Friday, September 7, 2007

Indian Sleepwear Market

There is a huge untouched potential in non-metros

Producers of women's pajama sets are increasing R&D capability to raise the range and functions of designs. Companies are also making efforts to enhance product quality and decrease operating costs through vertical integration. With the elimination of export taxes and import limitations on China-made sleepwear to the EU and the US, suppliers from China and India find themselves in a strong competition for market share. In the Indian market, the sleepwear and lingerie market is emerging quickly as a fashion segment, and has, over the last decade, observed the existence of organised players such as Juliet, Sleep-ins, etc

What was Kashmira Nightwear Company started with a single standalone store in Pune many years ago is today the Sleep-ins brand of complete nighrwear solutions possessing a chain of many exclusive Sleep-ins stores and existence in many of the country's major retail chains. This change has been promising on account of the single-handed effort by only one person, Kishor Chhabria, who is managing director of the Pune-based Kashmira Nighrwear Company -¬ Sleep-ins today is a brand with a national manifestation. Chhabria experienced that Indian consumers have awareness of about selecting of occasion-wear and sleeping dresses were as important as office, casual, party or sports wear, and commence to offer consumers what they required.

Sleep-ins is among the leading players in the segment, and has been beholding considerable growth in its market share over the last few years. This market even today is largely in the unorganised sector where price is the only its consideration. Organised players are not contending with products that are being traded on the streets. The growth in retailing, the rising level of fashion consciousness has supported sleepwear and lingerie move into a higher market step.

Sleep-ins has increased by almost 150 per cent over the two-three decades, they were highly focused in the western market, but this year the brand performed well locally. They have appointed distributors in Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, UP, MP, Punjab, etc. and possessed more than 20 exclusive outlets in the country, and will add to this by another six. Besides the exclusive outlets, the brand retails from a many large departmental stores too.

This increasing in retail space is encouraged by the remarkable response the brand has gained in various parts of the country. Many of their garments are in the range of Rs 2000-4000. When introducing these, they believed that sales in this price segment would be optimum in Delhi and Mumbai, and they were staged to see sales growth gained in Punjab. This just set to observe that fashion awareness is high in every part of the country, and there is still a lot of unexploited potential in cities other than the metros. And this is where the fashion aspect plays an important role. The company finds the finest of fabrics from within the country, imports the satins from Korea, and makes the prints in-house.

Sleep-ins is possibly the only far-reaching sleepwear brand for whole family. It satisfies a hidden demand for quality sleepwear which the Sleep-ins exclusive brand stores offer - the whole range for women, men and kids. Within a lesser time from its establishment, the chain stores have registered a good growth all over India. As of now, women in the 18-50 years age group comprise the major buyers though men too make significant purchases. There is a large segment of consumers who wish to wear high quality nighrwear with features that match international standards.

Chhabria himself is a designer and thinks not just making, but real pieces of art. The Sleep-ins variety covers sleepwear and loungewear. The matchless and marvelously confined ensembles in cottons and cotton blended satin and Lycra are all made in-house. Nightshirts are offered in satins and georgettes and animal prints; Robes in soft fabrics; and Chemise in shimmering soft and tender pastel silhouettes. They also offer nighties with spaghetti straps, provoking teddy suits, stylish shorts with bikini tops, pajamas, Capri, etc. For men, Sleep-ins provides an elegant and sophisticated variety of night suits in pure cottons and imported polyesters and robes in soft suede and satins with pajamas.

They believe that men and women of today look at wearability, affordability and comfort; hence, the pricing factor cannot be unnoticed. The brand has helps to match the budget as well as the premium class of customers. Sleep-ins in Pune, which is possibly the biggest sleepwear stores in the country with 1500sq.ft of floor area holding a rich collection of more than 4000 garment pieces at a time. Their exclusive franchisees stores are situated in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Surat, Ludhiana, Kolkata, Baroda and Gurgaon. The brand is also offered at leasing retail chains like Globus, Shopper's Stop, Piramyd and Pantaloons.

The speed at which the brand is growing its market reach states that there is huge experience that gives a solid foundation of self-belief. He started retailing business with a little investment of rupees one crore," "and today aimed at setting up Sleep-ins as a standalone brand, which needs a healthy investment for brand imaging.

Sleep-ins is very well known to the existing competitors and is arranged to take on the new entrants. And they do not bother about stiff competition, as they have a complete range of nightwear and loungewear for women, men and kids. Its close competitor is "Sweat Dreams", but Sweet Dreams has so far not made any branding effort and is currently in all types of stores in the country whereas Sleep-ins is offered at exclusive stores only that placed on a firm territory.

Sleep-ins' immediate object is to go through the premium malls setting up in major cities. But that's not all, the company is foreseeing to setting up Sleep-ins nightwear and loungewear as a quality brand in the international market. They are aimed at identifying the product to the brand, which customers should ask for Sleep-ins rather than any night dress product.

Sleep-ins is now planning to set its product range into the quite lower range of the market too, where the price points would be about Rs 200-400. They could perhaps be retailing these from stores like Big Bazaar. The company has a production capacity of 15,000 garments per month, and is planning to enhance the same by another 25 per cent. They are bringing in 30 more machines, making the total to 130. They are setting in place IT systems for good quality control and monitoring.

Sleep-ins has started business jointly with Disney for supply of 5,000 garments per month, and the enhanced production would mostly go to Disney. The company has also been gaining a plenty of export enquiries from Europe and the Gulf, but is taking time to go in this segment.

Another India supplier, Poppy's Knitwear (P) Ltd, can functions from spinning, weaving and knitting to sewing and finishing, at its factory. The plant is set with Rieter spinners, Vanguard and Orizio knitting machines and Tubetex dyeing units. In India, women's pajamas from Poppy's are ranges in between $3.50 and $8.50 per set. Low-end models are produced by lightweight single-jersey cotton. Midrange designs normally have overall printing and more garment features such as pockets and collars. High-end versions are largely used for winter and produced by heavier fabric such as polar fleece and cotton interlock.

Clifton provides designs priced between $3 and $7. The midsize company makes women's pajama sets for OEM customers like Ethel Austin and Littlewoods of the UK, Carrefour of France and Canada's Teenscene India's Sentinel Clothing Co. engaged in manufacturing of nightwear, kids-wear etc possessed with Taitexma circular rib and interlock knitting machines as well as equipment for making single and flat knitted fabric. Apart from these, the company has machines for silk-screening and embossing.

At Sentinel, women's pajama prices range between for $2.50 to $6.50. Models are normally produced by single-jersey cotton. New entrants have lace trims, ruffles and bows on necklines and sleeve openings. The company possesses three factories in India making more than 3 million women's pajama sets per year. Its 10-member R&D team makes 20 innovative models a month. Leeds' nighwear product ranges from $3.25 to $8. Models are produced by pure cotton or polyester-cotton blends. The company also makes T-shirts, shorts, bathrobes, tank tops and children's wear. - Leading B2B Portal and Marketplace of Global Textile, Apparel and Fashion Industry offers Free Industry Articles, Textile Articles, Fashion Articles, Industry Reports, Technology Article, Case Studies, Textile Industry News Articles, Latest Fashion Trends, Textile Market Trends Reports and Global Industry Analysis.

To read more articles on Textile, Fashion, Apparel, Technology, Retail and General please visit If you wish to download/republish the above article to your website or newsletters then please include the "Article Source”. Also, you have to make it hyperlinked to our site.

Article Source:

Why the Polo Shirt has Made a Comeback Within Ladies' Fashion

The polo shirt is not a new fashion creation. It first appeared as part of the fashion scene in the late 1800s. Oddly enough, and fittingly so, polo shirts were first described as such in reports on polo players. Male Polo players of the Hurlingham Polo Club actually wore them in Buenos Aires in 1893. This makes the Polo shirt, possibly, as one author suggests, the first true sports shirt.

Polo shirts had a specific purpose. They were a lightweight and practical shirt to wear for a sporting event. Writers described them as being ideal for hot weather. Over time, the polo shirt has come to be considered the perfect sport shirt.

By the 1930s, the polo shirt was firmly entrenched as a fashionable and practical article of clothing. Although traditionally considered as white, colored shirts had been available as early as the late 1920s. Pastels, greens, blues and reds soon joined the stereotypical color scheme. The gender changed as well. American women were wearing them in the 1930s.

The polo shirt, therefore, has a long and proud sporting history. It is best known because of one man - Rene Lacoste. Erroneously, it is considered a Lacoste invention. He and Andre Gillier joined forces and produced a version of the polo shirt. Lacoste however, didn't market his shirt until 1933. Moreover, his advertisements indicate he referred to it as a "golf" and not a "polo" shirt. His shirt type was not marketed in the United States until 1951.

In the 1970s, Lacoste's gold shirts became considered a status symbol. These polo shirts were still referred to as golf shirts but the marketing indicated they were suitable for both home wear and for out on the tennis courts. Their long tail made them easy to tuck in the back of shorts or skirts.

The popularity of the newly remarketed polo shirt is the result of the philosophy of the age. The preppy look is very in, in the 1970s. Other companies follow Lacoste's lead and market their own version of the polo shirt. It appeared everywhere. You could wear them to work, at home and in actual sporting events. Firms branded their version with one or another "cute" symbols.

After the 1970s, the polo shirt lost its place in the popular culture. Fashion passed it by until the turn of the new century. The early 2000s saw the reintroduction of Lacoste's version in a limited edition – a black Lacoste polo shirt with a silver crocodile. By 2006, polo shirts began to emerge, once again as the preppy choice. Lacoste, Nautica, Ralph Lauren (Polo) or Tommy Hilfiger polo shirts were all becoming fashionable, appearing on and off the courts and greens. The polo shirt has been making a comeback among women's fashion.

Why is this happening? The reason is the same as it was for its earlier existence. Polo shirts are about serving two disparate needs: function and style. Not to malign the average T-shirt, but polo shirts have the ability to address the casual with a status style. They are versatile as well as functional. Moreover, they have a designer's touch, that little brush with "fame" granting each garment a special status.

People still wear the polo shirt in an athletic environment. It appears on golf courses and on tennis courts. Polo players sport them in their matches. They add a touch of class to a skirt, jodhpurs, shorts or pants. Yet, today, the polo shirt appears on the backs of people performing their day-to-day and mundane tasks. Its adaptability, however, allows it to become part of their social and semi-professional daily obligations. Suburban moms can wear it to do practical things then move onto social affairs. Designers such as Leon Levin are able to tailor their polo shirts to active women for use on the coarse or at home.

The polo shirt possesses versatility. It is good for both casual and social functions. Anyone can wear it. In truth, it is adaptable to today's women's fast-paced lifestyle.

From White Dresses to Printed Scrubs the Evolution of Nursing Uniforms

The origin of nursing uniforms is uncertain. One proposal considers the convents as the source. Nuns were the original nurses. As a result, their somber black and white outfits inspired the plain clothing worn by successive caregivers. Another suggestion looks, instead, to Florence Nightingale. She dictated the outfits for her nurses serving in the Crimean War. They wore gray tweed dresses featuring long sleeves and ample skirts. These early nurses also wore a brown scarf, while, on their head perched a white cap. These outfits provided the nurses a modicum of respectability. Their dress, similar to that of middle class housewives, ensured they were not mistaken for cooks, laundresses and camp followers.

The American Civil War changed the color of the dress, but the fashion remained the same. Plain, simple, black, gray or brown dresses sported a white apron. Upon the head, nurses wore a matching white bonnet. It was always to be the fashion to wear an apron. A practical measure used by women throughout the centuries to protect their clothing while they worked.

During the early 1900s, the idea of white as the medical symbol of sterility emerged. White became a reflection of the medical profession's aspiration to portray their job as clean and sanitary. This is related to the increasing public awareness of the close link between cleanliness and the prevention of the spreading of bacteria and viral infections. As a result, nurses began to dress all in white. At first, their shoes remained the only spot of color. These were black.

After the invention of white-leather shoe polish, shoes shared the color theme. Now, the entire outfit was white. The new look became the classic nursing uniform - conventional pleated white dresses paired with white hose, white shoes and the often despised pointy white cap. This looked remained consistent until the "revolution."

The 1960s changed the world in many ways, including how nurses dressed. A combination of factors, including the rise of feminism, rejected the crisp and, at times, impractical outfit. Feminist nurses complained the color and stiff structure of the uniform limited their movement. They said they were responding unnecessarily slow to emergencies. The cap was tossed and scrubs introduced. Some nurses still wore the now old-fashioned outfit but modified it to their needs. It was not until the 1970s, however, that change once again became necessary.

In the 1970s, hospitals ended the practice of laundering nurses' uniforms. Everyone became responsible for cleaning their own outfit. Pantsuits came into vogue, as they were in other mainly female professions. Nurses in advanced specialties began wearing lab coats. Nursing, for once, was paying heed to fashion. It was also a matter of practicality. Nurses fought for more practical and low maintenance clothing.

To the more modern nurses, the switch to comfortable scrubs or pantsuits was a welcome change. The new, modern outfits provided nurses with everything they needed: functionality, easy-to-care-for fabric, comfort and freedom of movement. Many felt that change was a "good thing." Over the years, in fact, scrubs have emerged as the overall favorite.

Once the door was open a number of other uniform options occurred. Slowly, shirts of all shapes and colors and patterns have become the norm. Prints became commonplace as did a wide variety of fabric choices. Bright uniforms are now popular among many nurses. They see them as a means of brightening or lightening patient moods. For nurses working in children's wards, the variety offers nurses another tool in helping their young patients through their stay.

Fun animal prints are available in cotton and polyblends. There are also seasonal scrubs. Nurses can now dress up for almost any holiday or seasonal event. There are Halloween prints covering a wide spectrum of themes and possibilities. Nurses can also celebrate Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July, Christmas, Jewish holidays and many other festivals and festivities. There are even patriotic uniforms.

Nurse outfits can be trendy, retro or modern. The spectrum of colors has gone far beyond basic white. Search on the net, go to a uniform store or leaf through a catalogue. The choices are mindboggling. As the old adage goes, "You've come a long way, baby."