23 Cloth and Home Textiles

S. Amsamani

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The Cloth tech segment of technical textiles comprises of all apparels and textile components used for specific functional applications in garments and accessories. These components are largely hidden, like interlinings in shirts, sewing threads, shoe laces, labels, hook and loop fasteners (Velcro). Various fabrics like umbrella cloth are also classified under the Clothtech segment. Sewing threads alone account for around 60% of the technical textiles market under Clothtech followed by labels with around 18% share. The market for Clothtech products is expected to grow at a rate of 8.2%. Velcro, zip fasteners, elastics and shoe laces are the high growth potential areas. Exports of Cloth tech products (technical textiles component) from India are estimated as Rs 338 crore. The demand for these products is satisfied by domestic production with imports of only around Rs 400 crore. The umbrella cloth (taffeta) is 100% imported and not manufactured in India at all. Interlinings and narrow fabrics like elastics and Velcro also have imports over 15% for their domestic consumption.




At the end of the session the learner will be able to

  •  Appreciate the significant role of textile components like sewing threads, shoe laces, labels, hook and loop fasteners.
  •  To gain knowledge about the functional role of textile components and their market potential.



Any fibre, yarn or fabric which is used as an apparel or textile components with specific functional applications; chiefly used in garment and accessories fabrication like interlinings, sewing threads, shoe laces, labels, hook and loop fasteners and Velcro are all grouped and called as cloth textiles. In simple terms textiles used in personal grooming.



  Cloth tech includes all type of apparels and accessories used irrespective of age, sex and nationality and the textile items used for the production or support of these items. The apparels included range from small infant garments to suits. They are made out different fibbers, blends and mixtures. The fabric construction methods also vary as wovens, nonwovens and knitted with all sorts of design, colours and finishes.


However in this module we will concentrate on the textile products that support the proper functioning of apparels and accessories.


1.4.1     Shoe laces


Shoe lace is a band that pulls the shoe together to hold it to the foot. A shoelace consists of two parts namely a tape that pulls the shoe tightly together, and a metal cap on the edge of the lace. This metal cap is placed at the edge of the lace to help in passing the lace though the eyelets of the shoe. Shoe laces are also known as shoestrings or boot laces. Shoelaces are primarily made of polyester, cotton and nylon with a count varying as 6s, 10s, 20s and 40s and denier of 300. These laces are available as flat and round shape. Round laces are commonly used for leather/formal shoes whereas flat laces find majority of its application in sport/casual shoes. The common sizes of shoe laces are 24”, 30”, 36”and 48” but 24” and 30” sizes constitute 80% of the market. The other applications of laces are tie up in garments, handles in hand bags and shopping bags, binders in office files, and as home decorative items. The usage of laces in these applications is expected to be 10% of the total usage. Maximum companies producing laces are found in Delhi and Agra. India also imports 80 percent of shoe laces.


1.4.2     Interlining


In order to maintain the shape or bulkiness of garments a thick material is used in between the outer and inner layer of the garment. This is called as interlining. In spite of being invisible from the outside, interlining is considered as an important part of the garment since it ensures accurate fit and optimum wearer comfort. Interlining finds application in the waistbands and belt loops of pants and trousers; in the cuffs, collars and plackets of shirts, tailored jackets and blazers.


Interlining may be woven, knitted or nonwoven. The major raw materials used are cotton, polyester, polyester/cotton or polyester/viscose as a whole fabric or as blends. Their GSM varies from 120 to 250 for cotton and 18 to 70 for other types of fibres and blends. Sometimes the interlining fabrics are fused with thermoplastic materials. Readymade and tailor made shirts account for 80% of the consumption of interlining, the balance 20% of interlining being consumed in other garments. Bombay Dyeing and Ruby Mills are the key manufacturers of woven interlining in India. Interlining materials are also imported from Korea, Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.


1.4.3      Zip Fasteners


A device which is used to join two edges of fabric temporarily is described as a zipper or zip fastener or zip. They are the most important component used in readymade garments industry, soft furnishing industry, packing industry, leather garments and footwear industries. Zip fastener/zipper consists of two parallel teeth stringers closed or opened by means of a sliding clip between them. A zipper has three major parts – the tape, the elements and the slider. Tape is usually made of polyester. Zippers are classified into two major groups based on the raw materials used as Coil and Plastics. The former uses polyester/nylon where as the later uses metallic and moulded. However, vinyl tapes and cotton tapes are also used.


Zippers have applications in the following areas:

  •  Luggage industry: Soft luggage, handbags, purses, etc.
  •  Apparel industry: Trousers, jackets, skirts, frocks, etc.
  •  Home Furnishing industry: pillow covers
  •  Leather Garment and Footwear industry: leather garments, shoes, etc.

Generally the size of zips varies from 10-24 centimetres with a width of 2-4 centimetres. However the length of the zips can to determine by the end product wherein the zips come in running and so cut as per requirement. The key manufacturers of zip fasteners are: YKK India Private Limited, Tex Corp. Ltd., Coats India and Slide Fasteners Limited.


The total market size for zip fasteners is expected to increase to 950 million meters registering a growth rate of 12% year-on-year. Hong Kong and China together contribute around 70% to the total imports. Over 55% of the exports of zip fasteners  are to Bangladesh whereas around 12% are exported to Pakistan, 10% to Sri Lanka and 8% to UAE. The main quality standards applicable for the zip fasteners in India are: IS 8894/3184/4829. Other international standards are JIS-S3015 and ASTM D2061-1998.


1.4.4     Elastic Narrow Fabrics


Elastic are one of the major items used in all type of clothing. Elastics are described as stretchable fabrics, which are used to hold the fabric in shape. Usually they come as narrow fabrics hence they are also known as elastic narrow fabrics. They are an important input to the undergarment industry. They are also used in other garments like shorts, jackets and skirts, moulded luggage, baby diapers, sports goods and medical goods. Elastic narrow fabrics are made from an elastomeric yarn and yarns made from cotton, polyester and nylon. They can either be woven or knitted. Polyester and nylon yarns of 150 and 210 denier are used for the purpose. Some of the properties of these stretchable fabrics are, shrink resistance, durability to regular wash, soft feel and with stand stress. Knitted elastic tapes are generally available in widths 8 mm, 12 mm, 20 mm and 25 mm. Woven elastic tapes range in width of 25 mm, 32 mm and 38 mm. These elastic tapes are primarily used for undergarments. The market size for elastic narrow fabrics is estimated at 830 million meters valued at Rs. 365 crore. The main manufacturers of elastic narrow fabrics are ElasticPrivate Limited, Sky industries and B R Elastics. Almost 40% of the elastic narrow fabrics are imported from Hong Kong followed by around 17% from Sri Lanka and 14% from China.


1.4.5    Fabric Fasteners -Hook and Loop Tape Fasteners


Fasteners are one the most vital part of cloth textiles. They aid in holding the fabric in shape with the body. Fasteners are of various types and makes. In the olden days they were made of thin strips of fabrics which were sewed into cod and attached to the respective areas. Today they are made as two adjustable strips of fabrics which can be placed on top of each other, generic term as hook & loop tape fasteners. Velcro is a brand name of the fabric hook-and- loop fasteners. It consist of a combination of two separate woven tapes, one called as hook tape and the other as loop tape. The tapes display, excellent fastening properties when placed in contact with each other and thus offer hundreds of potential closure systems (fastening applications) for a wide range of applications. Velcro is the brand name  for this hooks and loop fasteners. These fasteners are easy to use, safe and maintenance free. The effectiveness of the fastener is maintained even after repeated fastening and unfastening.


These fasteners find their applications in almost all type garments. They are effectively used in footwear, home furnishings, surgical and orthopaedic products, automobiles, upholsteries, luggage and soft toys. They are also are used to hold together a human heart during the first artificial heart surgery. It is used in nuclear power plants and army tanks to hold flashlights to walls. In cars it is used to bond headliners, floor mats and speaker covers. It is used in the home when pleating draperies, holding carpets in place and attaching upholstery.


Hoop and loop fasteners are generally made of Nylon and Polyester. Nylon filament yarn of deniers 100, 140, 170, 210, 280, 300 and 430 are used. The product is available in width ranging from 12 mm to 125 mm and length of 25 meters though it can be produced in any length depending upon the customer’s requirement. The current consumption of these fasteners is estimated at165 million meters, valued at Rs 65 crore. Sky Industries Limited, Siddartha Filaments Private Limited, Magic Tapes Private Limited, Magic Fasteners Private Limited are some of the leading manufacturers in India. Hong Kong (30%) and Taiwan (40%) contribute around 70% to the total imports.


1.4.6     Labels


Label, generally the smallest part of the cloth textiles is considered as the most important part. It is a piece of material attached to an object to show its contents, tenure, use or purpose. Labels are used in garments, home furnishing, stuffed toys, soft luggage, shoes and in fabric accessories. Labels have major application in garments where the labels are expected to have smooth feel and durability to regular wear and washing as well as they should not snag. The sizes of labels vary as size label 12mm x 25mm width, pocket label 15mm to 30mm width, main label 16mm to 50 mm to 100 mm width and Wash care label as25mm to 40mm width. There are two primary categories of labels – Printed and Woven. Printed labels are often printed on materials such as satin, acetate, polyester, nylon and cotton twill. Woven labels also available in a variety of finishes and fabric choices.


Clothing labels come in a variety of styles. The product is available in the following formats as continuous tape in roll form, cut seal, cut fold in end fold, centrefold and filled/stuffed labels, die-cut / laser cut labels, ready-to –stick labels and so on.(backside double adhesive tape). The demand for labels is majorly governed by the demand of apparel, home furnishing, stuffed toys and soft luggage. The domestic market size for labels is estimated at18, 560 million pieces valued at Rs. 1280 crore. Indian woven-labels industry has around 500 looms that are concentrated in the several cities like Bangalore (75), Delhi (200), Tirupur (50), Mumbai (30-35), Ahmedabad (50-55), Kolkata and other cities of North and North-east. The key manufacturers are Unique Tags, Global and Gokaldas Exports. Over 70% of all the imports take place from Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. India also has 30% exports.


1.4.7    Umbrella Fabric


Umbrella fabric is a medium weight, plain weave taffeta fabric used for manufacturing Umbrellas. The umbrella fabric used these days is polyester and nylon taffeta fabric, with 70 denier. Umbrella fabric is made of polyester filament yarn or nylon filament yarn in varying constructions i.e. 150T, 160T and 190T where T indicates the thread density. The GSM of umbrella fabric typically ranges from 110 to 280 based on type of umbrella. The umbrella fabric is expected to be water-proof for the rainy season, should maintain physical form during extreme ultraviolet exposure in the summer season, and should have high tear resistance and high abrasion resistance. The taffeta fabric is still not manufactured in India and is imported. The entire umbrella fabric requirement is met through imports which round about 80% from China.


The key manufacturers of umbrella in India are, Kwality Umbrella Manufacturing Co., Metro Umbrella Industries, Guru Nanak Industries, Village Kraft, Orissa.


1.4.8     Sewing threads


Sewing thread is a ply or cabled yarn used for stitching of apparels, hosiery, embroidery, footwear, leather goods, quilted mattresses, sports goods, industrial gloves, automotive seats/seat belts, upholstery, parachutes, sails and tents. Sewing threads are made of natural fibres like cotton, silk or artificial fibres like nylon, polyester or their blends. An perfect sewing thread should confirm to a high standard of single thread strength, perfectly balanced twist and colour fastness. It should be free from yarn defects like knots, cuts, snarling, twist subs or any other irregularities. Technological developments have resulted in the manufacturing of surgical sewing threads which are biodegrable and can be used in major surgery. Once the surgery is over the patient can even be discharged, the sewing thread used for the surgery will get dissolved by itself without any side effects. Sewing threads are available in different counts ranging from 18 Tex to 240 Tex. The market size for sewing thread is estimated at 130,000 MT valued at Rs.3900 crore. The key manufacturers of sewing threads in the organised sector are Madura Coats, Mahavir Spinning Mills (Vardhman Threads) and Precot Meridian. Indian sewing threads are exported to more than 45 countries. The imports of sewing threads are dominated by specialty threads like threads for manufacturing seat belts, automotive seat covers.




Cloth tech industry is an ever green industry. Every man wants to look the best and unique. Cloth tech lays the foundation for this desire of mankind. We have seen a jest of the different types of accessories, their properties, types that contribute to the cloth textile industry. Since the need for apparel is increasing day by day the demand for the accessories are also increasing, resulting in market growth and research.




The Home textiles segment of technical textiles comprises of the textile components used in household applications. They include textile materials used in and outside a building. These products range from blinds used in the windows to the filter products used in the vacuum cleaners. They are an important component in every room and part of a building. They are made of both natural and synthetic fibres. Filter fabrics, nonwoven wipes, blinds, carpet backing fabrics and stuff toys are the high growth potential areas in this sector. Fiberfil and pillow and mattress components together constitute over 50% of the technical textile usage under the Home tech segment followed by blinds with a share of around 20%, stuffed toys with a share of 13% and carpet backing cloth with around 9% share.




At the end of the session the learner will be able to

  •  Know the various product categories in home textiles.
  • Application of home textiles product in daily life.



Home Textiles are any type of fibre, yarn or fabric used to develop products which are a part of the exterior and interior of a build. They contribute to towards the best utilization and easy movement of the area. Home textiles also add colour, life and comfort to this part of the building.




Home textiles lay the foundation for a comfortable life. They enhance every room by appearance and also help in the smooth conduct of activities. Each room in the house namely hall, dinning, kitchen, bed room, bath room, and rooms or working cabins in offices use some type of home textiles. The most common home textile products are sofa covers table cloth, carpets, wall hangers, television covers in the hall or reception areas, dinning linens, napkins, towels in the dining room, hand towels, apron, dish wipes in the kitchens, bed spreads, covers, mattress, mattress covers, pillow, pillow covers, blankets, foot mat in the bed room, towels and bath meshes in the bathroom. Apart from these products curtains and draperies are used in almost all room. There are used along doorways and windows. All the items are produced using all types of fibre in different fabric construction methods. They are also produced in wide range of colours and designs. In order to make each of these products suitable for their specific end use special finishes are also given. There are number of textile products which go unseen in making of the home tech products. Therefore this module concentrates on these invisible products.


2.4.1    Fiberfil


Fiberfil refers to Polyester Staple Fibres used as filling for pillows, decorative pillows, cushions, bolsters, quilts, comforters, mattresses, mattress toppers, mattress pads, sleeping bags, furniture cushions, furniture backs, insulated garments and  soft toys. Traditionally feathers and cotton has been used as a filling material in India. Fiberfil is available in deniers ranging from 2 to 20 however the most common types used for stuffing purpose are 6 D and 15 D. The standard length of the fibres available in the market are 51mm, 64mm, 76mm, 88mm, 108mm and 128mm. Fiberfil can be classified as Virgin (PSF) and Regenerated (PSF), hollow and solid and silicones and non siliconized which are based on method of production, cross section of the staple fibres and type of finishing.


The major advantages of fiberfil are; better filling and greater softness than cotton and other fibres of equivalent weight. The filling quantity required with Fiberfil is only 70-80 % of cotton, moisture and mildew resistance, enhanced air circulation, better bounce and does not become flat with repeated usage and better durability and wash ability. Considering these facts the demand for these fiberfils has increased. Reliance Industries Limited is the largest manufacturer of Virgin PSF Fiberfil in India. The Fiberfil is also imported from China. Argentina and USA, account for more than 80% of the exports.


2.4.2    Carpet Backing Cloth


Carpets are one of soft floor covering used in home textiles. They are tufted, knotted, woven or non woven. They are made by hand and machines. Generally all carpets have a backing cloth. Carpet Backing Cloth (CBC) is used as the supportive material for both woven and tufted carpets. They add strength and life to the carpets. Carpet backing cloth is classified into primary and secondary carpet backing cloth. The Primary Carpet backing is base fabric on which pile yarns are tufted and anchored to make a carpet and the Secondary Carpet backing cloth is a fabric bonded on the backside of the carpet forming an underlay. Primary backing is manufactured mainly from synthetic fabric. Secondary backing is made of both jute and woven polypropylene. Jute carpet backing cloth is approximately 104” wide with a GSM that varying from 180 to 407. Due to browning and rotting chateristics the demand for jute backing has decreased. Woven polypropylene made of a leno weave of slit film and spun yarns are mainly used for the production of secondary backing cloth. In order to create smooth surface latex is applied on the back of the carpet. Latex is forced down by the blade around all the yarn on the back of the carpet, which locks the yarn into the backing. A second coat of latex is applied thereafter which holds the secondary backing onto the tufted material. This process ensures the locking of the individual yarns in its place. The  major manufacturers of carpet backing cloth are Birla Corporation and Gloster Industries. With reference to import and export of jute carpet backing cloth is imported from Bangladesh and of synthetic carpet backing cloth is exported to USA.


2.4.3     Stuffed toys


The word stuffed toys make everyone feel warmth and happiness. They are also referred to as plush toys and soft toys, are made up of soft woven, knitted, pile or felted fabrics stuffed with filling material. Stuffed toys are entirely textile material. In the modern days they have become a part and parcel of children’s bedroom accessories, adolescent girl’s pillow and sometime as show piece even in the living rooms. The outer fabric or skin of stuffed toys is made of fur, polyester, felt or acrylic. The skin is stuffed with a variety of materials such as polyester staple Fiberfil, foam, cloth scrap, paper foam, cotton or even blends of cotton polyester. The toys are manufactured in different shapes, sizes and colours, the height varying from 6 cm to 200 cm. The knitted fabrics have different pile lengths ranging from 1 mm to 16 mm. These fabrics were primarily imported from China, Korea, and Hong Kong but now they are locally available. Low grade stuffed toys are also manufactured by unorganised home based units. Manufacturing of branded stuffed toys are concentrated in Kolkata. India also imports these toys from China and exports its make to Denmark, Tanzania and Saudi Arabia.


2.4.4      Window Blinds


A window blind is a window covering which comprises of long strips of fabric or rigid material. A blind limits observation and thus termed “blinds”. They are made of a wide range of fabrics and colours depending upon the aesthetic and functionality required. The desired functional performance include light and glare control, desired outside view, ease in handling and maintenance and smooth circulation of air and sound.The most common window blinds are Slat blinds, which consist of many horizontal slats, usually made of metal or vinyl strips, connected with a decorative string. Vertical blinds consist of slats of stiffened fabric, plastic, or metal hanging by one end from a track .Venetian blinds are basic slatted blinds made of metal or plastic. Wooden slats are sometimes used but these are usually referred to as wood blinds or bamboo blinds. Slat width varies between 16 mm and 120 mm, the most common width being 50 mm. Other varieties of window blinds include Mini blinds very narrow slats (25 mm wide), Micro blinds (12 mmwide), Holland blinds, Pleated blinds, Honeycomb blinds. Different types of coatings are done on the fabric for blinds to make it water resistant, dust repellent or stain free. Coating is done on one side (facing the sun for reflecting the light) or both the sides of the fabric. The coating is also done to prevent the fading of colour due to excess exposure to sunlight. Some of the popular manufactures of blinds in India are Hunter Douglas, Mac Décor Ltd. And Aerolux India Private Limited. India exports blind to countries like Netherlands, UK, Germany, Italy, France and Singapore. Apart we also import blinds from China which amounts up to 41% of total local consumption.


2.4.5     Filters


Filter fabrics are material which separate two state of matter solid, liquid and gas. The separation is between themselves or among themselves. Therefore filter fabrics separate solid and liquid, solid and gases from liquid. These fabrics also help in separation amongst themselves where in separation between two gases or two liquids. Filter fabric ranges from simple tea filters in the kitchen to high tech filter fabrics like HVAC systems filter which are used in industries, commercial and residential buildings where humidity and temperature need to be closely regulated. Generally all type of filter fabrics must have the qualities like resistance to heat, chemicals, good strength, shake off dust easily and simple maintainers. The fabrics used vary from simple woven natural fabrics to high tech felted blends of polyester, polypropylene and glass fibre with high efficiency to separate and remove 99.97% of particles. The nonwoven filters fabrics are generally needle punched and have a GSM of 200-250. The major application of filters in home textiles is as tea/water filter, air condition filters, and vacuum air filters and washes room filters.


2.4.6    Nonwoven wipes


A wipe is a small piece of cloth used for the purpose of cleansing or disinfecting. Wipes could be woven, knitted or nonwoven. Nonwoven wipes have recently gained popularity on account of their excellent absorption and softness. The product is available as dry wipe as well as wet wipes. Wet wipes are designed for specific application e.g. Baby wipes, Facial wipes, Cleansing wipes, Hand and body wipes, moist towel, personal hygiene wipes, feminine hygiene wipes, antibacterial wipes and Medicated wipes. Non-woven wipes are made from viscose, polyester and polypropylene and are available in variety of sizes ranging


from 2 X 5 square cm to 30 X 40 square cm. Majority of nonwoven wipes are manufactured by Spun lace technology. The wipes are expected to have the following properties:

  • Smooth and soft texture
  • Good absorbance characteristics
  • Good moisture retention properties

   Busy lifestyle and high disposable income are the key factors for the acceptance of wipes. Birla Cellulose, are the leading manufacturer of wipes. Over 50% of the imports take place from China and Singapore. The export of nonwoven wipes is negligible.


The Mosquito net is an essential item used all over the country for protection from mosquitoes; therefore the market for this item exists throughout the year. Nylon net constitutes around 96% of the raw material cost of the mosquito net. Cotton is also used for the making of mosquito nets. This is available in different colours. A piece of net cut in rectangle size as per required size along with Cotton Tape, which is spread on sewing machine and stitched to from one corner to the other end. The nylon is sourced from local manufactures like Reliance


used for the making of mosquito nets. This is available in different colours. A piece of net cut in rectangle size as per required size along with Cotton Tape, which is spread on sewing machine and stitched to from one corner to the other end. The nylon is sourced from local manufactures like Reliance.




Home industry is a growing industry. It occupies one of the major positions the market of technical textiles. Result of urbanisation and increase in population has increased the demand for home textiles. Every new product especially in case wipes, towels find a special place in the market. Special finishes like fragrance, ant-microbial stain guard have enhanced home textiles.

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Web links

Cloth tech

  • www.technicaltextile.gov.in › Segments
  • technotex.gov.in/clothtech.html
  • echnotex.gov.in/clothtech.html
  • Home Textiles
  • https://www.textilemates.com › Technical Textile
  • www.technicaltextile.net/hometech-textiles/index.aspx
  • indianresearchjournals.com/pdf/IJMFSMR/2012/June/15.pdf