Centres of excellence being established for specific technical textile segments
The textile industry in this region, which is known for traditional items such as yarn, fabric and garment that it makes, is venturing into new areas, including specialised textile products.
According to an official at the Centre of Excellence for Medical Textiles in Coimbatore, two industries at Tirupur and six at Palladam recently evinced interest in making products such as crepe bandage and masks for the healthcare sector.
The Union Ministry of Textiles established a Centre of Excellence for medical textiles at the Southern India Textile Research Association in Coimbatore and so far the centre had developed eight new products and two new testing instruments.
Some of these products have been taken up for commercial production by large-scale companies.
The economic slowdown in the European countries has had an impact on the textile sector here that was exporting to these countries. However, increasing opportunities in the domestic market seem to be a reason for the industries here evincing interest in the medical textile sector.
Apart from manufacturing the regular medical textile products such as bandages, masks, etc., the units are looking at high-end ones too. For instance, the Centre of Excellence has developed hernia mesh and special products for the diabetic.
The Textile Ministry is establishing centres of excellence for specific technical textile segments. The objective of the one for medical textiles here is to provide testing facilities of international standards, impart training related to technical textiles, and help the industry in product development.
At the national-level, off-take of Technology Upgradation Fund for technical textiles, including medical textiles, is growing. Coimbatore already has small-scale companies that do finishing for medical textiles, such as special coating.
Though investments in the textile sector are low now, the potential is huge for technical textiles as the industry revives and the demand for these products grows in the country.