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September 4, 2019

Use of food item in textiles lamented


September 4, 2019

LAHORE: Faisalabad’s sizing industry is an integral part of the textiles value chain and feeds the power looms sector with the basic raw material – starched yarn. Yarn produced by spinning mills is starched at the sizing units before being mounted on the beams that feed it to the power looms.

Adding starch to yarn is important because it gives it strength to sustain the tension during the cloth weaving process. If not starched, the yarn might break quite easily. Power looms are unable to function in the absence of a regular supply of raw material - starched yarn - from the sizing industry.

According to the industry sources, there are around 110 sizing units in Faisalabad division which includes Faisalabad district, Jhang, Hafizabad, Gojra etc. The sector's representatives have multiple demands for the government but the foremost is the provision of chemicals that can replace the use of starch at sizing units.

Their point is that chemicals are used in other countries for this purpose but here in Pakistan they have to depend on starch which is a food product. The starch applied on yarn washes away and goes into the drainage once the grey cloth is sent for processing.

Talking to The News, Shakeel Ansari, Patron-in-Chief, All Pakistan Sizing Association (APSA), says it is criminal to waste a food product like this but they have no other option. He shares there is only one unit - Rafhan Foods - in Faisalabad which supplies starch to them. Another one is being set up but it seems it would take some time to become functional.

In the last one year, Shakeel says, the prices of starch were increased four times on the pretext of devaluation of Pak rupee against US dollar, rise in the prices of gas and maize etc.

He adds this starch can be saved from wastage by introducing chemicals to strengthen yarn. This starch can be used in production of food products like sweets, bakery items, soups for their thickening.

"It is the responsibility of the institutes like the National Textile University, Faisalabad to work in this direction. They have the funds and the mandate to perform this function," he concludes.

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