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Marvellous Materials(HKTDC Fashion - Fabrics & Accessories, Vol 02,2008)

Cotton Fabrics

Photo
Splendid Int'l Co Ltd's cotton fabrics in dyed stripes and checks sell particularly well in the US and Europe

The most versatile of fabrics lendS itself to many uses

Where would the world be without cotton fabrics, which are the very foundation of the global clothing manufacturing industry and the saviours of housewives worldwide?

Cotton is a speciality of Hong Kong fabrics manufacturers, who are particularly innovative when it comes to efforts to upgrade their products and maintain their competitive edge.

For example, Texful Textile Ltd, which was established more than 30 years ago as a denim mill, focuses on adding value by offering a wide range of effects and finishes on its cotton fabrics.

"We mainly source our cotton from Hong Kong and Pakistan," says Sales Manager Thomas Law, adding that the company's main category is 100% cotton, including ring spun yarn and open-end spun yarn. "We do different kinds of cotton fabric such as 2/1 twill, 3/1 twill, dobby, plaid and stripe, while some fabrics have a streaky or 'rain' effect that uses different sizes of yarns."

Most of Texful's cotton fabric is destined for garment manufacturers and buying offices in the US. "We are always very flexible in terms of development and orders," Mr Law adds.

He says that the company develops its own patterns but customers also give the firm their own specifications, which it follows. "We are noticing that dark colours are currently popular in the market, along with 'rain' effect and 'flat' finishes."

He notes that this ability to add value with special effects and finishing, coupled with strong quality control, is necessary in order to be competitive in today's market.

World Textile Printing Co Ltd is almost as long-lived, having been printing textiles since 1975. "We are commissioned by companies to print a range of fabrics, including curtains, woven and knitted fabrics in cotton and synthetics," explains Director Sit Hoi Kun.

The company provides different types of printing such as reactive, pigment and foil printing - the latter includes silver, gold or other metals. "We also put various finishes on fabrics for our customers," Mr Sit adds.

The company's major clients are manufacturers of garments, including trousers and outerwear, bags and hats. "Our biggest customer is a major US store, but we also have clients in the EU, and ship some orders to Japan, Australia and New Zealand," Mr Sit says.

There are obvious differences in these markets - for example, Europeans like fashionable looks. "We follow fashion trends - shiny black effects are popular right now - but most important is to meet the requirements of our customers," Mr Sit insists. "We have been in the business for many years and we know that customers rely on us to use expertise in these special developments."

Splendid Int'l Co Ltd's range of cotton fabrics in different densities and weights is destined for Europe and the US. "About 70% of our woven fabrics go to customers in the clothing industry in Europe," confirms Director Au Yiu Shing. "We see big differences between the two markets: the Europeans like fashionable fabrics, but the Americans prefer more casual-style fabrics."

Many of Splendid's customers are big names in women's wear, including blouses, dresses and outerwear. "Among the labels we supply are Chico's, American Eagle, Isda & Co, Kenneth Cole and Essentiel," Mr Au says.

The company produces designs on a seasonal basis. "We prepare a lot of swatches of different patterns and send them to our regular customers," Mr Au says. "They study them and we work with them to produce what they want."

Mr Au notes that Splendid bases its success on combining good quality with reasonable prices. "We are also able to offer a minimum order that is low - just 1,000 yards of one colour or colour combo," he adds.

Union Textiles Dyeing Fty Ltd differentiates itself by producing, among its other items, fabrics comprising 100% organic cotton. "We source the cotton directly from Turkey," reveals Director Peter Wong.

He explains organic fabrics should be cultivated continuously for three years without the use of any chemical fertilisation. "Our mill can provide certification for the organic fabrics," Mr Wong says.

Organic fabrics are more expensive than non-organic, he concedes. "The unit price for the organic cotton that we provide is HK$28 per yard (ex-work) without transportation fee," Mr Wong notes. "However, there is growing demand for organic fabrics, particular in European and Japanese markets."

Union Textiles' customers mainly use organic cotton for garments. "We can produce poplin, canvas, twill, dobby and so on," Mr Wong explains. "As we emphasise the naturalness of organic cotton, we supply only simple colours, such as white, and simple patterns."

Noting that the competition is keen, especially among Chinese mainland-based manufacturers, Mr Wong says that the company has been exploring new marketing avenues, such as attending Hong Kong Fashion Week, and giving strong support to its experienced sales team.

"Through the fair, we can build up a clear company image in order to attract more overseas buyers and importers, learn more about new products and fashion trends, and foster a platform to communicate with our buyers," Mr Wong believes. "Frequent communication with clients is the best channel to understand how to be more competitive."

Which could be the mantra of a Hong Kong cotton fabrics industry that believes taking care of customers' needs through developing fresh ways of presenting its marvellous materials.

TEXT BY ANN WILLIAMS

Fast Facts

Splendid Int'l Co Ltd
Rm 1106
Pacific Trade Centre
2 Kai Hing Rd
Kowloon Bay, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2337-2134
Fax: 852-3583-5092
Email:
splendid_ysa@yahoo.com.hk
Web: www.geocities.com/splendidcoltd
Year Established: 1992
Major Product Categories: yarn-dyed woven fabric
Own Brands & Certificates: -
Minimum Order: 1,000 yards per colour combo per pattern
Monthly Production: 70,000 yards
Delivery Time: 35-45 days
Factory Size & Location: -
Workforce: 100
   
Texful Textile Ltd
7/F
Ko Ka Ind Bldg
7 Ko Fai Rd
Yau Tong, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2775-5151
Fax: 852-2772-7084
Email:
sales@texful.com
Year Established: 1975
Major Product Categories: woven fabric, rigid stretch denim, yarn-dyed, piece-dyed
Own Brands & Certificates: -
Minimum Order: 3,000 yards per colour
Monthly Production: one million yards
Delivery Time: 45 days
Factory Size & Location: 10,000 square metres
Workforce: 100
   
Union Textiles Dyeing Fty Ltd
G/F
11 Wong Chuk St
Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2396-9097
Fax: 852-2394-7388
Email:
utd@uniontextiles.com
Web: www.uniontextiles.com
Year Established: 1997
Major Product Categories: selvedge edge denims, corduroy, yarn-dyed printed fabrics
Own Brands & Certificates: -
Minimum Order: 500-1,000 yards per colour
Monthly Production: -
Delivery Time: 2 weeks - 1 month
Factory Size & Location: 5,000 square metres; Dongguan
Workforce: 70
   
World Textile Printing Co Ltd
5/F, Blk A
Mercantile Ind & Warehouse Bldg
16-24 Ta Chuen Ping St
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2423-2538
Fax: 852-2424-9710
Email:
wortex@worldtexprint.com
Web: www.wtprint.com
Year Established: 1975
Major Product Categories: textile printing service and
printed fabrics
Own Brands & Certificates: -
Minimum Order: 500 yards
Monthly Production: 700,000 yards
Delivery Time: 10 days
Factory Size & Location: 120,000 square feet
Workforce: 32
   
Wynvaye Industrial Ltd
23/F
CRE Centre
889 Cheung Sha Wan Rd
Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2368-6321
Fax: 852-2311-5216
Email:
connie@wynvaye.com
Web: www.wynvaye.com
Year Established: 1980
Major Product Categories: cotton, cotton lycra, cotton polyester, linen cotton, denim, natural and natural/blended fabrics
Own Brands & Certificates: -
Minimum Order: 3,000 yards
Monthly Production: 4 million yards for yarn-dyed fabric and 5 million yards for solid-dyed fabric
Delivery Time: 45-50 days
Factory Size & Location: Changzhou, Bangladesh
Workforce: 2,000