New Age Fabric
Ponte Roma or Ponte de Roma is one of the ancient names in textile/fabric industry which is even today reminisced as a rough, stiff and polyester material. But today, ponte fabric has come a long way with Suditi Industries Ltd, a BSE Listed company, an integrated firm for knitwear solutions along with Birla Celulose, Aditya Birla Group having revamped the fabric to give an improvised version of Ponte Roma. Manufactured in India and better suited for structured designs this is now called ‘Ponte Venese’ Established in 1991, Suditi Industries Ltd is managed by Pawan Agarwal. Suditi Industries Ltd. aims to pursue the path of excellence in its manufacturing activity of knitted fabrics and products with the view to create backward integration and to give global standard products. It specializes in knitting, processing, printing, garmenting, embroidery and retail. Headquartered in Navi Mumbai, Suditi Industries is present in Turbhe and Bhiwandi with a work force of around 900 employees. The 1,00,000 sq feet manufacturing unit produces 12 tons of fabric each day. It has won accolades and awards by TEXPROCIL and FIEO for innovation, quality and credibility. It has the certifications like ISO 9000-2000, Oko tex and GOTS.
Ponte venese is a modern fabric and already catching up with the domestic brands. The innovative techniques and treatments undertaken for the fabric make it stitch friendly and hence easy to work with. It is a double knit fabric made from the combination of Viscose, Nylon and Spandex that are softer and gives a feel good factor on your body, drapes well, is a structured fabric and does not curl at the edges. While brands today want to show variation in collection, this fabric sorts it all. The fabric can be knitted from all sorts of different types and weights of yarns and elastane is often included to increase the stretch, it also gives exceptional effect while printing or dyeing. It’s a firm, stable knit which holds its shape well in a garment, increases longevity and helps the fabric to look great for longer. Another great characteristic of this fabric is that it is great for leisure wear, active wear, fitted streamlined garments and even yoga wear. This versatile fabric allows a comfortable fit, while still holding its shape, multiple application of this garment is the key factor of this fabric. For instance, while making a woman bottom with its perfect amount of stretch it requires no elastic or drawstring to hold it. According to R Chinraj, President – Suditi Industries Ltd, “renowned brands have shown interest and working on using this fabric in their clothing line. The fabric being extremely usable creates a wide gamut of canvas for designers and brands to create variety. We are sure that the final product will be enriched by all.” On the official launch, Manohar Samuel, President – Marketing, Birla Cellulose, Aditya Birla Group commented, “Ponte Venese is a quality, compact, double-knit fabric re-created for maximum comfort, fluidity and natural stretch. Suditi had innovative techniques deployed during the technical perfection of this fabric. Being an invaluable member of Liva Accredited Partner Forum-LAPF, Suditi has consistently innovated in Liva knitted fabrics of value that delight consumers.” This fabric advancement was undertaken along with Birla Cellulose’s TRADC. Currently, Ponte Venese is under production and will be made available to all soon.
Creating this fabric requires highly equipped machines that have capacity to manufacture yards of fabric. Since this is a double knit fabric it is knitted using two sets of needles. Machine known as double knit machines or cylinder knitting machines imported from Europe are used. These double knit machines are often designed for creating large quantities. As the machine whirs away it creates two layers of fabric, therefore you see these fine ribs on both sides of this fabric. Brands today look for fabric that is very distinctive and suits the requirements of Indian audiences. “There was seen a demand for fabric with authentic stretchability and sustainability, we along with Birla Cellulose worked on developing a fabric that led to innovating ‘Ponte venese’. It is a firm, stable knit which holds it is shape well in a garment, increases longevity and helps the fabric to look great for longer. Moreover, it is sure to benefit the brands while making active wear, leisure wear, fitted garments or even yoga wear which is in-trend today. The fabric possesses a natural stretch and fluidity and gives exceptional effect while printing or dyeing it. The firmness and stable double knit quality holds the shape well thereby increasing longevity,” adds Chinraj. Ponte venese is a structured fabric. It is constructed in such a way that it enhances the features of the final garment and makes it fit right on your body type. It is a modern fabric that is apt for the current environment and goes parallel with the latest fashion trends. This fabric is what the end-consumer needs; it fits well, is comfortable, drapes well and most importantly avoids curling at the edges.
This fabric is great for leisure wear, active wear, fitted streamlined garments and even yoga wear. The versatility of this fabric allows it to give a comfortable fit and while still holding the shape it ensures multiple application for the garment. For instance, while making a woman bottom wear it gives the perfect amount of stretch that holds it perfectly on your body, also it does not require a drawstring or additional elastic band to hold it. The firmness allows the fabric to move as you go. Even while making a long fitted streamlined dress, it gives a perfect fall and makes one feel comfortable while wearing it. This works especially for leisure or active wear when one requires the right amount of stretch this fabric serves the purpose. Because of this double knit quality, this versatile fabric is better for more structured knit fabric projects such as exercise clothes or form-hugging apparels. The interlock feature of the garments is great for bottom-wear since their thick, structured nature keep one comfortable while holding shape and allowing for a full range of movement.
The fabric is also eco-friendly because process energy is less due to shorter process cycles. Chemical used while making this fabric are as per Okatex standards. Ponte Venese fabric has high percentage of regenerated cellulose. Ponte Venese is the fabric for modern wear. It serves to be a boon for retailers with its easiness to work with and a delight to consumers for its quality. This fabric is sure to be a designers companion, with various uses in the category and ways to play around with it when it comes to garment. It is definitely to make a space for itself in the fashion industry. “We believe that this fabric will create a landmark in the Indian textile and apparel industry and is sure to become the preferred choice in textile industry, amongst brands, retailers and the final consumers,” says Chinraj. In fact this fabric will help India reduce the import of new types of yarn and fabrics as it uses the abundant resources and raw material base available in the country to develop new materials. This will help reduce not only dependence but also the cost in final product and that is most certainly not a bad bargain.
This story appeared in the June issue of Apparel magazine here: Apparel – June 2016 – Fabric Speak – The Ponte Vense Adventure