PMSA Trip 2019: Fabric manufacturing and weaving

Each week, Whitecliffe Fashion Tech students will have their unique PSMA Indian journey highlighted as they’re immersed in international issues and culture – this week, we feature Auckland student Josie Williams.

Coming from New Zealand, where we don’t have big factories and work rooms, I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to experience this environment. On Tuesday 2nd of July, we visited a weaving mill in Erode which is a 2-hour trip from Bannari Amman Institute of Technology (BIT). We had an amazing theory class where we learnt about the stages of how everything comes together to have the finish material.

The warp yarn process, ring cap to beam formation, as well as the weft yarn process from ring spinning to loom.

We also got to see how they threaded through them individually to make the warp yarn while the machines will create the weft yarn.

In the next few days, we visited a dyeing and printing unit in Erode. At first gaze around the room, all you can see are big machines folding just metres and metres of material – quite satisfying to watch. The material goes through the stages they first have to mercerise to make the material have more strength and lustre. They engrave the print on the rollers with VV laser which takes 15 days to process. They have four different print styles:

  1. Pigment
  2. Discharge
  3. Reactive
  4. Resist

That Monday, we visited a large-scale garment unit in Karuathampatti. It was amazing to see what mass production actually looks like and that there were some familiar brands that we wear on a day to day basis e.g Ralph Lauren. To see a machine that fuses without you having to hold down and count to 15, then check to a machine that cuts out patterns on material, was truly amazing. Walking into the sewing area, our bundles in first year were a piece of cake compared to what I saw. Sadly, at these places, we couldn’t take any photos, but just having the knowledge and visual image with me is something that I will cherish.

Brookfield Mall and Texvalley

We had our first experience with the malls in India, and Brookfield Mall was massive.

I was scared that I wouldn’t have enough time to shop around with four levels of any shop you could think of. I had the opportunity to purchase my first Indian outfit and it was quite an experience. Shop assistance kept saying ‘too tall’ but thank goodness we found something in the end.

Texvalley was running an amazing craft market on the day that we visited. I met a talented man named Mohammed  who made a bookmark out of metal for my mama. He also left a video recorded message for her, which meant a lot to me cause she loves sentimental gifts. He was such a genuine person – it was an awesome experience.

Read more from the PSMA India Trip 2019

Being awarded a Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) is a once in a lifetime opportunity, one which 15 Whitecliffe New Zealand Fashion Tech students are the lucky recipients of for 2019.

The level 5 Diploma in Apparel and Fashion Technology students, seven from Auckland and eight from Wellington, are travelling to Bannari Amman Institute of Technology in India as part of their Indian Apparel and Textile Practicum. 

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