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The clothing and textile industry in India is almost as old as the country itself. In this article, you will learn everything ecommerce businesses must know about importing clothing and other textiles from factories in India:
- Clothing & Textile Product Categories
- Top Indian Textiles Factories
- Sourcing Indian Suppliers Online
- Textiles Trade Shows in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore
You will also learn if Indian suppliers are cheaper than those in other Asian countries, and a summary of the 5 step process that will take you from techpack to delivered product.
Overview of Clothing & Textiles Made in India
The Indian textile industry is huge, and only second to China.
More than half of India’s textile exports are cotton based, but you’ll also find a large number of suppliers offering the following types of textile products:
- Synthetic fabrics
As in other countries, Indian textiles manufacturers are specialized.
Below follows an overview of clothing and textile products you can source in India:
- Handicraft textiles
- Canvas bags
- Coated fabrics
- Bamboo rayon fabrics
- Organic cotton
- Bedding sets
Overview of Clothing and Textiles Factories in India
Below follows an overview of some of India’s leading clothing and textile factories. As some of these companies primarily work with established apparel brands, they may not be willing to work with new clothing labels.
Also notice that we are not affiliated with any of the companies listed below.
Billoomi Fashion is India’s leading clothing manufacturer and exporter based in Noida, UP. The company was founded in 2005. They started as a fashion designer, but later turned into clothing manufacturer.
Billoomi Fashion is mostly known for their knitted custom clothing garments and ready-to-wear Wovens. They also produce kids, men, and women’s apparel.
Some of the services, products, and production capability offered by Billoomi Fashion are listed below:
- Technical Design Development
- Material and Trim Sourcing
- Fabric Dyeing
- Laser Cutting and Interlining
- Embroidery and Pleating
- Private Label and Tag
Billoomi Fashion offers OEM and ODM garment manufacturing services as a made to order custom clothing manufacturer. The minimum order limit is 25 pieces per design.
They export 100% of their production to USA, UK, UAE, Australia, and Europe.
It’s also an ISO 9001:2015, Sedex certified company.
Arvind Mill or Arvind Limited is a subsidiary of Lalbhai Group. Established in 1931, it is one of the oldest textile manufacturers in India. The head office of the company is based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
With more than 25,000 employees and annual revenue of around USD 830 million, it is also one of the largest textile exporters in the country. It is also considered as India’s largest denim manufacturer and fourth largest in the world.
Arvind Mill is known for manufacturing high-quality knits, denim, bottom weight fabrics and cotton shirtings.
Some of their most popular products include:
- Denim Jeans
They produce garments for some of the leading apparel brands like Arrow, Gap, Gant USA, U.S. Polo, Nautica, Tommy Hilfiger, and many more.
In addition to winning many certifications and awards for sustainability and quality, Arvind Mills become the first clothing manufacturer in India to receive ISO-50001:2001 certification.
Indian Designs Exports Pvt. Ltd
Established in 1993 as a small company, Indian Designs Exports Pvt. Ltd (IDEPL) evolved quickly to become one of the leading clothing exporters in India. They currently own 14 manufacturing units and around 15,000 employees. Their production capacity is currently 3 million pieces a month.
The head office of the company is based in Bangalore, Karnataka. The current managing director is Mr. Naseer Humayun. The annual revenue of IDEPL Group is around USD 120 million.
They offer a wide range of products that include:
- Mens Wear
- Ladies Wear
- Kids & Babies Wear
- Home Furnishings
Their client’s include some of the top apparel brands like Adidas, Gap, Mothercare, Columbia Sportswear, Ralph Lauren, and many more.
The production lead-time is around 10 to 12 weeks for first-time client and 8 to 10 weeks for repeat clients.
Loyal Textile Mills Ltd is one of the leading garments manufacturers and exporters in India with exports to 40 countries and an annual revenue of USD 300 million. Established in late 1891, it is also one of the oldest textile manufacturers in the country. The head office is situated in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
They’ve multiple factories for ginning (three), spinning (four), weaving (one), knitting (one), textile processing (one), and garmenting (one).
They offer a huge catalogue of products to choose from that include:
- Fashion Garments
- Technical and Home Textiles
- Spinning and Textile Mills
- Cotton Fabrics
They’re certified by ISO 9000-2008, ISO 14001-2004, 18001: 2007 OHSAS, Oeko-Tex Standard 100, SA8000:2008, GOTS, and BCI. They’ve also received the Golden Award by the government in India for exporting the largest quantity of grey fabrics for last 9 years.
Organic & More
Organic & More is an apparel brand and subsidiary of Net Paradigm India Pvt. Ltd, which was founded in 2005 as a family business. The head office of the company is based in Noida, UP. Organic & More is known for producing 100% organic products.
The products offered by Organic & More include:
- Baby & Kids Apparel
- Yoga Apparel
- Soft Toys
- Sweaters & Cardigans
- Baby Bedding & Bath
- Maternity Apparel
- Organic Cotton Fabrics
It’s a GOTS certified ISO 9001:2000 company. They’ve a production capacity of 50,000 pieces a month.
Founded in 1995 and based in Ludhiana, Punjab, NG Apparels is another major clothing exporter from India. The company was established with a goal to provide full service ODM and OEM to clients. Mr. Arrpiit Guptaa is the current managing director.
They offer a wide range of products that include:
- Fitness & Gym Apparel
- Casual Wear
- Luxury & High-end Wear
- Urban Wear
You can order clothing for men, women, or kids. They produce both woven and knitted garments. In addition, they also manufacture fabrics in Grindle, cotton, rayon, and polyester.
Some of their clients are well-known global brands like Burlington, Carrefour, Bulforio, etc.
Raymond Ltd is a subsidiary of Raymond Group, which is a well-known India based fashion and fabric retailer. Raymond Group was founded in 1925 and their head office is based in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
The group owns multiple subsidiaries and apparel brands that include Raymond Premium Apparel, Park Avenue Woman, Park Avenue, Silver Spark Apparel Ltd, Celebrations Apparel Ltd, Everblue Apparel Ltd, Parx, and ColorPlus.
Even though they sell garments and apparel under their own brand names, but they also export shirts, trousers, crafts suits, and jeans to some of the leading brands in the world.
Raymond Ltd exports suits under their Silver Spark Apparel Ltd subsidiary, Jeanswear under EverBlue Apparel Ltd, and shirts under Celebrations Apparel Ltd.
They’ve sales offices and retail outlets in more than 55 countries all across the world.
Sutlej Textiles and Industries Limited was founded in 2005 as a result of a merger between Sutlej Industries Limited and Damanganga Processor Limited. It’s ranked among the leading textile exporters in India, and once owned the largest textile factory in Asia.
It currently employs more than 15,000 people and owns multiple factories. The head office of the company is based in Mumbai, Maharashtra. They’re also the largest producer of Melange Yarn In India.
They’ve factories located in Rajasthan, Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Gujarat. They are most known for their:
- High-quality Value Added Synthetic
- Different Types of Spun Yarns
- Natural and Blended Yarns
- Home Textile Furnishings
- Processing of Fabrics
Sutlej Textiles is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company. According to company figures for 2015-16, they exported 29,84 million kgs of yarns in a year.
Where can I find other suppliers?
There are several homegrown supplier directories in India. The most well known, for textiles sourcing, are listed below:
Alibaba.com and Globalsources.com, both of which are based in China, also have India supplier portals:
These days, Indian clothing and textiles manufacturers are highly visible on both Globalsources.com and Alibaba.com.
Clothing and textiles trade shows in India
Still, some importers prefer to meet suppliers face to face, rather than sourcing online.
If you’re one of them, I suggest you to visit one of the following trade shows:
- Gartex India
- IFF – India Fashion Forum
- Homtex Plus
- IITF India International Trade Fair
- GTE Garment Technology Expo
- Techtextil India
Most trade shows in India are held in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore. All of these cities have international airports with direct flights to Europe, the United States and most major cities in the Asia Pacific region
Keep in mind that you will need to apply for a visa before going to one of the trade shows listed above.
Most nationalities are eligible for eTourist Visas. Hence, all you need to do is to apply online for a visa, a few weeks before your arrival.
Are there textiles wholesalers in India?
Yes, there are clothing and textiles wholesalers in India. Just keep in mind that wholesale apparel and other textiles are generally not labelled according to EU or US textiles labeling requirements.
The customs authorities have the right to seize textiles that are incorrectly labeled, so you don’t want to gamble on this.
If you find products from an Indian wholesaler, or even marketplace, you must relabel the products before importing the goods intro your country.
Are Indian clothing factories cheaper than Chinese suppliers?
China is still the world’s number one clothing and textiles exporter. That may, however, change in the future.
Production costs in India are generally lower than in China. Partly due to the fact that Indian workers make a lot less than those in China.
Lower wages go a long way in the labour intensive clothing and home textiles industry.
That said, for smaller brands, the savings are not that big. Perhaps 10 to 15% at most.
Are Indian suppliers easier to work with?
Generally, I would say yes.
The language is one big reason for this. Unlike other major textile exporting nations, such as China and Vietnam, English is an official language in India.
Indian sales reps and export managers are native English speakers. It goes without saying that Indian suppliers are far easier to communicate with.
Personally, I also find it easier to understand the mindset of Indian sales reps and export managers. Communication is not as indirect and vague as it often can be when dealing with Chinese and Vietnamese suppliers.
Still, India is a developing country with a long way to go. Their textiles industry is one of the best in the world, but you must still manage the process properly, to avoid quality issues and delays.
In that case, India is not safer or easier to do business with, than its rivals in other Asian countries.
How the process works:
I’ve covered the basics of importing clothing and home textiles from India. It’s time to look into the practical process.
1. Send your Techpack to the factory
Some Indian textiles manufacturers have their own collections of ‘standard products’. These products can be branded with your logo, and you can even make changes to colors and materials.
However, most suppliers are more used to the OEM approach, with the buyer providing a complete techpack:
- Fabric specifications
- Fabric samples
- Component list (i.e., buttons, zippers)
- Pantone colors
2. Buying Product Samples
Textiles manufacturers are not created equal. Some are destined to fail manufacturing even the most basic apparel design. It could be the seams, material or even embroidery that they can’t get right.
Before you place a larger order, you need to test the suppliers capabilities.
Basically all Indian textiles factories are willing to provide counterexamples, based on your techpack and reference sample.
Expect to pay anything from $50 to $200 per design, depending on the materials and complexity.
3. Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) Requirements
The MOQ requirement is the lowest number of units a supplier is willing to sell. In the clothing and textiles industry, you need to keep track of more than one MOQ requirement:
- MOQ per order
- MOQ per design
- MOQ per color
- MOQ per size
For example, some suppliers require an MOQ of 1000 pcs per order, but split up on 500 pcs per design, 250 pcs per color and 100 pcs per size.
Indian manufacturers often set an MOQ requirement at around 500 – 1000 pcs.
But, many are flexible, and willing to negotiate.
I have worked with Indian apparel factories that are willing to offer as few as 10 pcs per design.
4. Chemical Regulations
If you’re based in the EU or USA, you must ensure compliance with applicable chemical regulations. For example, textiles may not contain excessive amounts of formaldehyde, AZO dyes and heavy metals.
You must let your Indian supplier know that they must comply with the regulations that apply in the target market.
This includes REACH in the European Union, and CA Prop 65 in the United States.
Your Indian factory should be able to provide some kind of test report, to prove if they’ve ever manufactured a ‘compliant product’ in the past.
In my experience, it’s more common to find Indian suppliers with a decent compliance track record, than in other Asian countries.
You can also get your textiles lab tested in India. SGS, Intertek and other major compliance testing companies have facilities in India.
5. Labeling Requirements
Your imported textile products must be correctly labelled, and it’s not your Indian manufacturers’ responsibility to get it right.
You must provide a ‘ready made’ label file to your supplier that includes the following:
- Care labels / instructions
- Fiber composition
In the United States, a country of origin label is also mandatory. Hence, make sure your imported textile products are labeled as ‘Made in India’.
6. Quality control and lab testing
While getting a visa for visiting your supplier in India is easy, you don’t have to go there to check up on your products. Most major quality control companies, including our partner Asiainspection, have operations in India.
All you need to do is to provide the following information:
- Product images
- Order overview (SKUs, quantity)
- Label files
- Quality checklist
- Supplier name
- Contact details
Quality controls in India are slightly more expensive than in China. Expect to pay between $400 to $500.
You should never skip quality checks, as you can’t count on your Indian supplier accepting a return shipment – even if they are at fault.
Do you want to import textiles from India?
It can be hard to go from a design drawing to finished product. To help you manage the entire process – from creating a specification, to sampling and quality control – we created a Starter Package for Apparel and Textiles:
a. Manufacturer Lists
b. Product Specification Templates
c. Label Samples (USA & EU)
d. Tutorials, Video Walkthroughs and Task Lists that guide you step-by-step through the entire process
In addition, you can also book quality inspections, lab testing and shipping directly from the platform. Click here to learn more.