9 March 2005
Trimmings(HKTDC Fashion - Fabrics & Accessories, Vol 02,2005)
Whether it is the fast-changing fashion and accessories business, giftware or the growing hobbies market, Hong Kong manufacturers offer a vast array of quality ribbons, embroideries, badges and rosettes that add those all-important finishing touches.
Making an art of the trimmings business is Beta Wealth Co Ltd, which specialises in handmade ribbon accessories for the apparel, lingerie, footwear, bridal, gifts and Christmas decoration markets.
This 25-year-old veteran of the business offers a wide collection of ribbon accessories in numerous colours, manufactured at its 200-worker, 20,000-square-foot factory in Guangzhou on the Chinese mainland.
"Our most popular trimmings include glass beads and sequins, or hot-fixed acrylic and crystal stones," says assistant marketing manager Jobia Keung. "We largely cater for the garment and bridal industries, with bridal attire taking some 30% of our business."
Keung notes that popular trimming colours are pink, blue, ivory and white. "Kids like fancy multicolours such as our rainbow ribbons," she adds.
Another important niche for Beta Wealth is the growing craft market in the US. "Garlands and plain ribbons with flower-patterned embroidery are in demand for hobbies," notes Keung. "We are also branching out into all kinds of handmade products - such as big, open flowers for ladies' apparel - and other handicrafts."
Ribbon prices range from about US$0.02 per yard FOB Hong Kong, for plain embroidered ribbon with basic glass beads and sequins, up to US$1.00 per yard for fancy trimming with rhinestones and crystals.
Beta Wealth sources materials such as 100% polyester ribbon and nylon ribbon from Taiwan and the mainland. Minimum order value is US$3,000 per shipment of assorted items, delivered approximately 3-4 weeks after order confirmation. The company's largest export market is the US (70%), followed by Europe and Asia.
The US is also the major market for Accessories Co-Op Ltd, a four-year-old company that produces trimmings, badges, brooches and belt products at an 80-worker cooperative factory in Guangzhou.
"The US takes 50% of our exports, Europe 40% and other markets the rest," reveals manager Yuki Choi, adding that the company offers more than 10,000 products geared mainly to the fashion industry. "Our most sought-after items are embroidered trimmings with sequins and beads on ribbon or lace, and jacquard tape," claims Choi.
"For the last three months," she adds, "flower-shaped brooches have also been very popular in a variety of fabrics and colours, as well as in metal with rhinestones."
Accessories Co-Op also uses leather, suede, feathers, shell, pearls and fur to create innovative trimmings, rosettes, badges and brooches, and sources its cotton and nylon from the mainland. It requires a minimum order value of US$250 for one trimming style, delivered 7-30 days after order confirmation depending on quantity.
Prices range from US$0.06 per yard FOB Hong Kong for plain ribbon or jacquard tape to US$2.50 per yard for ribbon with embroidery base and multiple sequins and beads.
According to Prospect Industrial Co merchandising manager Jenny Cheung, beaded embroidered ribbon is the hot item in most demand. "For the past year, our embroidered ribbon with glass beading has been our best selling item," she says.
Noting that the firm's beading is done by hand to enable a multiplicity of styles and shapes, she adds, "Other favourite items include embroidered patches in shiny PVC with brand name and logo motifs."
Prospect manufactures a myriad of items including embroidered, chenille appliqu? label and sequin patches; embroidered ribbon with beads and sequins; iron-on tape and other trimmings. It also trades in clothing accessories, rhinestone motifs, zippers and brooches.
Some 80-90 workers at the company's 2,000-square-metre factory in Shenzhen can produce approximately 300,000-500,000 patches and 20,000-30,000 metres of ribbon per month. Prices for embroidered ribbon with beading start from around US$0.40 per metre FOB Hong Kong.
Prospect sources its organza from Japan and Taiwan, and delivers negotiable minimum export orders 1-3 weeks after order confirmation.
Europe is the company's biggest market at 60%, with Hong Kong and the mainland accounting for 20%.
Europe is also the top market for Skyking Creations Ltd, which manufactures computer-embroidered tape, woven beaded tape, badges and patches and other accessories for the garment and gifts and premiums industries.
"Europe takes around 40% of our shipments, the US 30% and Japan and Asia the remainder," says marketing manager Wendy Cheung. "Russia is a new market for us."
This five-year-old company offers more than 1,000 patterns and designs in its collection, available from its 200-worker factory in Shenzhen, which supplies minimum orders of 5,000 yards per design 30 days after order confirmation.
"Beaded trimmings and embroidery and chenille appliqu?badges are in most demand," explains Cheung, adding that the company also handles OEM orders. "For badges, customers prefer to use licensed characters and company logos, while Japanese beads are popular for trimmings."
Prices for trimmings using Japanese beads average US$3-4 per yard, depending on style and requirements. While Cheung says there are no major changes in the trimmings sector, she notes that, "business is good - up 10%-20% during the past year".
A sentiment that many Hong Kong manufacturers share as vast varieties of trimmings, tape, patches, sequins and beads add those critical, unique touches to products of the highly competitive fashion, bridal and giftware industries.
WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER
Accessories Co-Op Ltd
Dragon Max Industrial Ltd