Textile Sector in India has a long history dating back to more than 5000 BC with archaeological evidence that India had abundant resources and the forefront in supplying the finest textile to the world. It is really hard to ignore this sector as it is the second largest industry providing employment opportunities to both organized and unorganized sectors. According to the International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Technology, the textile industry solely employs 51 million people directly and 68 million indirectly.
The Indian Textile industry displays India’s rich cultural heritage with a variety of fabrics, techniques, and hues, reflecting the diverse set of Indians and traditions across the nation. The industry covers the extensive spectrum of segments from unorganized handwoven/ handspun to technology-intensive organized sector.
Road to Paris for the Indian textile and apparel industry is not a far distant dream as the majority of the market players have started using technology for the production. And innovation in the sector can be done by performing two things:
a. taking what already exists today and
b. jotting them together in a new way.
The future of textile technology is directed by the latest innovations which the sector will bring into the market and the focus is more on customer experience instead of appearance.
Amidst the new trends such as Animations, Social Shopping, AR and VR, Machine Learning, etc. AI (Artificial Intelligence), also known as chatbots is on the rise. It is useful in interacting with consumers and help brands at the point of sale. The technology also facilitates consumers' buying process. AI is gaining several manufacturers' attention and adds value as it answers quickly to busy customers irrespective of the platform they are utilizing.
So, what's in the future of Textile Technology and Apparel Trend?
In present India, Textile industry is considered as the second most polluting industry after oil. Several transformative reforms are required to change the way manufacturers produce garments and people shop.
So, what is expected in the near future of the Textile Sector:
1. Technical textile is now a growing market where several countries are working to rebuild their mills and factories, employing new staff who have a knack of technology and can work on the latest advancements.
Road to Paris for the Indian textile and apparel industry is not a far distant dream as the majority of the market players have started using technology for the production.
Innovations like 3D printing, dying with air along with shoes or smart fabrics with the attachment of small chips (a great source of energy converters and conductors) have taken place over traditional methods. The hygienic non-woven fabric is high for the medical stream considered as an achievement in the textile sector. It has several benefits including being less intensive and can immediately prepare the product for low prices.
2. With the introduction of new machines, it is easy to pursue non-woven fabrics. These new machines have the ability to grasp intelligent human behavior, is expected to set new standards in the field of production. Advanced algorithms have penetrated in the manufacturing process and changed the way how industries used to collect information, track performance of skilled labor, and can predict consumer behavior. The other advantages include predicting the trending patterns, styles, colors, silhouettes along with customer feedback about the products and runway images. To work on such technologies companies require skilled staff that can quickly adapt the technology and can infuse the similar.
3. Lately, technology has knocked on the doors of the Textile sector which promises to revolutionize the garment industry. The disruptive Just in Time technology is one of a kind and dramatically reduces the manufacturing costs and promises to prepare the garments within 48 hours as per the need, requirements, and measures provided by the customer. It is expected that JIT technology will drastically reduce resource wastage especially water. In this technology, the customer through AR (Augmented Reality) will place the order and images will be displayed to the customer with multiple ranges of colors/ embroideries/ fabrics and accordingly, the garment would be produced within 48 hours once the order is confirmed.
4. Soon, visual search will take over the text search. Here, the consumer can look for the product with a garment image and the results would show up. In this way, Artificial Intelligence would understand customers’ preferences and display the products.
What’s in store for Apparel Trends:
The next big apparel trend is expected to be witnessed is O2O (Online to Offline) model in garments. In this, the customer would be able to check the product's physical sample in the physical store. And accordingly, can buy the color or print by looking at the model image. This will give a great sense of satisfaction for the material as well as size because of the previous trial by the customer, with the availability of a massive catalog of colors & prints on the displayed model wearing the same outfit. It will be useful for attracting potential customers and will help in retaining the repeated customers for new designs.
The next significant trend to witness is wearable technology which will allow the customer to be able to change the color/ print of the garment from their smartphone. Also, it would also change the colors as per the mood of the day.
The Textile and Apparel Industry will witness a crucial shift from fast fashion to lifestyle solution, with a focus more on the customer experience than merely focusing on the garment's appearance.