Textile made-ups are one of the most valuable and important international trading commodities, which can be divided into six major categories i.e. Towels & Cleaning Cloths, Bedwear & Bed Linen, Blankets, Curtains & Furnishings, Canvas Products and Table Linen. Bedwear is among the largest sectors in terms of production and exports of all the textile made-ups in Pakistan. During 2017– 18 Pakistan’s export of Bedwear was US $ 1,674 million contributing 27% in the textile exports out of US $ 6,164 million.
The basic reason for the development of this industry in Pakistan is the existence of a huge infrastructure of weaving in formal and informal sectors. The informal sector is also known as Power Loom Sector. Most of the products in Bed Linen are made from low-density fabrics of wider widths. This fabric can be easily manufactured on Power and Auto Looms, which forms the major chunk of weaving industry of Pakistan. The competitive edge in cotton has also played an important role in development of Power Loom industry, as the staple length of cotton produced in Pakistan is suitable for medium count yarn, which is used to produce low-density fabrics.
Power Loom sector in Pakistan is highly fragmented and is based on cottage / small scale and unorganized manufacturing clusters. Major clusters of Bed Linen are in Karachi, Faisalabad, Lahore, Multan and Hyderabad. According to All Pakistan Bed Sheets & Upholstery Manufacturers Association (APBUMA), there are 206 units registered with the association out of which 102 member units are in Multan, 43 units in Lahore, 38 units in Karachi and 23 units in Faisalabad. The industry structure varies from city to city. Manufacturers and exporters in Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad mostly deal in high tech products whereas Multan is famous for production of traditional bedwear.
Historically, in Multan power looms industry started on a cottage scale. Owners and their family members installed looms in homes. The presence of power loom in the area strengthens the cluster of bedwear in Multan. Presently, cluster provides employment opportunity to around 40,000 people.