Fabric innovation is one of the key marketing tools that can give the upper hand during price settlement. M.M. Knitwear Ltd is one of the leading factories who has special eyes to add value to its product by using specialized fabric. And contributing greatly in knitwear export for Bangladesh. In each season they make new fabric which adds extra value in their product.
Why M.M. Knitwear Ltd focusing on fabric innovation?
Basic fabric like single jersey, rib, interlock, piqué and fleece no more attract customers. They want variety in design and comfortable while wearing. On the other hand, young are fascinated by an electronic device that creates difficulties for the fashion industry to attract people.
In this regard, the fashion industry is focusing on innovative fabric designs that can easily attract consumers. Following the same tactic, it has built an independent team for fabric innovation.
Md. Nurul Islam, Director Production, M.M. Knitwear Ltd, said, “Fabric innovation is the major area to improve product value and this is the key tool to bargain with the customer for a better price.”
He also mentioned, “Now buyers want new fabric before the season and based on fabric innovation they place an order. And we always invest in fabric development and grabbing more business.”
Fabric research and development team
Fabric innovation is complex and creative work that needed prolonged experience. M.M. Knitwear Ltd engaged some top-notch skilled professionals for fabric development who are capable to innovate any kind’s fabric and design by utilizing in house facilities. The R&D team works in two ways for fabric development –
- Unique fabric design: Brand new design and construction of new fabric by the fabric experts of M.M. Knitwear Ltd to showcase for the prospective customer.
- As per buyer’s requirement: Generally, brands select some special fabric for the upcoming season for their product and ask to make similar before placing the order. M.M. Knitwear Ltd also gets a request for fabric development before the season.
Design on the traditional fabric pattern
Bangladesh has a robust background in traditional knit fabric production like single jersey, rib, interlock, piqué and fleece.
Consequently, fabric innovation can be done on this basic pattern easily that most of the fabric mills try to develop. Suppose a Singe Jersey knitting machine built for making jersey construction. Whereas by changing needle and gauge, a designer can innovate new fabric. In this innovation basic pattern will be Jersey but look will be different. The same mechanism is applied by MM Knitwear to innovate fabric for the upcoming season.
Md. Akkas Mollah, Deputy Manager, Technical (Knitting) said, “In our factory all the machine set for making traditional types of fabric so we can only make new fabric just changing the mechanism in the machine. But the mechanism obviously produces a new designed fabric that nobody has seen before.”
Challenges of fabric innovation
Current machine set up: The world is ever-changing, equally machine manufacturers are bringing new techniques that can provide innovative design. At the same time, this is massively expensive to set up a new machine and sometimes impossible to completely change the old set up.
Therefore, Bangladesh’s knitting mills are developing and creating new fabric based on their existing machine set up. M.M. Knitwear Ltd is also not an exception. Creating fabric innovation and new fabric with the existing setup.
Mamun Or Rashid, General Manager, knitting, M.M. Knitwear Ltd said, “Whatever innovation we are doing now based on our existing set up, we make all kinds of design except Pearl Design and Blind Stitch that needed specialized machine and requires huge investment to set up as well as this will take time to get expertise on both of the fabric constriction.”
Intermediary or gap between fabric innovation and buyer’s designer: Brands each season are selecting new fabric types to attract people and fabric manufacturers are making them as per requirement. But Bangladeshi fabric manufacturers are not always capable to innovate fabric from their own, due to some setbacks.
Designers in Bangladesh create new fabric by assumption and sometimes they are not able to catch up with the current trend. M.M. Knitwear feels the gap and puts their maximum effort to understand upcoming trends. Acknowledging the fact that this has some limitations.
“Now we are developing new fabric from our previous year’s market trend assumption for the upcoming season. And which is not all-time accurate to reach up to the real trend and so our innovation is not going to be communicative to get buyer’s mind,” said Mamun Or Rashid, General Manager, knitting, M.M. Knitwear Ltd.
Steps of fabric innovation in the M.M. Knitwear Ltd
Monthly fabric development: During a visit at M.M. Knitwear Ltd Textile Today team found many interesting fabric innovations they developed for the last seasons. They informed that the R&D team developed 50-60 types of new fabric every month and from the quantity, 50% of fabric attracts the buyer’s attention.
Time of fabric design: Generally, any fabric design takes 4/5 days to prepare the design in the machine and 2 days for making fabric.
Types of yarn for fabric design: Most of the fabric design is 100% cotton yarn, partly done in pollster mix and the dyed yarn is used for making more visible design look.
Finding production difficulties: During the development, stage technician explores the difficulties of the fabric construction and examines the shrinkage or other parameters that may result in bad quality. Then the marketing team receives feedback from the R&D team about the fabric limitation so that they can discuss with buyers to avoid misunderstanding after order placement.