EghtesadOnline: Iran would no longer need to import the raw material needed to produce black fabrics for chador—a full-body semicircular piece of fabric used by some Muslim women to cover the body while leaving the face uncovered.
On Monday, Shahid Tondguyan Petrochemical Company in southwest Iran started the production of raw material used in black fabrics for chador for the first time in the country.
It plans to manufacture 28,000-30,000 tons of this material annually. The raw material will be turned into black fabrics by Zagros Yarn Company, IRIB News reported.
Iran is the biggest importer of black chador with around $100-120 million worth of purchases per year, Alireza Haeri, a board member of Iran Textile Specialists Association said last year.
“Today our imports are mostly made from Thailand, China, Vietnam and Indonesia which have detected this demand in Iran and other Islamic countries. Previously, our main suppliers of chador were Switzerland, South Korea and Japan,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA.
According to the official, domestic demand for the product stands at 70-80 million square meters per annum.
“The only producer of the black fabric in Iran is the hijab factory in Shahr-e Kord in Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari Province. The factory has the capacity to produce 10 million square meters of chador annually, which can only meet 10-15% of domestic demand.”
A total of 14,205 tons of fine black fabrics for producing chador worth $86.53 million were imported into Iran in the fiscal 2018-19.
Despite the huge deficit in supplying domestic demand, Iran exported 4,640 tons of the fabric worth $16.75 million to Iraq, Afghanistan, Canada, Germany, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Japan during the same period under review (March 2018-19).