Pakistan’s struggling textile sector might be turning its luck around.
In a bid to cash in on the lucrative high-tech fabric market, the National Textile University (NTU) announced at a seminar Tuesday that funding has been received to build the country’s first Technical Textile Resource Center (TTRC) to train the next generation of textile engineers.
According to the Express Tribune, NTU Rector Dr. Arshad Ali described the center as “the future of Pakistani textiles.”
“Clothing prepared by conventional methods is only 10 to 20 Pakistani rupees (or $0.20) per meter, this skyrockets to 300 Pakistani rupees ($2.95) per meter for technical textiles in some cases,” he said.
Pakistan’s textile exports slipped 16 percent on a year-over-year basis in March. Despite being the fifth largest cotton producer in the world, cotton cloth exports fell 14.5% in value terms and 37.6% in quantity during the same period.
Dr. Ali said the government, the industry and academia recognize the importance of technical textiles is increasing, and together they plan to promote the sector by fast-tracking the TTRC and laying out a roadmap that will help double the country’s textile exports by 2018.
In addition to teaching new students about the science, technology and manufacturing process behind technical textiles, NTU will offer on-the-job training of textile engineers as well as refresher courses for graduates working in other industries.