April 22, 2024

Sri Lanka: A Major Apparel Sourcing Hub, with special emphasis on Weft Knitting


Sri Lanka has always been in the spotlight for gaining an international reputation for being one of the biggest textile manufacturing industries. Sri Lanka’s major textile manufacturers produce top-class woven, knitted, and non-woven fabrics for classic fashion appellations such as Pink, PVH, Victoria’s Secret, Next, Columbia Sportswear, Lasenza, Nike, Adidas, Gap, Levi’s, Intimissimi, H&M, Hugo Boss, M&S, and many more.

In Sri Lanka, there are a number of significant textile producers and suppliers. While some of them export textiles directly, others supply textiles to regional exporters and garment makers. Weaving, knitting, and braiding are common methods for making fabrics. The other methods used for this encompass mechanical, thermal, chemical, or solvent means of connecting fibres.

Some of the major categories of fabric made in Sri Lanka are woven fabric, knitted fabric, braided fabric, and non-woven fabric. There are some specialty fabrics too, such as aluminized fabrics, awning fabrics, and blended fabrics.

Sri Lanka is the hub for exporting fabrics to other countries and the major sources of fabrics exported from Sri Lanka are:  Blended knitted fabric, Blended woven fabric, Cotton fabric, Double jersey fabric, Denim fabric, Decorative fabric, Nylon fabric, Mesh fabric, Lace fabric, Single Jersey fabric, Linen fabric, Silk fabric, Shirting fabric, Suiting fabric, Taffeta fabric, Polyester knitted fabric, Polyester fabric, Greige fabric, and Velour fabric.

Weft Knitting

Weft Knitting is one of the most used knitting techniques in Sri Lanka. A knitted item known as a weft-knit is one in which the horizontal stitches go across the fabric from left to right. It can be constructed by hand or with a knitting machine and is often knitted with a single piece of yarn. Weft knitting is the most popular type of knitting due to its simplicity compared to warp knitting. Jersey, Double Knit, Circular Knitting, Fair Isle, and Cable knitting are all weft knitting variations. The majority of these knits are made on knitting machines. Weft-knitted fabric producers make up all the textile companies in Sri Lanka.

The fabric industry of Sri Lanka provides access to a large selection of weft-knitted fabrics, fibre blends, patterns, and innovative fabric developments. This assists customers in realizing that specific design. Many firms, ranging from contemporary to traditional, are producing for people who want to maintain outstanding quality while maintaining distinctive styling for distinctive designs.

The Sri Lankan fabric industry market is boosted by the efforts of these firms’ working day and night. The weft knitting fabric industry of Sri Lanka is progressive, catering to all kinds of demands from its customers. The industry is famous for maintaining a close eye on new worldwide fashion trends and winning over clients with both creativity and quickness. The weft knitting fabric industry of Sri Lanka is ethical and maintains sustainable practices, eliminating waste to lessen its impact on the environment. One such powerhouse of the industry is Hayleys Fabric PLC.

Firms behind the industry

Hayleys Fabric PLC Award Logos

A pioneer in Sri Lankan weft knit fabric production, Hayleys Fabric PLC began in 1992. It is currently acknowledged as a top-tier cloth maker with a high level of inventiveness and its own brand, INNO. The business uses best practices for sustainability, conservation of the environment, protection of health, and safety while focusing on environmentally friendly procedures. The company surpasses the aim of the global drive to “zero discharge of hazardous chemicals (ZDHC)” by three years.

These strategies have helped the business get the best brands in the world for its product line-up. The organization has so far been able to stay on course with its objective due to strong ethical standards and fundamental principles. The company received the “Best Textile Manufacturer in Sri Lanka 2022” and “Most Sustainable Textile Industry in Sri Lanka 2022” awards from the International Business Magazine due to its outstanding performance for being the most sustainable textile manufacturer in Sri Lanka.

Hayleys Fabric PLC Products: – Image Courtesy: – Hayleys PLC Website

With a monthly capacity of more than 3 million meters of fabric, Hayleys Fabric PLC has an annual turnover of USD 72 million. The company has invested in itself to produce a cutting-edge fabric that major apparel manufacturers across the world adore. Today, the company has moved its attention to environmentally friendly inventions employing recycled PET bottle yarns from Sri Lankan shoes and organic yarns, and it is further aligning its business practices to become a socially conscious, moral, adaptable, and transparent institution. The production facility for Hayleys Fabric has the ability to knit, dye, print, brush, suede, and finish fabrics. The firm provides Single Jersey, Interlock, Pique, Rib, Fleece, and Polar Fleece, Jacquard, and Flat Knits in both plain and printed colors that are made from pure and blended cotton, polyester, viscose, and modal yarns.

The largest conglomerate in Sri Lanka, Hayleys PLC, owns 59% of the company directly, which is listed on the Colombo stock exchange and has a total asset value of USD 48 million. Hayleys PLC is one of Sri Lanka’s most well-known and award-winning conglomerates. Manufacturing, shipping, and freight forwarding, power and energy (Solar, Hydro, and Wind), agriculture (including equipment, fertilizer, and seeds), city and resort hotels, travel and tourism, engineering, tea, and rubber plantations, and the biggest consumer and retail chain store operators in Sri Lanka are all included in its diverse business portfolio.

The corporation, one of the oldest corporate organizations in the nation with a history spanning more than 140 years, has an annual turnover of over USD 1 billion dollars. Recently, it has been reported that through the largest solar roof installation in Sri Lanka, Hayleys Fabric PLC provides the national grid with 6,241,500 kWh of power annually and lowers the company’s carbon impact by 4,065.45 tCO2.

In order to source textiles, it is always recommendable to prefer Sri Lankan manufacturers. There are numerous benefits to purchasing textiles made in Sri Lanka, including high-quality products that the world’s most recognizable fashion brands trust; modern manufacturing facilities and technologies; decades’ worth of expertise and practical knowledge; excellent infrastructure and logistics; a skilled and well-trained workforce; ingenuity and creativity.

Blog By Tasleem Majumder



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