11 Sept 2006
Printed Fabrics(HKTDC Fashion - Fabrics & Accessories, Vol 01,2007)
|This glittering selection of fabric with silkscreen prints is from Pak Yuen Textile Ltd, which exports to Europe, the US and the Chinese mainland|
It's difficult to imagine life without colourful printed fabrics in a world where everything from garments to home furnishings and packaging materials demand fresh designs every season.
In an industry that is very much market-driven, Hong Kong's textile companies are masters at working with their customers to provide the patterns and colours that are currently in vogue.
Take World Textile Printing Co Ltd for example, which employs a number of printing methods according to director Ken Sit. "Reactive dyestuff printing is done on natural-fibre fabric such as cotton and silk, while acid dyestuff printing is done on nylon, nylon/Lycra, silk and wool, and disperse dyestuff print is on polyester," he explains.
"Colour-discharge printing puts lighter colours on darker fabrics; bubble-effect prints chemicals onto mainly cotton fabrics to achieve a seersucker look, used mostly for ladies' outerwear; and delustre print produces a contrast effect on shiny fabric, particularly for ladies' underwear."
Sit says that the company cooperates with customers to develop new items. "They give us their ideas or samples and we develop proper production methods," he notes, adding that the 31-year-old company sometimes develops samples that it offers to its customers.
World Textile's 120,000-square-foot factory produces 700,000 yards of printed fabric every month for customers in the US, Europe, Japan and Australia, who enjoy FOB Hong Kong prices starting at US$1.50 per yard. "Minimum order is 500 yards and delivery time is 10 days after order confirmation," Sit notes.
Chung Nam Dyeing and Printing Fty Ltd, meanwhile, concentrates on the garment industry. "Most of our customers are based on the Chinese mainland or in other garment-producing countries such as Indonesia, Cambodia and Bangladesh," explains general manager Sharon Law. "They supply customers in the US, Europe, South America and East Asia, including major apparel brand names."
The 13-year-old company sources woven grey fabric on the mainland, and in Pakistan and India, to produce patterns and finishes according to customers' designs and requirements.
Law notes that customers are keen on camouflage prints, while more recently the company has been asked to do printing that includes a gold metallic look. "Quality is important, and we supply according to standards in their markets," she says, noting that samples are submitted to an independent testing laboratory in Hong Kong.
Chung Nam produces around 500,000 yards of printed fabric every month at its 29,000-square-metre, ISO 9001-certified factory in Guangdong Province on the mainland that employs 500 workers. "Minimum order is 5,000 yards per colour, and we deliver 10 days after confirmation," Law adds.
Taking a different tack, Ocean China Enterprises Group Ltd supplies material for home furnishings as well as garments.
"Everything is either cotton or polyester cotton sourced on the mainland," explains general manager Xiang Hailin. "About half of our customers will provide us with the grey fabric, otherwise we source it ourselves from the mainland."
The eight-year-old firm specialises in both reactive and pigment printing. "Reactive printing provides fabric with a softer feel and better colour fastness," Xiang says.
He adds that some designs come from customers, while others are produced in-house. "Our customers are mostly in the US and Europe, particularly the UK, France and Germany."
Ocean China's 900,000-square-metre factory produces three million yards of printed fabric a month at FOB Hong Kong prices that depend on the quality of fabric and the process. "For basic reference 58-inch cotton poplin is US$1.20 per yard, and polyester cotton US$1.10 per yard," Xiang reveals. "We require a minimum order of 2,000 yards per pattern and delivery is 20 days after order confirmation."
The packaging market is the primary focus for Pak Yuen Textile Ltd.
"Our customers include manufacturers of artificial flowers, boxes, paper bags and stationery, many of them involved heavily in the Christmas market," marketing manager Kit Chow explains. "We specialise in silk-screen printing and handmade printing products, using high-quality ink, metallic powder and glitter, doing graphic printing with some special effects such as relief printing and flocking."
Materials, mainly nylon, polyester and rayon, are sourced on the mainland. "Most of our customers are European, particularly the UK and Germany, though we generally supply their factories based on the mainland," he adds. "About 99% of the patterns are our designs, but we welcome customers' designs too."
Chow says the company promotes its Christmas lines heavily, but also produces items for other times of the year. "Our line for spring 2007 includes lots of pastel colours, and toned-down shades of orange plus turquoise and marine green - all are popular right now," he observes.
Pak Yuen's 15,000-square-metre mainland factory in Zhejiang produces 58-inch (W) x 36-inch (L) printed fabric rows at prices ranging from US$100-300-plus, FOB Hong Kong.
"We are very flexible on minimum quantity and will accept a single-row order," Chow adds. "Delivery time is 35-50 days after order confirmation."
Helping to make the world a brighter place, Hong Kong manufacturers' wide variety of printed fabrics are surefire winners worldwide.
WRITTEN BY ANN WILLIAMS
Chung Nam Dyeing And Printing Fty Ltd
Cable TV Tower
9 Hoi Shing Rd
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Ocean China Enterprises Group Ltd
Rm 1203, Tower 2
Cheung Sha Wan Plaza
833 Cheung Sha Wan Rd
Cheung Sha Wan, Kowloon
Texful Textile Ltd
Ko Fai Ind Bldg
7 Ko Fai Rd
Yau Tong, Kowloon
World Textile Printing Co Ltd
5/F, Blk A
Mercantile Ind & Warehouse Bldg
16-24 Ta Chuen Ping St
Kwai Chung, New Territories