Overview Of The Indian Garment Industry Commerce Essay


The Indian garment industry is growing at a very high speed and is now a one trillion industry. About 25%of the garments produced go into the exports market, and 75% of the same is used for domestic consumption. However 70%of the world exports are taken care by USA, EU, and CANADA and the rest is held by Asia, Africa east Europe. The Indian garment industry employs about six million workers and it consists of about one lac manufacturing units all over India which is directly into production of garments, whereas the indirect manufacturing segment consists the production of buttons, zippers, metal plates, cardboard sheets and packaging materials. The garment industry is further divided into organized and unorganized sector, about 20%of the total percentage falls into the organized sector which includes companies that are limited companies while the rest are proprietary or partnership companies. Men's garments are largely produced in western and southern parts India and on the other hand ladies garments are majorly produced in north India. Children garments are highly produced in the eastern sector of India. Indian garment industry highly focuses on producing cotton garments which is about 80%of the total production, 15%of synthetic and mixed garments and silk and woolen garments falls in the rest 5% of the production. The industry produces the following garments for men, women and children which is as follows:

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· Raincoats

· Suits

· Jackets

· Dresses

· Skirts

· Trousers

· Blouses

· Inner-garments

· T-shirts

· Jerseys/pullovers

· Babies garments

As well as accessories like shawls, handkerchiefs, gloves and parts of garments.

(Panthaki, n. d)

Types of Garment production systems

There are many types of production systems which are used and followed by the production houses, the production systems used by the companies can be one or more depending upon the needs and the volume of garments produced by the manufacturing unit. The list of different productions used by the companies is as follows:

· Individual system or the assembly line production system

· Section or process system

· Progressive bundle system or the batch system

· Straight-line or synchronic system

· Unit production system

Any production system has four major factors: processing time transportation time temporary storage time inspection time= total production time

1.Assembly line system

In the individual system or the assembly line production system complete garment is made and assembled by a single operator. This is the most common and the oldest method of production used by the companies. The labor or the operator used in this system should be highly skilled and versatile. This system is major used in production orders which have a very large variety of garments to be produced in small quantities therefore it is considered as a very expensive mode of production. Assembly line production is further divided into:

· Complete whole garment

· Departmental whole garment

In the complete whole garment system a single operator completes the garment and handles the garment in all operations eg. Cutting, sewing. This type of production method is mainly used in high priced and made to order garments as they are limited in number. This method is also used by dress manufacturers. The department whole garment system is also used by high priced or dress manufacturers in which one individual handles all the equipment allotted to a particular department for eg. One person handles all the work which is done in the cutting department, and another person handles the complete operation which is done in the sewing department. The major advantages of this process is that the operator involved in this becomes highly skilled and specialized, the work in process gets reduced as in piece rate system the operator will do his work with full involvement. But as no advantage comes without disadvantages this production system also have some disadvantages as the cost of labor is high because highly skilled and specialized labor is involved. The labor is more concerned about the number of pieces he has made compromising on the quality of the garment and this method cannot be used in production of high volumes.

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2. In the section process system the operator specialized in one major component will complete one operation such as an operator specializing in fronts will stitch only fronts. In this type of system sections are built to perform specific operations such as:

· Pre-assembling

· Front making

· Back making

· Main assembly

· Lining making

· And finishing operations such as button holes etc.

This type of system is used for high variety of garments with reasonable quantity. Advantages for this type of system is that the cost of labor is low as the labor used is semi skilled and even a trainee can be used for the same. Large number of garments can be produced in comparison with the assembly line system of production. And as all types of labor is used production can be made higher. But as all types of labor is used quality can be at risk and wip is increased which results in higher inventory costs which is a disadvantage which comes with this system.

3.progressive bundle system or the batch system

in this system all the garments are assembled as they move in bundles from one operation to another. The number of machines used in this system is defined by the output which is to be achieved. All kinds of labors can be used in this system such as skilled, semi skilled, as the operations are broken down in small and simple operations. This system is also used in companies where quality is kept on the first stage of production because quality is checked at every step of production in this system. The garments are moved in bundles from one department, or from one operation to another so there is a minimal chance of confusion. The disadvantages of this system are that there is a need of proper and a frequent checking and maintainence of machinery which is sometimes not possible. his process is also time consuming as a lot of supervision and planning is required at each step of production and if neglected can cause labor turnover, poor quality and less production.

4.Straight line method

this system is based on a synchronized or straight flow of operations in each stage of production of a garment. Value and time management is the most important factor which is to be kept in mind in this type of sytem because if there is any kind of time difference between one operation and another whole flow of production gets disturbed which causes confusion and delay. forample if one operation has a SAM of 1.5 the other operations should have the same operation time.

5.Unit production system

in this system the unit of production consists of a single garment and it does no comprises of bundles. Immediately after the completion of one operation the semi finished garment is transported from one station to another or to the next operation, which is placed very close to the previous station keeping in mind the smooth and convenient flow of the garments. the garments are moved from one station to another by specially designed carriers. The work done in a UPS system is smooth and fast and this system is used in mass production of garments. The advantages of this system is that it is a very less time consuming process and bundle handling is completely eliminated., work becomes easier because of the use of computers in every department which helps in keeping a track record of the flow. The only advantage of this process is thsa it is highly expensive and the payback period of the investments take a lot of time.

(Babu, n. d))

Types of costs incurred in cutting department

Cutting department has a greater effect on manufacturing costs than any other department concerned with the actual production of the garment. The cost incurred in this department can be divided in two groups:

1. Internal costs - Those incurred in cutting room itself.

2. External costs - Those incurred by other departments as a result of malfunctions of the cutting room.

The common factors between the two groups are efficiency and quality, and each influences the other.


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Labor- The average salary levels in the cutting department are the highest in the factory and to make the optimum use of expensive manpower there must be a continuously balanced and controlled workflow in the department.

Materials- Materials represent some 40-50% of the cost price of most mass produced clothing and are the largest cost component of a garment. Excessive use of fabric caused by the lack of detailed planning together with inferior spreading and cutting techniques can cause serious losses to the company.

Efficiency- the fashion industry is plagued by short lead times and and the cutting department has the central role to play in ensuring that garments are cut and issued for sewing in the shortest possible time. Late deliveries can lead to cancellations and the subsequent disposal of garments as 'overproduction' at reduced prices.

External costs

Below are some examples of how inefficiency and mistakes in cutting department can lead to excessive costs in the sewing room.

Co-ordination- Generally a garment is made up from a number of materials such as linings, pocketing etc. which have to be cut, apart from the actual top cloth. The cutting department must co-ordinate its work to ensure that each batch issued to the sewing department is complete in every aspect. If half- completed work is put aside, then it creates a start-stop situation which interferes with the production flow and obviously influences the production costs.

Defects- Readily visible cloth defects must be eliminated during spreading or before issuing the work to the sewing department.

Matching- Where patterned fabrics require matching during assembly, this should be possible with the minimum degree of manipulation during sewing. Apart from the extra time involved, the matching of badly aligned components would almost certainly result in distorted garment.

Accuracy- Accuracy of cutting is of supreme importance because of its influence on the correct assembly of a garment and more importantly, on the sizing. Apart from quality problems, inaccurate cutting not only causes hold-ups in production but could also mean the costly re-cutting of the components.

Sewing- Guides for sewing such as nips, notches, etc. must be accurate and complete. A missing guide mark might result in distorted seaming or could mean the return of the components to the cutting room for correction, which apart from the cost would also interfere with the production flow.

Quality- Excessive costs can be incurred by the rejection of finished garments for faults which could have been prevented in the cutting room. Some of the major quality factors under the control of cutting department are:

· Elimination of fabric defects;.

· All components cut on the correct grain lines and in accordance with the pile direction of the fabric;

· All materials spread at the correct tension to prevent over- or under- sized components or garments;

· Consistent and accurate position marking.

Production processes in cutting department:

1. Planning

2. Spreading

3. Cutting

4. Preparation for sewing

Planning- The operation consists of planning the layout of the pattern components so as to ensure the most economical use of materials.

Spreading- This is a preparatory operation for cutting and consists of laying plies of cloth one on top of the other in a predetermined direction and relationship between the right and wrong sides of the cloth. The composition of each spread i.e. the number of plies of each color is obtained from cut order plan.

Cutting- The major operation in this department is when the spread fabric is cut into garments. Of all the operations in this department, cutting is the most decisive, because once the fabric is cut, very little can be done to rectify serious mistakes.

Preparation for sewing- The next group of operations is concerned with preparing the cut components for sewing, and includes the following-

Position marking-

Shade marking

Bundle preparation

How does defects increase the product cost

Defects in garments

Quality is the aspect which is considered as the most important factor for getting increased sales and profits. Quality control is practiced right from the initial stage of sourcing raw materials to the stage of final finished garment. There are a number of factors on which quality of garment industry is based such as performance, reliability, durability, visual and perceived quality of the garment. Quality needs to be defined in terms of a particular framework of cost. There are a number of factors on which quality fitness of garment industry is based such as performance, reliability, durability, visual and perceived quality of the garment.the main garments that are taken into garment manufacturing are:

· Overall look of the garment

· Right formation of the garment

· Feel and fall of the garment

· Physical properties

· Color fastness of the garment

· Finishing properties

· Presentation of the final produced garment

Following are the defects which majorly occur and increase cost of a garment:

· Sewing defects, like open seams, wrong stitching techniques used, same color garment, usage of different color threads on garment, miss out of stitches in between, creasing of garment.

· Colour defects: Colour defects that could occur are difference of the colour of final produced garment to the sample shown, accessories used are of wrong colour combination and mismatching of dye amongst the pieces.

· Sizing defects: Wrong gradation of sizes, difference in measurement of a garment part from other, for example- sleeves of XL size but body of L size. Such defects do not occur has to be seen too.

· Garment defects: During manufacturing process defects could occur like faulty zippers, irregular hemming, loose buttons, raw edges, improper button holes, uneven parts, inappropriate trimming, and difference in fabric colours

Various defects in garments:

· Broken buttons

· Broken snaps

· Broken stitching

· Defective snaps

· Different shades within same garment

· Dropped stitches

· Exposed notches

· Exposed raw edges

· Fabric defects

· Holes

· Inoperative zipper

· Hanging sewing threads

· Missing buttons

· Open seams

· Stain

· Zipper too short

(author: D.Gopalakrishnan, Arpita Nayak)

Why is cost reduction important

The most important factor for any business is profit, and the best way to achieve profits is to increase sales with low manufacturing costs. Reducing production cost is necessary because it helps in increasing profits, helps in cutting down losses and improves the productivity of any kind of manufacturing units wether small-scale, big, or medium.

The major factors included in cost for any manufacturing unit are unit cost, man-hours, units produced, break down time, waste, defects and electricity consumed.cost reduction is necessary to increase profits and with the help of increasing profits the company can increase its production hence the productivity is increased, if the company grows with increasing profits and productivity it definitely becomes a threat to its competitors because it can implement more innovative ideas to conserve its resources and to make the best use of them, as a result the image of the company or the manufacturing unit is enhanced.

: author:mr subodh sharma)

How can we reduce production cost

Cost reduction techniques can be implemented by a production unit majorly in procurement of raw materials as it is the first thing a company invests its money.the second department where the company invests its money is logistics weather it is inbound or outbound. The third and the most important department is the production department, a lot of money is involved in automation, maintainence of the machinery involved, and investment in the whole process. Fourth department which involves finance is the sourcing department and the company looses a lot of money if the sourcing is not done through best sources.

Cost reduction can be done and consists of the following factors:

· Reduction

· Elimination

· Modification

· Substitution

· Innovation

Cost reduction techniques can be implemented by a production unit majorly in procurement of raw materials as it is the first thing a company invests its money.the second department where the company invests its money is logistics weather it is inbound or outbound. The third and the most important department is the production department, a lot of money is involved in automation, maintainence of the machinery involved, and investment in the whole process. Fourth department which involves finance is the sourcing department and the company looses a lot of money if the sourcing is not done through best sources.


According to so n so article, simple garments are less costlier than producing complex garments because of the styling details or the value which is added in the garment such as pockets, fancy seaming, linings and trims etc. the cost of any type of garment can increase because of the labor cost included in it, and also the type of fabric used the best way to keep the price in control is to keep the detailing or the value additions to minimum if the fabric used is expensive because using expensive style details with an expensive fabric will increase the finished garment cost. The factors which are included in defining the cost of a garment are :

· Fabric

· Trims and accessories

· Labor costs

· Business overheads

· Profits

Business overheads include all the money which is spent on the factors such as research, brand advertising, promotions, rent and any other cost which affects the final product. These cost factors play a major role in defining the cost of the garment as well as it affects the sale of the garment because if a lot of money is spent on the making of a garment the garments will be priced higher for the customers as compared to its competitors because of which the garments will sell less.

Even the markup for a small manufacturer will be higher as compared to bigger companies because of the amount of volume they produce.