 per cent used pet bottles with a transparent supply chain. Another addition was the new TENCEL® generation Refibra™, that stands for ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ with its constituent fibres based on the lyocell production process, offering a deep sustainability profile that promotes circular economy.
Vardhman also overcame the lack of denims in its offering by coming up with the denim look-alike fabric in a woven yet feel-like knit fabric form that promised better functionality being flexible through its construction. It also provided three colour stories namely Rust, Soft and Denim, opening the opportunity to create new products using non indigo processes all promising the denim look.
As Wills Lifestyle is changing its entire brand identity, the sustainability edit was a boon to them. As Anuj Agarwal, the designer for Wills Lifestyle stated, “We are changing our product assortment to move towards being a completely natural brand, and Textrum S/S ’20 provided us several options to champion our cause. Its knit lookalike range that resembled denims really enticed us with its eco-friendly construction, overall aesthetics and the promise of ease for the wearer.” Manish Gautam, Fabric Sourcing Manager at Wills chimed in as well, “We used to have DP rating fabrics that required formaldehyde finish. But Vardhman provided us an alternative for the same, that too with its zero-formaldehyde finish.”
Functionality for Changing Consumer Demands
As the consumer groups turn towards a more casual, health-oriented lifestyle, they now yearn for fabrics that are aesthetically formal yet provide ease in movement and durability. Vardhman uses innovation at the fibre as well as construction level to cater to this demand with introduction of fabrics such as Power Stretch and 360 degrees stretch. The power stretch fabric, with up to 35 per cent elongation and absolute recovery along with the four-way stretch fabric, are the biggest instances of this segment. The fabrics do not compromise on the hand feel as well, as they have incorporated the use of blends such as modal, tencel and viscose.
Raju M. Mahtaney,Chairman of K.Mohan & Co., expressed his satisfaction regarding the variety offered at Textrum stating, “The variety Vardhman is presenting is outstanding. We saw new processes, new fibres, new weaves and this informal gathering actually enabled us to form better relations. We really liked the yarn-dyed fabrics as well as dura-flex fabric, the power stretch fabric. The consumers today want to wear comfortable clothes to work, then go to the gym and later go out for dinners as well without changing their attire. The tri-blends with modal-spandex-cotton, Tencel-cotton-spandex stood out for us too.”
On the finishes front, the HealthGuard Premium Protect inclusive of anti-mosquito, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal treatment, the Silvadur anti-microbial and odour-control technology, the miDori Biodry technology with high wicking and drying properties along with the zero formaldehyde resin finish for crease recovery were a hit at the event as well. With temperature controlled fibres , they introduced 37.5® Technology that keeps the wearer’s body at the ideal core temperature of 37.5° Celsius and regulates the micro-climate next to their skin at the ideal relative humidity of 37.5 per cent. Other additions included fast moisture absorbing fibre KoolTex and anti-microbial and anti-odour fibre Feel Fresh that had embedded silver nano particles to inhibit bacterial growth.
Exploring New Horizons
Vardhman Group recently started its operations at the Budhni plant in Madhya Pradesh, which has enabled it to explore more product categories while increasing its production capabilities. As B. K. Choudhary further explained, “Budhni plant has enabled us to increase our capacity of producing 5.5 million metre fabric to 8 million metre fabric per month with the entire focus being on consumer demands and ethical production. Reduced energy consumption, recycled wastewater, responsible chemicals and dyes, we have it all. We have gone around the world, and we are able to source technology, which is futuristic, meets sustainable production targets while enticing customers with high quality and service standards. A lot of investment has gone into backend looms and spinning processes, there’s synergy in the spinning, weaving and fabric processing. It is a vertically integrated plant that is service driven. We have expanded into new kinds of fibres and blends that serve versatile product categories. We will keep ourselves aligned with the future and strive to be a part of the key trend makers.”
Textrum S/S 2020 presented Vardhman’s foray into the womenswear segment, especially for topwear. One of the biggest hits out of the twelve collections showcased was the Monal range that endorsed an assortment of cotton blends with viscose, sustainable viscose, tencel, modal fabrics with high drapeability and softer tactile feel.
“Vardhman was a leader in bottomwear but they are now exploring womenswear as well, which definitely helps us as Parx and Raymond are expanding into womenswear. The blends, fabric weight and finishes in modal, tencel, viscose and poly-blends (monal range) are our favourites,” said Avinash Singh, Manager- Design (Parx) at Raymond, while further adding, “All our bottomwear have some lycra content and no other mill has the same capability for this kind of fabric. We really liked the 360 degrees stretch and the power stretch fabric too. The shirting fabrics in menswear were not that expansive but the rest of the collection stood above our expectations.”
The visitors also appreciated the different weaves Textrum put on display this time such as intricate jacquard weaves on bottomwear and shirts along with combination of weaves such as the pairing of aesthetically appealing dobby with flexibility enhancer twill weave. Pranay Misra, from ABFRL’s Madura expressed his views, “Textrum provides us a way to get to know how latest international standards are being reimagined to suit the Indian demand, and no one can do it better than Vardhman. The weave combinations, especially in the bottomwear categories, were of interest to us this time due to properties such as high resilience and dust repellency. All in all, they presented a great range.”
After a successful Textrum S/S ’20, Vardhman is keen on hosting the event every season in Gurgaon itself, keeping a focus on its customers’ convenience with the aim to highlight textiles and fibre technologies that intersect all prerequisites of the industry – innovation, sustainability and design excellence.