L'Usine Textile du Rwanda (Utexrwa), the only textile industry in the country producing silk products says it has started selling its products in Canada as it targets bigger markets abroad.
The first consignment exported last week is composed of 130 pairs of silk pajamas for both men and women that are being distributed by a company identified as “dreamyz lounge wear” in Canada.
“Silk products are ready and being test marketed, we are waiting for supply chain of cocoons to go for bigger volumes,” Managing Director of Utexrwa, Raj-Rajendram told Business Times, on Tuesday.
Rajendram added that the company has the capacity to supply a variety of silk products including neckties, scarfs, shirts and pajamas depending on demand.
While the Company has capacity to consume 480 KG of cocoons of silk fibre per day, the current production of silk cocoons cannot sustain the company's production capacity.
Rajendram observed that farmers have difficulties in outsourcing silk warm eggs and limited resources to build rearing sheds.
The Company says it needs approximately 7.5 tonnes of cocoons per month to sustain its production capacity.
Silk yarn is drawn from the cocoons of mature silk worms that are spun and woven into fabric.
However, according to Consolate Mukabutera, the Director of Sericulture at Utexrwa noted the arrangement between the two companies is still at pilot level; as such delivery will be made in batches to provide room for correction.
“These are trial products, we send in different installments to allow modifications in colors, style and sizes,” she said.
Mukabutera also mentioned that the company is in talks with United States of America to supply silk products.
According to the company management, 500 hectares of mulberry trees can produce 7.5 tonnes of cocoons and 125 tonnes of yarn, on average per year
However according to a recent research ( last year ) by On-The-Frontier (OTF) Group sericulture is more profitable than coffee and tea but lacks sufficient financial support.
The American consultancy firm's report said government provides capacity building support but the private sector is yet to make investments.