6 June 2007
Peak Performance(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 06,2007)
Hats & Caps
|Sino Scheme Industrial Ltd produces these hats and caps in heavy brush cotton twill sourced from Taiwan, Korea and the Chinese mainland|
Senior marketing executive Joe Kwan of 1992-established Global Headwear Ltd, for example, says the firm offers baseball and bucket hats and sun visors. Top-of-the-line headgear incorporates spandex and polyester with cotton twill fabrics.
"We have our own brand names, Nu-Fit and Global, and this development has made good business sense," reveals Kwan. "We have the patent rights under the Nu-Fit name, having developed a special elastic sweat band without the usual tie-piece at the back to ensure the cap fits the head nicely with one move."
Mostly, caps are made from woven fabrics. "This means we only have to cut and seal," Kwan points out. "We also use moulds, which negates any kind of sewing and saves on labour. Using these techniques, we do a lot of five- and six-panel trucker caps."
Production takes place at the firm's plant in Dongguan on the mainland, and the workforce, including those at the firm's facilities in Cambodia and Bangladesh, reaches as high as 10,000. Minimum order size is 120 dozen per style per colour, and delivery is 30-45 days after sample approval. Major markets are in Western Europe.
The aptly named, 1979-established Cap City Ltd notes that recent demand includes orders for a more complex cap, in headwear that is smarter in shape and suitable as a fashion accessory for the sporting-minded.
"Aiming for the mid-price market," says secretary to the managing director Janet Cheung, "we are a major producer of all types of headgear, from the baseball cap to the trendy bucket hat."
Cheung says that cotton is the favoured material for hats. "Typically, hats are made from cotton twill, printed terry and washed denim, and we also supply them in wool, fleece, polyester and nylon or mixtures."
Production takes place at a 3,000-worker, ISO 9000-certified factory in Dongguan, on the Chinese mainland. "The plant has more than 2,500 different sewing machines, while we also operate our own weaving and dyeing factory, an embroidery factory and a silk-screen printing facility," says Cheung.
Minimum order is 500 pieces per style per colour and delivery is 30 days after order confirmation. Main markets are the US, Germany, the Netherlands, France and the UK. "FOB prices depend on the materials, style and quantity so we do not have a standard price," says Cheung. "We also offer such related items as visors, scarves, gloves and umbrellas."
Another company, the 1992-established Radar Top Ltd, produces a popular range of fashion hats in addition to its best-selling main line in baseball caps.
"We also offer fisherman's hats, baby and children's hats and caps," says marketing executive Rock Cheung. "These can be woven or cut and sewn, while some use interlocked or micromesh fabrics."
The fashion hats come in a wide range of styles. "There are fluffy fleece hats with velvet ribbon trim, and six-panel fashion caps in printed corduroy complete with snap fasteners," Cheung elaborates, stating that ladies' bucket style hats also sell well.
"In the UK our hunter-style cap is popular, as is our traditional flat cap," he adds, claiming that the firm's designs may also incorporate a delightful sense of humour. "Our Christmas Tree hat, for example, is very cute, as is the Santa Claus model."
The firm uses computer-controlled embroidery machines to ensure a high standard of quality is maintained throughout the whole process. Cheung adds that customers' designs and OEM contracts are welcome and that headscarves in denim, with cute brims and flower trims are also available.
Production takes place at Radar Top's factories in Shenzhen and Luo Ding on the mainland where the combined workforce is in excess of 400. Using a variety of advanced machinery, output can reach more than 500,000 items per month. The minimum order is 3,000 pieces per style and delivery is 30-45 days after confirmation.
Meanwhile, CY Products Corporate Ltd is a garments and accessories manufacturer with product lines that include visors, scarves, gloves, hats, caps, fleece vests and jackets, and headbands for men, women and children.
"We produce knitted hats and caps, cotton twill fabric caps, and fishermen's hats," says sales manager Fani Lam. "These come in all price ranges, from the high-end when we make for the fashion industry to the lower end of the market when we process orders for the gifts and premiums sector."
Raw materials used include cotton, acrylic, polyester, viscose, silk, chiffon, rayon, nylon, velvet, leather, jacquard, feathers, imitation fur, chenille and all kinds of wool yarn.
"Our product development department is always creating different trendy fashion accessories, including our range of hats and caps, and can source any type and variation on any material," adds Lam.
"A lot of orders come in for knitted hats for winter, while demand for summer is usually for light cotton and cotton twill styles," she adds. "Our fisherman's-style hat continues to sell well year- round, while this season fashion accessories are selling very well, particularly to brand-name firms."
Major markets for CY Products are Europe, Australia and the US, and the firm accepts minimum orders of 1,000 items for delivery about 30 days after confirmation. Production takes place at a 200-worker, four-floor factory in Zhejiang Province on the mainland.
Getting straight to the top, it is clear that Hong Kong headgear is proving captivating the world over.
TEXT BY TONY HENDERSON
FEATURED SUPPLIERSLee Brothers Hats Fty Ltd
16th Floor, Flat D,
48 Des Voeux Road West,