Do you know about the Manchester of Pakistan?
The textile industry is the backbone of Faisalabad’s economy therefore it’s called the “city of textile”. Its role in Pakistan’s economy is also vital as it is the leading producer of cotton that provides the basis for clothing and textile industry development. Due to rapid development of textile industry in the city it is recognized as the ‘Manchester of Pakistan’.
According to Archaeological discoveries the use of cotton in Pakistan is since the ancient times. Ancient references to cloth as “SINDHU” by the Babylonians and “SINDHON” by the Greeks confirm their familiarity with cloth from Indus valley region. The textile industry was well established in Indus civilization. Then there are traces of extensive textile industry during the Mauryan Empire in 300 B.C. During Mughal rule, cotton textile were the main products of trade and export. Thus, cotton played an important role in sub-continent for exports and earned valuable foreign exchange. During British rule, the British government extended the growth of cotton on large scale and barren lands were also utilized through canal irrigation for the purpose. The British government utilized this raw material for textile factories in Britain.
Industrial production of yarn and fabric started in Lyallpur in 1930s with the establishment of the first textile mill in 1934 inaugurated by Sir Herbert Emerson , former Governor of Punjab. Before Pakistan’s independence, there were only five industrial units in Faisalabad. In 1950s, three major textile composite mills were established in the city, Nishat Mills, Kohinoor Textiles and Crescent Mills, which till date remain among the largest textile groups in the country. In the following three decades small scale power loom sector flourished in Faisalabad.
A survey report of 7600 manufacturing units, done by the Department of Industries of the Government of Punjab in 2002, revealed that the new textile business formations in Faisalabad started to accelerate in 1965-69 period and seemed to had peaked in 1985-89 period when maximum number of businesses were established in the district. Nearly 89% of the textile businesses operating in Faisalabad were established in just two decades from 1975 to 1994.