1 March 2004
Printed Fabrics(HKTDC Fashion - Fabrics & Accessories, Vol 01,2004)
Vol 1, 2004
Living In A Material World
Printed fabrics from Tai Tung Interlining Int'l Ltd in eye-catching patterns are mainly exported to the US
Printed fabrics are the mainstay of the garment and soft furnishings industries, adding colour and glamour to all aspects of life. Be it bright printed florals or subtle replicating patterns, simple earth tones or fake fur fluorescents, Hong Kong fabrics meet the tastes and trends of an increasing number of markets around the world.
One company turning bedrooms into luxury settings worldwide is Suntex Piece Goods Co Ltd, which specialises in bed sets and household fabrics and manufactures quality wide-width jacquard fabrics made of pure cotton, treated cotton, silk/cotton and ramie/cotton.
The company also produces printed, yarn-dyed and dyed cotton and polyester/cotton fabrics. This 17-year-old company has two ISO 9001-certified factories with 10,000 square feet of factory space and 500 workers in Suzhou and Hubei on the Chinese mainland that produce some 400,000 metres of fabric per month.
Both factories employ state-of-the-art Japanese Tsudakoma ZAX-340 air jet looms, French electronic Jacquards Staubli LX1600, French Staubli Tying Machine Topmate, Belgium air compressor Atlas Copco ZR-90-8, and Chinese wide-width repair looms GA737-280.
"Jacquard accounts for between 50-70% of our sales," says business manager Gracie Lai. "The US takes 70% of our jacquard, while other important markets include South America and Europe."
Lai believes Suntex's bedding fabrics have international appeal. "Currently floral patterns are popular, particularly in the US, and light cream is fashionable as it is soft and elegant and matches everything."
Earlier this year Suntex launched its own brand of pure cotton jacquard bedding, the Suntex Jacquard Collection, in Hong Kong. "Later we hope to expand into exports," adds Lai.
Suntex can cater to specific customer requirements, producing a comprehensive range of finishes including anti-microbial, waterproof, oil-resistant, soil-release, anti-crease and non-iron.
Minimum order requirement is 3,000 metres per colour per pattern with delivery within 40-45 days of order confirmation.
Focusing mainly on woven polyester-based fabrics produced at its family-owned factory in Shaoxing on the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong company Textiles Pro is gearing up for expansion with the completion of a new facility scheduled for the year-end. "By then we should have some 800-1,000 workers and hope to explore new types of fabric," says director Denny Chan.
Currently, the company produces up to seven million yards a month and also produces knitted fabrics at its associate factories on the mainland.
"Hong Kong is our biggest market, accounting for 30-40% of business, but Africa is also a major export market with very high volume demands but lower profit margins," says Chan. Textiles Pro produces numerous strongly-coloured African ethnic designs for this market, making to customers' designs and providing its own.
The company's minimum order requirement is about 800 yards for many of its fabrics with about two weeks delivery time for standard items.
Another company embracing global trends is Red House (HK) Co Ltd, a member of the Polartex Group that started in 1990 as a supplier and exporter of nylon and polyester woven fabric for outerwear.
Red House expanded to include all kinds of fabrics to meet increasing customer demands and this ISO 9001-certified company now provides a wide range of nylon, polyester and cotton woven and knitted fabrics to markets worldwide.
Sourcing offices in Shanghai and Guangdong Province on the mainland and Taiwan, and a number of joint venture and strategic alliance factories on the mainland and Taiwan, ensure Red House meets customer needs quickly and efficiently.
"Our quality natural fabrics such as cotton and ramie are produced on the mainland," explains marketing executive Kathy Cheng. "However, our nylon and polyester are manufactured in Taiwan, which has more experience in synthetics."
Red House produces five million yards of fabric per month, with cotton and cotton blends providing some 65% of its business. "The US, which accounts for 40-50% of our sales, has moved to more natural fibres such as cotton," says Cheng. "Europe takes 20% of sales with South Africa, the mainland and Asia the remainder.
"However, we still supply nylon and polyester fabrics," she adds. "We also have our own trademark brand of breathable fabrics called Enbretex, which has been registered in the US and Europe for several years."
Trend-wise, Cheng says that for the past two years, simple, repetitive patterns have been in vogue, with popular colours light beige, yellow and orange. FOB Hong Kong prices range from US$0.20-4.00 per yard with the company seeking a minimum order of 3,000 yards, delivered 15-20 days after order confirmation.
Faith Bright Textile Ltd has also spread its international wings with a worldwide network of more than 30 markets. As a specialist manufacturer of plush fabrics, polar fleece and acrylic blanket, as well as conjugated polyester staple fibre and stuffed toys, it enjoys an annual export volume of more than US$40m.
The ISO 9000-certified company produces printed, tip-dyed, snow-top, astory, mougle, curly and tumbling fabric at its 132,000-square-metre facilities in Shandong on the mainland. Here, 3,000 workers produce some one million yards of fabric per month for major markets such as Europe, the US, the Middle East, and South and East Asia.
"This year our biggest market for polar fleece is the US and Canada and Turkey and the UK for plush fabric," says sales manager Tammy Sy. "We are also looking at exporting directly to Eastern Europe."
The soft feel and light weight of polar fleece and plush fabric make them ideal for numerous uses, including clothes and toys. "The current trend is for colourful fabric, particularly baby ice-pink and ice-blue," explains Sy. "We can cater for whatever our customers require."
Prices for the company's polar fleece range from US$0.90-3.00 per metre and for plush fabric from US$2-10 per metre. Minimum order is one TEU, delivered within 45 days of order confirmation. Obviously there's a bright-and profitable-future in printed fabrics from Hong Kong.
WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER
Suntex Piece Goods Co Ltd
Rm 3, 2/F, Blk B
Hong Kong Ind Centre
489-491 Castle Peak Rd
Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon
Texful Textile Ltd
Ko Fai Ind Bldg
7 Ko Fai Rd
Yau Tong, Kowloon
|Hong Kong Buyers Request Form||Oversea Buyers Request Form||More Publications|