31 Aug 2007
Frilly Fun(HKTDC Fashion - Fabrics & Accessories, Vol 01,2008)
|Loxy Global Ltd uses polyester, rayon and nylon to produce this versatile range of embroidery lace with floral motifs|
The latest fashions and trends are making the most of the myriad attractions of lace, which holds an irresistible appeal for young and old alike
Consumers and designers simply can't get enough of lace - either as embellishment for dresses and other garments or for complete items of clothing such as lingerie.
Not surprisingly, Hong Kong's long history in fabric manufacturing has meant local suppliers have built up a great deal of expertise in the production of machine-made lace.
Loxy Global Ltd is one such company that supplies lace to garment manufacturers across the world, including Germany, Italy, the US, Canada, Malaysia and the Chinese mainland.
"Currently, customers are looking for more fancy items with lots of detailed lacy patterns," explains manager Pandora So, adding that the latest hot colours include icy blue and delicate purple. "We can produce any colour that buyers want - we can dye the lace to match their swatch of fabric."
The company has been in business for more than 10 years, but So says it has expertise in the industry going back 50 years. "We specialise in tailor-made products - this comprises 90% of our production," she reveals.
So claims that Loxy knows what its customers need. "Sometimes they just send us a sketch, which we can modify to produce the lace," she explains. "We focus on customers' needs and communicate closely with them about the details to make sure the delivery meets with their approval."
The embroidered lace is mainly made from mixes of polyester and rayon or rayon and nylon, sourced chiefly in Taiwan, where So says the quality is good. "The addition of spandex produces a stretch lace, while other styles include tulle lace and net lace," she adds.
A variety of widths are produced, according to customers' requirements, but most common are 50-60cm. "We require a minimum order value of US$1,000 delivered about 2-4 weeks after order confirmation."
Similarly experienced, Sel Fung Enterprises Ltd was established in the 1980s as a manufacturer of various kinds of textile products, particularly lace fabric and trim, and supplies a number of famous US- and European-based global clothing brands.
"One of our specialities is the dyeing of lace from other sources," says sales representative Rebecca Luk. "The colours we are currently producing include natural, white, cream, black, red and a metallic look."
The company also produces computer-made lace. "Computer production allows smaller quantities to be made - around 14,000 yards per pattern as opposed to 20,000 by ordinary methods - but not all patterns are suitable for this production method," she advises. "Normal lace fabric widths are 42 inches and 56 inches, while lace trim is usually 1?-inches wide."
Sel Fung, which is ISO 9901-certified and meets Testex Oeko-Tex Standard 100, manufactures from various materials, including nylon with spandex and nylon cotton sourced in Taiwan.
The average FOB Hong Kong price for lace fabric from Sel Fung is US$5 per yard, and around US$0.50 for one yard of lace trim. "Delivery time for lace trim in stock is 2-3 weeks and 3-4 weeks for lace fabric," Luk says. "Minimum order depends on the pattern, but is around 1,000 yards per colour."
Relative newcomer Fook Hing Enterprises Holdings (HK) Ltd was established in 2004 to handle exports for mainland-based Fook Hing Group, which dates back to 1990 and is involved in many fields including textiles, dyeing and electroplating.
The parent company established its lace factory in Fujian Province in 2000. "Fujian Province is traditionally an area in China where lace has long been produced," says marketing manager K. H. Chan. "The factory has an overall area of 660,000 square metres with a 380,000-square-metre work floor area, and is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery for manufacturing lace and elastic webbing."
Lace products are mainly nylon yarn, with some polyester. "The yarn is sourced mainly in Taiwan, with some from the mainland," Chan adds. "Most customers choose from our database of patterns - we introduce new designs every season - but can also produce according to customers' specifications or help them develop a new pattern."
Chan believes that the coming season will see a lot of pale colours, especially pink. "White is always popular, and now it comes in two tones - snow and milk," he explains. "Black is just about the only dark colour that is trendy for the new season - it is always popular for lingerie."
Fook Hing's product prices are available on request. "We ask for a minimum order of about 3,000 yards per colour, and delivery is 10 days to three weeks after order confirmation."
Chan adds that Fook Hing has its own lab for testing. "This is particularly important for the European market, which has stringent safety regulations," he explains, adding that the company also meets Oeko-Tex Standard 100.
He feels that Fook Hing has built up a strong customer base as a result of its focus on quality. "This has always been our priority - to give customers good service," Chan claims.
Given its long history, lace will continue to be associated with luxury and seductiveness in the minds of designers and consumers, who will continue to look to Hong Kong manufacturers for frilly fun.
TEXT BY ANN WILLIAMS
Fook Hing Enterprises Holdings (HK) Ltd
Flats G-I, 23/F, Phase 2
Golden Dragon Ind Centre
162-170 Tai Lin Pai Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Surplus Sourcing Co
Flat J, 13/F
High Win Fty Bldg
47 Hoi Yuen Rd
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Wing Tat Computer Embroidery & Labels Co Ltd
Flat B, 3/F, Phase I
Kingsway Ind Bldg
167-175 Wo Yi Hop Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories