Indian shawls are often preferred by women because of their tenderness and warmth. India exports shawls to more than 70 countries in the world, including Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Finland, Denmark, Italy, Canada, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Russia, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa. Shawl exports stand at Rs 750 crores out of this figure, Amritsar shawl exports is worth Rs 450 crores.
The shawl industry in Amritsar has more than 47 manufacturing units with 400 shuttle-less rapier looms with electronic jacquards. These units have an annual turnover of Rs 1,000 crores. About 4500 embroidery machines help in value addition. There are also dyeing and finishing, woolen and worsted spinning mills. Cone dyeing of yarns is also done. Printing industries support the textile units.
Most of these units are Woolmark licensees as they receive the raw material for shawls from Australia. India is the third largest consumer of Australian wool in the world. Apart from shawls, imported wool is also used in manufacturing woolen apparel including suitings, dress material, Lohi and Kullu shawls. Shawls in India are placed in the readymade category. But the industry wants a separate classification in the export category to factually assess the share of shawls in exports.