Ahmedabad Textile IndustryAhmedabad, the business hub of Gujarat state which is often referred as 'Manchester of the East' has been thriving on its textile industry. The city has gained mostly due to its location in the cotton growing belt and also because of the river Sabarmati which requires water for manufacturing textiles. Sultan Ahmed Shah founded the city in 1411 and made it capital of his empire. The city got its name from him.
Birth of Ahmedabad Textile IndustryRight from its starting days Ahmedabad was a trading and industrial hub with textile as its major product. Akbar, the Mughal emperor conquered Gujarat in 1573 bringing Ahmedabad under his control. During his regime Ahmedabad became more famous especially in textile trade. During this time textiles were exported to Europe.
Boom in Ahmedabad Textile IndustryIt was during the 19th century, that the textile industry in Ahmedabad became stronger. The industry received strong capital investments from enthusiastic entrepreneurs and government.
Calico Museum of TextilesFounded in 1949 and managed by the Sarabhai Foundation, the Calico Museum of Textile has an outstanding collection of Indian handicraft textiles. Fabric works and textiles used during the Mughal rule and other rulers between 15th to 19th centuries are put on display.
Textile Industry Post-IndependenceThe city also has a research association in the name Ahmedabad Textile Industry's Research Association (ATIRA) which was established on 13th December 1947 and started its operations from 1949.
During the period 1951 to 1982 the number of spindles in these mills grew from 11 million to 22 million and by 1990 they have reached to 26 million. But the cotton industry was badly hit due to the famine in 1990 due to which many of the cotton mills were closed during this period.
Later after 1999 the industry saw a huge downfall with many of the mills going into shutdown mainly due to the emergence of power loom sector and global competition. By 2010 the number of non operating textile mills has gone up hugely from 290 in 2000-01 to 2,800 in 2010-11 as per Assocham report.
Present Status of Ahmedabad Textile Industry
The number of textile factories in Ahmedabad is still in a growing phase and has 5% growth (compounded annual growth rate) during 2000 to 2010. Though there are still chances of further growth in the industry lack of foreign investments, advanced manufacturing technologies, lack of economies and educated labor are still challenges to the industry.