Furnishing Textile Industry in India
chillibreeze writer — Mariette Valsan
"What one generation sees as a luxury, the next sees as a necessity."
The spread of azure sheets across a double bed reflect the elegance of the sky outside, or fiery reds to capture the passion in the most intimate room in the house, the bedroom, which has always held a special significance in the heart of a home owner.
The Textile industry in India is one of the largest segments of the Indian economy, accounting for over one fifth of the country's industrial production. It provides employment to about 15 million people. The Home Furnishings industry in India falls under the purview of the textile, which has witnessed unprecedented growth over the last few years. With the increased exposure to the international scene in the recent past, the Indian market, and the Indian consumer has evolved into a design and trend conscious citizen.
The urban home furnishings retail market is estimated to be Rs. 9,300 crore and is expected to reach Rs 20,000 crore by the year 2012. The bed and bath furnishing products make up two thirds of the market in the country. The recent spurt in growth of the Indian economy has opened up doors of opportunity for international brands to establish themselves in the country.
The Indian Furnishings market can be divided into the organized and the unorganized sector, which means that the divide lies between the branded and unbranded products. Among these, there is a niche market present in India for good quality household furnishing. The steady increase in consumer purchasing power and low penetration levels in urban and rural areas have attracted the International brands to the country. Italian brands, which are known throughout the world for their quality in style and elegance, have found the Indian market especially appealing. Additionally, liberal foreign policy has encouraged foreign investment and thus resulted in a competition between the multinationals and the domestic market.
The shift in the industry toward branded products has become more pronounced in the recent past, with increased exposure to the international scene, which has put India on the World map. The market has made a conscious move toward organizing itself, with an approximate of Rs. 400 crore forming the organized market. The challenge faced is the smooth shift of the market toward the branded segment. The purchase of a product in this segment is extremely price sensitive. In this case, the consumer has become more aware due to the increased exposure to soap operas, and magazines.
Of the furnishing segment, it is the bed and bath segment that dominates the genre, taking up two thirds of the segment. The craze to replicate the stunning homes in magazines has been brought closer to reality with the advent of international apparels in the country. The spending power in these cities is high, with the people leaning toward the lavish. The increasing trend has been of using branded, and preferably international, products to do up one's home. Indian home owners take special pride in doing up their homes, and treat it as an extension of their personality, and the level of society they would like to be perceived as belonging to. So now, instead of buying the traditional pair of bed sheets and matching pillow covers, consumers have opted for 'coordinated bedding' , whereby they have bed sheets, pillow covers and duvet covers that follow a coordinated color scheme. Giving it a very aesthetic appeal and one that can transform a simple bedroom into a classy one. The increased influence of the West, and the growing desire to recreate the magazine homes!
In India, there has been a significant increase in the number of High Networth Individuals or HNIs, who have the money to spend, and the taste to determine what to spend it on. The booming economy has thrown up innumerable millionaires who are willing to take their homes and its decor seriously. No longer confined to the realm of the woman, home decor has taken on a personality of its own, with the attention to detail becoming a given. Design and decor has become all about individuality, and this is the beginning of a spurt of trends in the segment.
The sales and the awareness are driven by the need and want to replicate the glossy look seen in the interior design magazines and television soap operas. Tier II and Tier III cities are following the lead of the metropolitan cities in the shift to branded products, as there is recognition of the assurance of quality. Caleffi Products are available at select stores all across the country and not just in the metropolitan cities of the country. In fact, based on the market feedback, the Caleffi story kind of vindicates the India story.
Caleffi Bed & Baths India Ltd. specializes in the production and marketing of luxury household items. Thanks to its in-depth design research, technological innovation, attention to detail and finishing and strict quality checks, it is rapidly becoming one of the sector leaders in Europe. From quilts and sheets to bath towels and nightwear, Caleffi brings aplomb to contemporary lifestyle. Known for its Italian design and European elegance, Caleffi products are being marketed through existing retail outlets all across India. The company owns over 10 brands of its own, with a further 3 under license (Disney, Barbie and Mariella Burani). Indeed, India’s purchasing power demographics are changing rapidly. Caleffi products are flying off the shelves from places like Kochi, Pune, Ludhiana, Hyderabad, Vishakhapatnam, Ahmadabad, Rajkot, Baroda and many other smaller places, in addition to the metros. With a consistently strong economy for almost 8 years, the Indian middle class has evolved today to a sartorially-conscious entity. Today’s Indian consumer is beginning to prize the aesthetics, the elegance and the quality.
The influence of the West is just one of the trends that dominate the interior space in the Indian market. The influences in design are drawn from various cultures and movements, with a contemporary touch added to all. The trends are not only about the interior spaces, but are actually about how the living spaces are increasingly reflecting our lifestyle choices. The contemporary designs continue to hold a sway over the imagination of the designers and the consumers. The minimalist movement has lost its initial bearings, and a blend with the old world warmth has replaced the metal and steel minimal look of the so called modern age.
The Indian industry is still greatly influenced by the traditional motifs, with the materials of satin mix, tapestry for drapes and even cotton mixes with synthetics for the traditional look. Leather and other fabric mixes are used for a more modern and contemporary look. These have become popular in the apartment style homes that have become the definition of modern living.
The eclectic style is in. This is the time when colonial or antique furnishing embellishes the home alongside the contemporary materials that add a touch of modernity to the decor. It is this mix that allows the decor to transcend the confines of a designated or dated style, to allow the individual home owner to create a style that reflects their individual personality, in light of modern trends. This has led to an unwritten new rule of mixing and matching fabrics so as to make their aesthetic independence more pronounced.
The colors in this season are bold, and the season determines the shade. Pastels add to the look of modernity, which means that the furnishing need not be colorless to be associated with modernity. Tones from terracotta to cayenne, shades of orange and fuchsia dominate the palette this season. But color is incomplete without the right texture in the furnishing apparel to complement it, and vice versa.
Textures highlight the tomes and enhance the look that is to be achieved in the home. One cannot attempt to create a look in the modern time without choosing the right texture of textile to compliment it. In fact, the furnishing segment has moved beyond the standard cottons to experiment with drapes like tapestry, chenille and damask, taffeta and hand-woven silk, while a satin-cotton mix or even materials with a satin silk finish are gaining popularity. These fabrics usually add a royal and elegant touch to the furnishing, and one that can be achieved without substantial investment in the same.
Natural fibers have also gained a new popularity due to the renewed interest in the eco-friendly look. The home textile market has seen an increase in the use of organic fabrics, and the furnishing market is now dominated the world over by textures and weaves that focus on the in-built beauty of natural fibers. Fabrics with bold prints and pastels are making a comeback. Polka dots and stripes, inspired by the retro, have made a comeback into collections the world over.
The hospitality sector is expected to propel the home furnishing market forward by 25 percent in the next few years. The market had been dominated by indigenous players, but now, international players are beginning to capture the market with great panache.
The furnishing sector is all set to boom, and the influences of the International style and quality, with the Indian design and colors, truly forms a magical weave in a seamless manner. Caleffi products stand out for their original design and position at the medium to high end of the market. One reason for Caleffi’s success is its project philosophy, which is based upon adding value through creativity and innovation. Caleffi is becoming an important name in the world of home fashion as a result of its attention to design, the constant renovation of collections, material selection, the use of color and establishing different lines aimed at different markets and consumer segments.
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