Home furnishings are making a mark all over the world, not just redesigning the home, but for redefining lifestyle statements. Today home furnishings play a vital role that at any other time in history. In many aspects of contemporary life are conformist and mass oriented, it is imperative that the interior spaces be particular to the individuals who live and work in them, fulfilling both their psychological and spiritual needs for rooms that provide a sense of roots, comfort and replenishment.
Home textile continues its strong growth in the country, with a number of new projects and the growing domestic market is attracting international companies too and there is competition in both domestic and export markets.
I worked as a Merchandiser in Home Textiles industry for five years and well experienced in this field. Also it is our traditional business. I well knew about the home textile buyers thinking and expectations. Day by day buyers are expecting new value added products and changes in their life. So, I wanted to start and develop my business by using banana fiber with my learned experience. I wanted to focus on banana fiber for high quality textiles because 90% of exporters are using only cotton in home products in my hometown. To overcome this competition and for long standing in home textile, I have choose banana fiber as my project topic. It gives colorful to their life.
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I have found a lot of possibilities for my project and I consider my project topic is important because it will help me to overcome from the competition market and get many buyers to export my products all over the world.
The banana fibers are extracted dried and cut into 25mm stable fibers. The fibers are softened by removing the lignin content of fiber using different techniques that include acid, bleaching and enzyme treatments. Banana fibers can better serve the purpose than cotton and also it is very cheap, availability than cotton.
The banana plant has long been a source of fiber for high quality textiles. In Japan, banana cultivation for clothing and house hold use dates back to at least 13th century. In the system of Japanese, leaves and shoots are cut from the plant periodically to ensure softness. Harvested shoots are first boiled in lye to prepare fibers for yarn making. These banana shoots produce fibers of varying degrees of softness, yielding yarns and textiles with differing qualities for specific uses.
The outermost fibers of the shoots are the coarsest and are suitable for all home textile products, while the softest innermost fibers are desirable for Kimono and Kemishima. When compared to other fibers, banana fiber is relatively shorter in length, but finer.
Composition of banana fiber is Cellulose62%, Lignin29%, Hemi cellulose3%, Pectin2%, Miscellaneous4%, so it is consider as light weight and finer quality fiber to use in home textiles when compare to other fibers.
I want to use banana fiber in the following home textiles items due to its characteristics:
1. Window Textiles
2. Bed Linen
3. Bathroom Applications
4. Table Textiles
5. Wall Hangings
6. Kitchen Textiles
7. Bagging Textiles
Characteristics of banana fiber:
Appearance of banana fiber is similar to that of bamboo fiber and ramie fiber, but its fineness and spin ability is better than two.
It is highly strong fiber
It has elongation
It is light weight
It has strong moisture absorption capacity. It absorbs as well as releases moisture very fast.
It is eco friendly fiber. No negative effect on environment
Advantages of banana fiber in home textile products:
The absorbency of banana fiber is double that of cotton. The moisture regain is 15.2%.
The apparent density of the fiber is 0.62 and the specific gravity is 1.31. The light weight fibers make its yarn bulkier. The feelness of the fabric is hence good.
The tenacity of the banana fiber is 50g/tex. Hence, the product is stronger. The wet tenacity is same as dry tenacity. Hence, usage conditions do not alter its serviceability. The high tenacity makes it suitable to be used even as carry bags and other bagging materials
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The rope of the banana fibers is strong and can be used in producing all types of domestic and industrial nets.
The fiber is cheap. The extraction is also easy. The easy availability is in bulk in India.
Limitations of banana fiber:
The fiber is not uniform in its properties like length, fineness, strength and color.
The color fastness is the main disadvantage in banana fiber, the color cannot be reserved completely without the loss of fiber strength
Special treatments will be added to overcome this
The existing spinning e.g. reuse will not give uniform yarn.
Types of weave in banana fiber:
Business advantages using banana fiber:
Yarn price is cheap
Bulk and continuous availability in market
No wastage in yarn while weaving
Due to elongation, gives some extra meterage per looms
No fabric defects e.g. mending
It saves time during trimming, stitching and packing due to its fineness.
And also saves wages and production Timing.
Makes certain profit in business (25% to 30%)
The work has been already done from my hometown by two vendors named M.G.EXPORTS and AIRWILL EXPORTS. They introduced banana fiber in home textile in 2005. After so many researches in yarn, dyeing, testing parameters etc, they started to weave only table mat by using banana fiber and they succeed. Their yearly turnover is nearly 35 crores. Their buyers are Target, Wal-Mart, JC Penny, Matalan and MacKay's. These customers are giving repeated and routine orders in table mat.
So, I like to introduce banana fiber in all home furnishing products.
Reflection on 4 elements of the first semester
Creative and Critical thinking:
AS per my opinion Creative and Critical thinking is the common factor that links all business improvement techniques, quality management and business process re-engineering.
This subject was very useful for me because it generated ideas for my personal project. It helps me to face the challenges arising from competitors in home textile market in future. It develops my capacity for business promoting ideas and purposeful action and also it helps me to fulfill the personal achievements.
It shapes my lives. It makes a positive impact on self-esteem, emotional wellbeing and overall achievement. It generates new ideas to contact the customer.
This course was really helped me to develop my goals, evaluate evidence and accomplishes actions. It makes me a problem solver in future business. Through this course I learnt how to think critically and how to develop ideas from different views.
Trough this course I have learned different kind of research methods which is very useful and helpful for my personal project and also gives information about the case studies and discussion methods.
Pecha Kucha has been introduced under this course. It was very useful for me to understand about each student's professional background and their aims. This presentation built strongest relationship between students and makes unity.
Design Technologies and Textile Futures:
In my opinion design is the most important and valuable aspect at present. No design there is no market. In home textiles design plays a vital role. In order to further promote world-famous home furnishing products to consumers, design should be good and more attractive.
More design work is carried out in a very direct and informal way. Design is an investigative process, it involves research. The first stage in any design exercise is normally an enquiry into what the client requires their needs and expectations and also is a decision making process. It involves making value judgments.
Design, Price and Quality are the 3 main factors in home textiles, but only design attracts the buyers and makes enquiry with the exporters. Even prices is high buyers will import the products due to attractiveness of designs.
It gives high profit in business and repeated orders. Design changes season to season as per the buyer needs and expectations. Exporter's changes design often in order to run and build strong base for their business in this competitive market.
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Design makes our dream come true and makes everything beautiful. Space, Line, Shape, Form, Color, Value and Texture are the design elements which makes the customer come towards to purchase it. Design makes the product marketable.
I found this course very useful for me because it gives me an idea about different designs and changes in it as per the trend and seasons. We had seminars with specialist from different fashion industries. It helps me a lot to start by business in future and give some suggestions to freelancer.
Business cannot exist or develope without design and technologies in competitive market. It is very important to apply innovations on time to make some changes.
Fashion and Textiles Practice and Expertise:
The Buying and Merchandising course is very helpful for me to understand the present situation, trend and taste of the buyers in UK market. It taught me a business techniques and flow of business process.
It gave me a chance to mimic a real life situation and bring more experience of working in home textile. It provided a fantastic tool and knowledge to develope business in future. It generates ideas and techniques how to sell the products to the customers.
This course provided me a dedication, enthusiasm, honesty, awareness, stamina, decision making skill, mathematical ability, communication skills, negotiation skills and managerial skills. It gave a clear picture of merchandiser duties and responsibilities.
We studied about colours and visual merchandising, a part of Buying and Merchandising. This gives me an idea to interact with buyers and take orders in UK market. Visual Merchandise plays a vital role in home textiles during trade fair in domestic and international. These techniques are important communication tools which can guide a buyer towards making a purchase.
It is a bridge to connect an exporter and importer in textile business and also it will create the long term relationship. It is often refered as a silent sales person in business.
It makes decision on colours, music, lighting as it is geared toward creating conducive environment for impulse buying and selling.
Colours also play an important role in home textiles. It will create demand and quick sale. This course generated more ideas about the colour combination. Which colours are more preferred by the end users and how it changes according to the seasons?
I came to conclusion that this course is very useful and helpful for me to start a business in future and become a magnet in home textiles. Through this course I am able to overcome from the competitive challenge.
Management Studies in Design:
I have collected lot of information about product marketing, web designing, quality factors, brand identity (including logo and brand book) and steps involved in business process through this course.
These all the information will be very useful for my own business. It gave me an idea how to promote the product and reach the present market trend.
Marketing is one of the major role plays in a business. Without marketing no changes in lifestyle. The below steps will promote and develop my business in home textile field which I have learned in this course.
Introducing company profile and product images through email.
Face to face contact with the buyers with the products.
Attending the domestic and international trade fair.
I gained knowledge on how to make a stylish web site and how to place a colourful image of the product. This will help me a lot to interact with the buyers. It will attract the buyers and give briefly about the colorful product such as size, count, construction and price. Communication will be easier between exporter and importer. It saves time and expenditure. It helps to get bulk orders from all over the world.
Vilnos takas presentation gave me a good experience and knowledge in web designing. I got to know how to present colourful image of the product on a website, fonts which look stylish and are suitable for fashion brands and examples of successful logos. My team members taught me how to design letterhead and business card.
I came to conclusion that it was a great experience to work as team and received ideas from different points of view.
Five essential steps before starting my business are:
Researching the market
Working out the figures
Thinking about five years time
Creating the stylish website with colourful products
By using designers or freelancer, will make different CADS in all the items as per the season
Sending to the buyers along with the company profile
Attending the trade fair in different places
Making confident to the buyer on quality and delivery time
Business tips presenting to buyers while face to face contact:
Showing my samples in swatch form in different qualities, weaves and colours
Explaining briefly about history of the product
Placing SKU numbers and pricing information in all the swatches
Presenting them in order form
Giving them a "leave behind". This is a post card, line sheet, look books, pictures etc to remember me for the business enquiry