Recent data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) showing that in the July-October period the home textile export climbed 47.86% to $354.25 million this year from $239.59 million last year.
The export number also indicates an 18.24% growth than the quarterly target of $299.61 million set by the government earlier.
In the previous fiscal year, Bangladesh’s home textile sector earned $758.91 million.
Besides the everyday items such as bedsheets, curtains, kitchen linen, napkins and covers for quilts, blankets, comforters and cushions; items like hospital bed sheets and gowns have skyrocketed amid the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide.
As more and more people are staying home, and even at hospitals, is resultant in a thriving trade for the seemingly inobtrusive fabric.
Rashed Mosharraf, General Manager for Marketing and Head of Operations of Zaber & Zubair Fabrics said, “The shipments from Bangladesh increased mainly because its use has increased.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are staying inside for extended periods, and this has augmented the use of home textiles a lot, said the official of the country’s major home textile exporter with annual figures reaching some $200 million.
Though sales of garment items declined in retail stores in the European and American markets, that of home textiles improved, he said.
As the tourism industry came to a halt with hotels shut – decreasing the home textile with it – but this, in turn, is countering the reduction in sales of fabrics and sheets used in hotels and airplanes during the pandemic.
Industry experts say Bangladesh has become the main source for home textile because of massive investments made by local entrepreneurs. As a consequence, Bangladeshi manufacturers can also supply a massive quantity of requirements of buyers.
According to Monsoor Ahmed, secretary of the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), more than Tk 25,000 crore has been invested in the homes textile sector over the last couple of decades in Bangladesh.
Monsoor also said local exporters would end up shipping more than $1 billion worth of home textile from the country in a year.
The dyeing and other businesses associated with the home textiles sector are employing thousands of workers across the country, said Ahmed.