12 March 2007
Cotton Fabrics(HKTDC Fashion - Fabrics & Accessories, Vol 02,2007)
|Textiles Pro is a specialist in woven and knitted fabrics, offering a wide choice including checked and polka-dotted 100% cotton fabrics|
Hong Kong cotton fabric manufacturers keep ahead of the field by bringing out new styles every year and responding quickly to customer requests.
According to Textiles Pro sales manager Keung Wai Chi, different markets follow different trends but each customer has distinct needs.
"Some customers want the fabrics to pass tests or they want them to be azo-free," she explains.
The 14-year-old company meets their demands by producing some 300 million yards of woven and knitted fabrics per month at its 11,800-square-metre, 200-worker factory in Zhejiang Province on the Chinese mainland.
These are available in minimum order quantities of approximately 5,000 yards with a minimum of 1,500 yards per colour, delivered 2-4 weeks after order confirmation.
FOB the mainland is available, and prices range from US$0.80-4.00 per yard, Keung explains, adding that all Textiles Pro's woven and knitted fabrics are azo-free.
"Germany, the UK, Greece, Egypt, Nigeria and South Asia are our major markets," she says, noting that African markets look for cheaper prices whereas European markets want better-quality fabrics.
"Natural, bright colours such as red and green in cotton or some functional fabrics are very popular today," Keung reveals. "Our most popular item is the 100% polyester satin fabric."
Meeting customer demands is also vital to Texful Textile Ltd, which has an in-house development team to keep it ahead of its competitors.
"There is no secret to cotton fabric - if you can do it, other people can do it also," sales manager Thomas Law admits. "We just try to keep ahead of others."
The denim specialist's main market is the US, where its fabric is used by such leading brands as Benetton, Calvin Klein Jeans, Next and Diesel.
Law says that buyers are currently looking for denim in a dark shade with "clean" looks, and adds that Europe is "at least one year ahead" of the US in fashion terms.
The 32-year-old company manufactures at its 15,000-square-metre factory in Dongguan on the mainland, which employs 100 people and produces one million yards a month.
Texful's FOB Hong Kong prices range from US$1.50-3.50 per yard for minimum orders of 3,000 yards per colour, delivered 35-45 days after order confirmation.
O.K. Textiles Co owner Lo On Kwok also believes that quality and service are the two most important ingredients for staying ahead of the competition.
"The market is open now as buyers travel and the Internet allows them to find companies easily, and that is why we are concerned with the fabric," Lo explains. "We buy only the most superior quality yarn, and we have an in-house inspector to make sure everything is done to specifications."
Lo insists that service is also "very" important. "We make sure that when a buyer sends us an email, we reply within half-a-day or a day at the latest," he maintains. "We also have a showroom in our office where we keep 8,000 swatches to be able to give our customers the samples they seek."
He adds that the eight-year-old company only produces mid- to high-end products, choosing not to deal with buyers who want low-end products.
O.K. specialises in woven yarn-dyed fabrics produced at its 30,000-square-metre mainland factory in Wuxi, while associate factories in Zhejiang Province manufacture other lines such as linen and prints.
The Wuxi factory employs 500 workers and produces 450,000 yards of fabric a month, which is available in minimum order quantities of 1,000 yards per colour per pattern.
FOB mainland prices range from US$1-3 per yard for shipments delivered 40 days after order confirmation, mostly to the US but also to Italy, the UK, France and Denmark. "We find that our customers want natural fabrics," Lo comments. "Cotton is the most popular."
Another company that director Au Yiu Shing says is "very strong" in yarn-dyed fabrics is Splendid Int'l Co Ltd, although it produces a variety of woven fabrics from poplin to jacquard and denim.
Its two joint-venture factories in Guangdong Province employ 100 workers each, who produce approximately 70,000 yards per month for sale in the UK and the US. "Our products are used in brands such as Ben Sherman, Kenneth Cole, ISDA & Co, Chico's and Ann Taylor," Au adds.
Splendid's FOB mainland prices range from US$2.50-3.00 per yard for minimum order sizes of 1,000 yards per colour per pattern, delivered 45-55 days after order confirmation.
Hong Kong manufacturers such as these can clearly meet any buyer's need for magnificent materials, whether it be azo-free woven fabric or high-quality denim.
WRITTEN BY SHARMILA GOPINATH
O.K. Textiles Co
Rm B, 16/F
Kee Shing Centre
74-76 Kimberley Rd
Texful Textile Ltd
Ko Fai Ind Bldg
7 Ko Fai Rd
Yau Tong, Kowloon