9 March 2005
Denim & Twill(HKTDC Fashion - Fabrics & Accessories, Vol 02,2005)
The Smart Choice
Hong Kong tends to amaze buyers with its wide range of fabric and accessories capabilities, and materials such as denim and twill are no exceptions to the rule.
For example, using cotton and spandex sourced from the Chinese mainland, Land's Co Ltd offers 6-14 oz denim and different kinds of twill in a profusion of colours and finishes. This manufacturer has buyers in Thailand, New Zealand and Australia, and plans to expand into Europe.
"We have been in the woven fabrics business for 24 years, with denim and twill accounting for more than half of our production," says manager Mimi Chan. "It seems as if these materials never go out of fashion, although demand may fluctuate a bit. Recently, though, they are back in favour."
Although Land's own factory closed in 2000, Chan assures that the firm maintains a strong network of subcontractors based in Guangdong Province on the Chinese mainland. "They enable us to offer quality fabrics that live up to customers' expectations," she says. "All told, these factories produce about 500,000 metres of denim and twill monthly for us."
She explains that Land's is especially strong in denim thanks to the support of two manufacturers producing specific items such as broken twill and striped twill denim with an after-wash finish; also hatch slub, dobby stretch and striped stretch denim.
The 1981-established Land's requires a minimum order quantity of 3,000 metres per item per colour, for delivery 2-3 weeks after confirmation of order.
Texful Textile Ltd is yet another veteran in the industry, having focused on denim and twill production since its inception in 1975.
"In the old days, products were more basic and we benefited from mass orders for regular items," says director Thomas Law. "Today, demand is much more diversified and we are responding with more fancy and novel varieties to stay competitive."
He says that denim accounts for about 75% of the firm's production capacity. "We have a fashionable assortment encompassing yarn-dyed streaky denim, indigo black ring spun crosshatch denim, and cotton stretch ring broken twill denim," elaborates Law, adding: "Piece-dyed twill buyers usually find variety in different colours."
Texful places great emphasis on developing new prototypes with its customers, listing international names from the US including Old Navy, Tommy Hilfiger, CK Jeans, Esprit, Lauren Jeans and Liz Claiborne. To win over these prestigious customers, Law says Texful has had to work hard and provide quick, flexible responses.
Utilising mostly cotton sourced in Hong Kong and Pakistan, Texful produces about one million yards of fabric at its factories in Hong Kong and Dongguan on the mainland. Minimum order is 3,000 yards per colour, and delivery is 30-45 days after order confirmation.
According to Ming Shun Weaving Fty Ltd director Yeung Pui Yum, the firm takes pride in its 100% made-in-Hong Kong fabrics featuring cotton denim, cotton/linen mix twill and stretch denim.
"We have our own 10,000-square-foot factory in Hong Kong and very often use cotton and linen produced from local mills - although sometimes we also import cotton from Pakistan," she says.
"The quality of yarn sourced in Hong Kong is more stable and the dyeing effect is also more satisfactory," she asserts. "In addition, we retain better control over timing and production - good reasons why our buyers prefer we keep our manufacturing facilities in Hong Kong."
Established in 1992, Ming Shun works on OEM orders in addition to designing its own range. Fabrics are shipped to the US, Canada, South Africa, the Middle East and the mainland.
"Our production capacity is 100,000 yards monthly, and can go up to 150,000 yards with assistance from other local subcontractors during peak seasons," adds Yeung. The minimum order is 3,000 metres per colour, and delivery takes about 20 days.
A relative newcomer to the industry, Ultra Outlet Ltd finds its edge by innovating new designs each season. This way, the firm has won over renowned fashion names like Polo Jeans, FCUK, DKNY and Nicole Farhi.
"We believe the art of dressing begins with a piece of fine cloth," enthuses director Chan Kung King, "so fabric design is our prime concern and shares equal weight with fine quality."
Founded in 1990, Ultra Outlet offers cotton, linen, silk, linen mix and polyester fabrics, among which twill is its strongest item.
The newest twill variety from Ultra Outlet features a two-layer cotton de-bonding fabric that employs the latest bonding techniques; cavalry twill stretch with unconventional irregular patterns and slub effects, and twill woven from metallic and linen yarns with an eccentric impact.
"As we are supplying many upbeat fashion brands, we are keen to keep abreast of the latest trends," says Chan. "Buyers will find our fabric designs have a European flair."
With a 15,000-square-metre factory in Guangdong Province, Ultra Outlet produces 200,000 yards of fabric monthly and requires a minimum order of 500 yards per colour for delivery in 35 days.
With these resourceful suppliers, Hong Kong and the fashion world are on a clear course to further success.
WRITTEN BY WINNIE HUI
Good Future Textile Co Ltd
Land's Co Ltd
Ming Shun Weaving Fty Ltd
Ultra Outlet Ltd
Yiu Fung Hong