12 March 2007
Zippers(HKTDC Fashion - Fabrics & Accessories, Vol 02,2007)
|Tiong Lee Co Ltd's huge range of ultrasound-cut, floral-pattern zippers come in pretty colours such as pink, red and burgundy|
This sizeable and ever-increasing demand for zippers is met in large part by Hong Kong manufacturers, which are adding plenty of zip to the global industry.
The product portfolio of Tiong Lee Co Ltd, for example, features a huge range of closed-end zippers adorned with ultrasound-cut floral patterns.
The collection includes a pink nylon coil zipper, a red nickel zipper and a burgundy plastic zipper. "They are meant for clothes," explains manager C.M. Wong, adding that the floral patterns on the polyester tapes are cut by ultrasound waves and the sliders are made from a zinc alloy.
"We source plastic materials from Japan and the US, polyester yarn from Taiwan, nickel from the Chinese mainland and zinc alloy from Australia."
Founded in 1974, Tiong Lee produces a monthly average of 30 million zippers at an ISO 9001-certified factory in Shenzhen on the mainland that covers 380,000 square feet and employs 600 workers.
Wong says Tiong Lee produces nylon, plastic and metal varieties, and also uses brass and copper from the mainland. "All our products have Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certificates," he assures, referring to the global testing and accreditation scheme developed by a group of European textile institutes for the screening of harmful substances within consumer textiles.
The company has no minimum order policy and charges variable prices, with a 10-20cm model, for example, costing HK$38-45 FOB Hong Kong per dozen.
Orders are delivered 10-14 days after order confirmation, mainly to the US and Europe where Tiong Lee zips bear the TLC brand name. "The US is our biggest market, accounting for about half of our sales," Wong notes.
Moving from feminine designs to more androgynous concepts, Ho Yip Trading Co produces a green zipper featuring teeth decorated with multicoloured rhinestones. "The zipper can be used on woollen garments, among other things," sales manager Martin Tse explains.
Another eye-catching Ho Yip product is a 3-inch-wide zipper chain with white polyester tape, red and green teeth and a large black ring-pull. "It is mostly used for rucksacks," Wong remarks, noting that the teeth and slider are plastic and that both items are available as open- or closed-end variations.
The 24-year-old enterprise produces more than 10 million zippers a month, including metal, nylon, rhinestone, plastic and invisible models, using brass, zinc alloy and plastics sourced from Taiwan, the mainland and Hong Kong. "We always keep developing new fashionable products to meet our customers' needs," Wong adds.
Production takes place at Ho Yip's 6,000-square-metre, 150-worker Shenzhen factory, and it delivers to the US, the UK, Germany and Thailand 1-2 weeks after order confirmation.
Buyers looking for a festive touch should check out Derlin Zipper Co, which manufactures an open-end nylon coil zipper with a pull sporting a snowflake pattern.
"The zinc alloy pull is electroplated and then coloured," general manager Ann Chong reveals, noting that the zipper can be used on children's and ladies' clothes and bags designed for Christmas.
The transparent nylon teeth are flanked by a rainbow-coloured pattern.
"A 20 inch-long zip would sell for about HK$2 apiece FOB Hong Kong," Chong adds.
The 23-year-old company produces about three million metal, rhinestone and waterproof zippers a month at its 7,000-square-metre, 200-worker factory in Shenzhen.
"Delivery time is 10-14 days," Chong says, adding that Derlin's zips are mostly found in the US, where they bear the Derlin and D&D brands.
Attractive fasteners can also be found at Hang Sang Zipper Co Ltd, exemplified by the pink flower-shaped pull of an equally colourful open-end zipper. "The pull is made of rubber and the plastic teeth are semi-transparent," says marketing executive Edward Hung, noting that the zipper is intended for "fashionable" clothes. "We can produce various kinds of zippers, including Vislon, polyester and metal zippers," he adds.
The 21-year-old company's monthly output exceeds eight million zippers made of yarn, polyester, zinc, brass and plastic, mainly from Taiwan.
Hang Sang's ISO 9001-certified Shenzhen factory covers 20,000 square metres, employs 500 workers and delivers 1-3 weeks after order confirmation, mostly to the US and Europe. "Our zippers have passed British and American standards," Hung claims. "We renew our Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certificate every year."
There's clearly a major emphasis on quality among Hong Kong manufacturers, who are obviously determined to offer buyers a vast and ever-expanding selection of fantastic fasteners.
WRITTEN BY LIZA LEE