21 Sept 2004
Thread(HKTDC Fashion - Fabrics & Accessories, Vol 01,2005)
Vol 1, 2005
All Sewn Up
Tension Thread Fty's 100% spun polyester thread is found in markets in the four corners of the world, from Brazil to Canada and France to South Africa
Thread literally holds the garment industry together, and increasing competition in this once homespun segment has resulted in numerous Hong Kong manufacturers with the ability to sew up orders of any specification.
A 15-year veteran producer of both polyester and cotton threads is Tension Thread Fty. "We mainly produce on an OEM basis and tailor production to exactly suit our clients, although we also have our own 'Double T' brand," says export supervisor Ben Man, who expects polyester yarn sales to increase faster than cotton.
"We use 100% spun polyester yarn for our thread, sourcing from both the Chinese mainland and Malaysia."
The ISO9001-certified firm operates production facilities totalling 5,000 square metres inthree places on the mainland - a spinning house in Jiangxi, a dyeing house in Huizhou and a cone-making unit in Pingshan. The 150-worker company can spin 2,000 tonnes of thread per year.
"We have imported Italian technology for our spinning house's cleaning and carding, two-for-one and autocone winding machines," adds Man. "We also employ a team of textile technology engineers to help our clients."
The company mainly sells to distributors and apparel manufacturers in Canada, Europe and South Africa, and plans to expand into Eastern Europe.
"Minimum orders depend on how specialised a client's requirements are," says Man. "We could accept a smaller quantity for a fairly generic product, but for a specially commissioned item it would be a little more."
Tension can deliver small orders within 14 days, while shipments of one TEU or more may take 30-45 days. FOB Hong Kong prices range from US$0.30-0.90 per unit.
Tai Cheong Thread Fty (HK) Co Ltd has an environmentally-friendly approach to its range of polyester threads. General manager May Li says much of her company's product is shipped to major apparel labels, which face increasing consumer pressure to ensure materials are sourced from ecologically-sustainable suppliers.
"We sell direct to top fashion brands such as Wrangler, Levi's, Lee and Nautica, and also to listed companies," says Li. "We have ensured for the past few years that our threads comply with the Oko-Tex Standard 100."
Tai Cheong has also achieved ISO 9001 certification, and monitors its raw yarn suppliers closely to ensure materials meet environmental requirements. Yarns are largely sourced from the mainland and Thailand, while its main export markets include the US, Southeast Asia and Japan.
"Quality service is one of our strengths," says Li. "Our executives rapidly provide colour samples for clients, as opposed to the common practice of placing orders based on Pantone cards."
Established in 1986, Tai Cheong now operates a two-storey factory in Dongguan, in Guangdong Province, employing 50 workers to treat and repackage raw yarn.
The company produces about 10 different widths of thread, and Li adds that just about any colour can be made. "Although most of our sales are direct to major clients, we also welcome enquiries from distributors and import/export companies," she says.
Hung Fat Thread Fty Ltd produces finished cones of 100% spun polyester sewing thread for garment makers and home users. The company was formed in 1984 and after two decades in the business distributes 70% of production locally and on the mainland, with the remaining 30% exported.
"Our local products are distributed under the 'Golden Chrysanthemum' brand, but most exports are repackaged to clients' requirements," says export executive Henry Fok.
Hung Fat supplies thread in about 10 different widths and more than 1,000 colours. Fok explains that with buyers increasingly aware of environmental issues, its products comply with the Oko-Tex Standard 100 Swiss quality certification.
FOB Hong Kong prices range from HK$6-12 per cone and it has a minimum order requirement of 10,000 cones, while smaller shipments are possible on a case-by-case basis.
Hung Fat's main markets are East Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the US. Depending on the amount, orders are usually delivered within one month of order confirmation.
In 2002, the company started production at a 10,000-square-foot plant in Panyu, in Guangdong Province, which employs about 50 staff. Hung Fat also has a smaller production space in Hong Kong.
Another supplier of yarn, particularly polyester sewing and embroidery threads, is Dor Tak Thread Mfg Ltd. Established in 1986, the company also has overseas offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
In 1992, Dor Tak shifted manufacturing to Shenzhen and Jiangmen in Guangdong Province. With 200 workers and a 150,000-square-foot factory space, it produces 2,400 tonnes of thread per year. The mainly OEM producer also makes under its own 'Dor Tak' brand.
Minimum orders start at about US$5,000 per shipment. "We can usually turn around a TEU-sized order within four weeks," says marketing manager Eva Chan. "Our streamlined production can ensure a short delivery time and more than 200 colours of thread per order."
The company's threads are free from azo dyes which are harmful to humans, Chan adds. Dor Tak also provides sales and marketing support, offering wholesale and retail clients a range of display shelves and spool cabinets to market their products.
The company mainly sells to distributors and wholesalers, who in turn supply apparel manufacturers. Its major markets are Europe, South America and the Middle East, with plans afoot to expand to the US.
Thanks to a wide product range and an ability to meet stringent quality norms, Hong Kong yarn suppliers are sewing up orders from all over the world.
WRITTEN BY EDWARD CHUNG
Tai Cheong Thread Fty (HK) Co Ltd
Flat D, 4/F
Che Wah Ind Bldg
1-7 Kin Hong St
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Tension Thread Fty
Units 7-10, 5/F
Yue Fung Ind Bldg
35-45 Chai Wan Kok St
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Wing Wah Thread Co Ltd
Flat B, 12/F, Blk A
Marvel Ind Bldg
25-31 Kwai Fung St
Kwai Chung, New Territories
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