Russia to establish large scale production of innovative fabrics
22nd June 2012, Moscow
Eugene Gerden reports from Moscow
The Russian government is investing more than USD$20 million in the implementation of a major project, regarding with the design and further launch of production of innovative textile fabrics.
According to the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, the project involves the participation of about major 10 Russian research institutes, which will provide their latest developments in the field of production of innovative textile fabrics.
Amongst the developments are the implantation of metal nanoparticles, and in particular silver, (known for its biological activity and antibacterial properties) in fabrics and the use of modified wool fibre technology with the use of non-equilibrium low-temperature plasma, which provides abrasion resistance, as well as soil-repellent, water repellent, antibacterial and other properties to the fibre.
As part of the project, a particular focus is expected to be paid to the design of a wide range of fibrous materials from short flax fibre used, which is currently only for technical purposes, as well as fine woollen fabrics and modern mixed fabrics with different content of natural and synthetic fibres and yarns.
There is a possibility that the bulk of future production of innovative fabrics is expected to be launched at the capacities of the Bryansk Worsted Mill, one of Russia’s largest producers of special and technical fabrics.
According to analysts of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, which is responsible for the implementation the project, its successful implementation will help to improve the competitiveness of Russian textiles and garments in the domestic market. This is especially important, due to Russia’s recent WTO accession and the associated significant increase of imports of clothing and fabrics in the coming years.
The project also involves the design of semi-woollen fabric of dual purpose, which is expected to be used in the production of various types of clothes, including women's, men's and children's.
In addition, the new fabrics will be used in the manufacture of school uniforms, work wear, as well as corporate clothing. In the case of work wear, there are plans for the design of fabrics with a special coating and a protective layer that allows the wearer to keep warm.
In addition, the new fabrics are expected to be used in tailoring of elite men's suits, which will be made in Russia. Analysts of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade hope that such suits, which will be in high demand among the local population, as their quality will be similar to those from Western producers with a significantly lower price.
There is also a possibility that the new fabrics will be used in the production of bedding, which will be not be subjected to deformation and will have good thermal insulation properties.
Finally, the innovative fabrics will also be used in the manufacture of underwear for both men and women.
Svetlana Belyaeva, president of the Russian Union of Clothing Manufacturers, comments:
"By investing funds in the development of new innovative textile materials, we can keep the ‘brains’ in the domestic science. The Russian science has all the needed technologies for the production of innovation textile materials and, so far, the developments of many foreign scientists, including those from Finland, Norway and Canada had been based on scientific developments of Russian scientists”.
According to Michael Klinov, head of the Department of Forestry and Industry of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, industrial production of innovative fabrics and new clothing, based on them, will be established later this year. Some of the new fabrics will be produced in trial quantities.
At the same time the scientific side of the project is expected to be conducted on the basis of Ivanovo State University of Chemical Technology and the Institute of Chemistry of Solutions of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
According to analysts of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Commerce, after the completion of the design of new fabrics, the government will initiate a search of domestic clothing producers, which could be interested in the launch of production of their clothes, based on innovative materials.
So far, interest in participation in the project has already been expressed by several leading Russian textile and clothing manufacturers, among which are Russ factory, JSC Frant, Jeanne factory, Change Trading House and several others.
Victor Azarenkov, commercial director of Frant company, which is participating in the project, comments:
"The innovation of new type fabrics will be based in its composition and properties. This will be a light half-woollen fabric that is not wrinkled and is not subject of shrinkage. It will have good durable properties, while its working lifespan will be at least two years. "
Russian analysts believe that the new domestic clothing, based on innovative fabrics, will be able to successfully compete with imported products and will bring significant profits to its producers.
Need for modernisation
At the same time the government is aware that the implementation of the project will be associated with the need of modernization of production facilities of mills and enterprises, which will be involved in the project, but has no plans to provide any subsidies for installation of new equipment and the provision of other compensation to producers.
Instead, in addition to above mentioned state investments, the support of the project is expected to be in the form of subsidisation of interest rates on loans, attracted for modernization and purchase of raw materials.
Eugene Gerden was educated at St. Petersburg University, Department of International Business and at the University of Kansas’ (USA) Journalism School. He was Deputy Corporate Affairs Director of the Russian Association of Textile Producers in 2008 and 2009 and is a contributor to a number of international magazines in the fields of textiles, nonwovens and investment.
Author: Billy Hunter