Primary objective of Ekoteks, producing jacquard yarn, which is critically important as a by- product for jacquard weavers in Turkey is to stop foreign currency leakage, thus provide inflow.
Engaging in yarn looms, accessories and jacquard machinery for over 30 years, Ekoteks stands out with its attention to quality. Ekoteks is renowned amids textile circles with jacquard accessories and ready-complete harnesses for its unique brand, ‘Ekowire’. Ekoteks now produces jacquard yarns used at jacquard weaving with its brand-new, ‘Ekocord’. Underlining the fact that Turkish textile industry is fully capable of ‘making things possible’ by producing jacquard yarns, which is a technically more demanding process Cengiz Nalbant, a board member of Ekoteks kindly gave us an interview to let us know more about the processes they went through.
Production in line with European Standards
“We made a corporate decision to locally produce jacquard yarns which we used to be outsourced earlier. Substructure of the investment was initiated two years ago with feasibility studies to see if we could produce such a product. Because it was a technically demanding product, we considered it a challenge and decided to produce it domestically. Subsequent to initial feasibility came R&D and P&D (production and development) steps. In the meantime, we were financially granted by KOBI (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) Investment Fund.
It was Ekoteks’ very first project subsidized by the government. We managed to successfully finalize it in 2019. We were just getting ready to launch it at ITM 2020, which was going to be held in last June; but we had to put the introduction of it to a later date due to the notorious pandemic. Having a costly initial investment as such, the project requires a thorough integration of weaving looms, dyeing and finishing processes. For the time being, our monthly capacity is 1 tonne. We are committed to increase it by enriching our machine range, which will allow us to meet the demand coming from both domestic and international markets.
We have been producing jacquard yarns, a technically more demanding process to prove that we are competent enough to produce such difficult products. Since we have been the user of the product, we already knew very well how the product must be like. The product we have been producing equals to European rivals and standards. We are receiving satisfactory feedback about the products offered to the market. The material used sure needs to be the highest quality in compliance with globally acknowledged standards.
We made a decision to produce by-products widely used in the making of home textile, tulle, drapes, towels, narrow wovens, labels and automotive upholstery. We are keen on researchers and endeavors to better the product. Since it’s an imported product, a great deal of foreign currency gets out of the national budget. What we are determined to realize is to stop it and reverse it otherwise.”
A critically important product with high quality specs
Pinpointing the fact that it was once an imported product, Cengiz Nalbant highlighted that there had been no production of it in Turkey. “All the producers would import it; when you have a jacquard loom, you are supposed to certainly utilize jacquard yarns, a byproduct. Without it, you can’t. Additionally, you need to substitute jacquard yarns used in production every 4-5 years; four years on air jet weaving and five years on rapier. Lifespan of the product varies, though, depending on operation circumstances. There is wear and tear in time and thus, efficiency on the machine lowers. Our main goal is to take advantage of jacquard yarns produced on our own production flow; then, to have other producers to benefit from them. The yarn that we produce does not get loose (out of stretching), come off or gather dust.”
Effects of pandemic
Stating that the pandemic that still has a globally huge impact also affected them, Cengiz Nalbant went on to say that they stuck by the precautions put in effect by the government. “During this time, we kept our operation with full attention to regulatory and sanitary measures to make sure everyone is safe and operation going. Since we are a company dealing intensely with export, we were given privileges to maintain our operation; however, it was such a dramatic period that some countries with which we had export connections got lockdowns. Indeed, things were not quite consoling then. We took a knock, so to speak, from March to June.
Luckily, we had a quick recovery as of the beginning of the second half of the year. Things are going at a normal pace now. It appears that we will overcome the pandemic with minor harm. Positive news coming about the vaccine makes me feel hopeful about the entire textile industry for 2021.”