Textile Processing Industry

Economic Review, July 1996 | Go to article overview
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Textile Processing Industry

The finishing industry in Pakistan had shown an appreciable progress in meeting the challenges of local and export demands. The capacity had been growing to match the requirements. Major contribution is by independent finishing units in contrast to the integrated units. Development started picking since 1978 when government facilitated imports with tax reforms. The investments made during 5th - 6th Five Year Plans were mainly for technological upgradation of the existing out-dated capacity. The industry has modernised itself by installation of Heat Setting Stenters and High Temp Dyeing equipments. Major breakthrough was in printing process where the industry adopted to Rotary Printing techniques along with sophisticated engraving equipments and has become internationally cost-competitive.

With the induction of wider width looms-increased export demand of finished fabrics-bedwear as well as growing demand of garment industry, there is a dire need for further processing capacity specially of wider width continuous processing techniques, which could process the fabrics up to international quality standards. The future market requirements are focused on higher quality products, which necessitates more sophisticated equipments appropriate process controls and more vigilant quality control.

Although Pakistan occupies a dominant position in the low cost and low quality cotton fabrics market which is world's largest market, its share in finished cloth market is only 3 per cent of world total trade. The industry has still to realize the potential that exists. The Government under its deregulation policy and liberalised the development procedures and granted sufficient incentives. It is now for the entrepreneur the management and the technician to exploit the comparative advantages of cheap raw material, abundant labour force and experience gained during the last three decades to strengthen the production and exports of value added textile products as well as increase in unit value of export products.


There are 601 Textile Processing Units, of which 48 are integrated with Spinning Weaving and Finishing Mills and remaining are independent commission finishing units. Most of these are of small size in capacity. The main concentration is in Karachi, Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Lahore. Total cloth production (cotton and synthetics) is estimated at 4400 m. sq. meters. Approx. 80 per cent of cloth produced is processed. About 50 per cent of the capacity is 15 years old and requires to be replaced. The capacity utilization is very low. The annual output is estimated as follows:-

Total Cloth Production

                                          (M. Sq. Meters)

Cotton                                               3400
Synthetic                                            1000
Total:                                               4400

Processed Production

Cotton                                               2700
Synthetic                                             760
Total                                                3460

Miscellaneous Products

Dyeing                                                700
Printing                                             1740
Write Finishing                                      1020
Total                                                3460

Types of Processing Units IntegratedUnits: Thisser consists of 48 units all of them are in private sector. Integrated units include mills equipped with spinning, weaving and finishing facilities. The capacity utilization in the finishing section of integrated mills is 35 per cent of their installed capacity, because bulk of the machinery installed is old and obsolete and needs extensive modernization. However, few units have added latest machines. Besides processing their own production, the integrated units also procure cloth from powerloom sector and after finishing, market it as their own product.

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