Monday 25th September 2017

    Weaving the Indian Linen Story

    The Linen Club brand presently enjoys the largest market share in the segment and is probably the most popular linen brand in India…

    As the oldest fibre known to mankind, in the ancient Egypt, Linen had risen in popularity to being the fabric of royals. The great pharaohs and princesses draped in artistically designed and intricately woven linen enjoyed its warmth during long cold winters and cherished its coolness during hot summers. Centuries later and miles apart, the fabric has caught the imagination of several Indian designers who are not shying away from extensively incorporating it in their international collections. More here.

    CHANGING TRENDS

    Making sense of the changing trend in favour of linen, Mr. Thomas Varghese, Business Head - Textiles, Aditya Birla Group explains, “Linen is best suited fabric for a country like India which has a tropical and hot weather. Earlier people in India didn’t like wearing linen because it gave a crushed look, as if it had been worn for long. Now with the ‘crushed’ look becoming a style statement in the West, the Indian youth closely following international trends, have started asking for linen. Another good thing about the linen fabric is that once people get accustomed to wearing it chances are that they wouldn’t want to wear anything else.”

    Further justifying the fabric as a value-for-money proposition for customers, Mr. Varghese adds, “The natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities unlike any other natural or artificial fibre makes linen one of the most expensive fibres currently in vogue.”


    MARKET SHARE

    For almost half-a-century in India, Jay Shree Textiles (a unit of Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd.) has been promoting linen fabric under the brand “Linen Club”. With swelling customer equity the company has steadfast grown into being the largest linen retailers in the world. Today, the “Linen Club” brand enjoys the largest market share in the segment and is probably the most popular linen brand in India. Justifiably, the brand owes its popularity to the herculean efforts of Jay Shree Textiles to popularise linen as an exclusive textile category in India.

    “A decade ago, if you asked me about the future of linen retailing in India, I would not have been optimistic. Back then, it was very difficult to find linen on the shelves of even the elite store of the city. Linen was occupying not more than 1 per cent of the retail shelf space,” reminisces Mr. Varghese. “Today, if you look at top 500 textile stores in India, linen occupies about 15 per cent of the shelf space,” he adds.


    MOVING AHEAD

    Anticipating the market to grow at a faster pace over the next decade or so owing to the entry of several competing linen brand, the company continues to be upbeat about the enduring values of ‘Linen Club’ brand. As India’s largest producers of linen yarn and fabric, Jay Shree Textiles has chalked out ambitious plans to further consolidate its position in the market.

    Presently, the company holds about 60% of the market share in the Linen yarn segment, and has lapped-up almost 50% market share in Linen fabric. Two year ago, the company launched an exclusive line of linen readymade garments under the brand name of ‘Linen Club Studio’. It started with exclusive men’s wear and has plans to extend it to women’s wear also. The company has already launched a new ethnic range through a designer-led collection and is hopefully planning to expand the same under its brand. While the company continues to expand its product offering to meet changing customer demands it hopes to make a strong presence in all the three segments – men’s wear, women’s wear and home textiles.



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