Bangladesh’s sweater manufacturers are switching over to an automated production system. The main purpose is to grab the growing demand for value-added items. Also because complexities over worker payments are being faced by the knits segment and automation is taking place. An automated jacquard machine is not only able to produce diversified and fashionable products, it can also fabricate critical designs, not possible with the manual ones. Though automation results in job loss, it increases productivity, helps produce more designed-based sweaters with embroidery and value-addition. While a manual machine costs $300 to $700 dollars, an automated jacquard machine ranges between $2,000 to $30,000. While a manual machine needs one operator and can produce a maximum of five pieces a day, an automatic machine, operated by a single operator, can produce about 30 pieces a day.
Bangladesh has about 786 sweater factories, employing around 7,00,000 workers. Sweaters are among the top five readymade garment exports of Bangladesh. Jerseys, pullovers, cardigans and waistcoats are the major items shipped to the European Union, the US and Canada. France, Germany, Italy, UK, Spain and Poland are the major EU markets while Japan and Russia are the potential non-traditional markets for sweaters.