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Ample resources, support industries buoy Jiangsu garment suppliers

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Girls' jean

The first installment in this five-part series details Jiangsu’s competitive advantages as an apparel hub.

The rich supply of materials and manpower, and a stable auxiliary network are sustaining Jiangsu’s position as one of China’s key garment manufacturing centers. In 2011, the province exported about $22.6 billion worth of clothing, contributing more than 15 percent to the country’s total overseas sales in the line.

Makers can select from a range of natural and synthetic fabrics produced within the area. Cotton, wool, polyester and nylon are some of the options. Components such as fasteners and trimmings are often sourced from neighboring Zhejiang province.

In addition, Jiangsu boasts a sufficient and experienced labor force. It has at least 2 million skilled workers, most of whom are migrants from the interior Anhui and Henan provinces.

Support industries also play a significant role in Jiangsu’s growth. There are about 15,000 plants in the area handling yarn spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing and printing. Home to 2,300 manufacturers and 6,000 trading companies, Shengze in Suzhou is said to be the largest commercial market for textiles.

A few towns even specialize in particular fabric types. Suzhou’s Meili and Taicang primarily turn out warp-knitted and elastic synthetic materials, respectively. Hutang in Changzhou yields corduroy and denim.

The local government has implemented several measures to promote the province’s apparel and textiles segment, including giving financial assistance to SMEs and facilitating credit applications. It helps in pushing in-house brands, technique innovations and environment-friendly production as well.

Groups such as the Jiangsu Garment Association provide added support. Founded in 1995, the organization fosters fair competition, and deals with the establishment of industry standards and regulations, protection of IPRs and supervision of businesses’ social responsibility. Moreover, it studies the trends at home and abroad, presents concrete proposals to domestic authorities for new policies and offers consultation services to enterprises. The body also holds design contests to develop local talents.

Thriving spring/summer clothing line

Apparel suppliers in Jiangsu make polo and T-shirts, blouses, dresses, skirts, shorts, pants, jackets and lightweight pullovers. Roughly 10 percent of output is for children 12 years old and below.

Several factories are currently adopting premium nature-based materials in their latest men’s and women’s designs. Merino wool, a typical input for sweaters, sportswear and hosiery, is now utilized in T-shirts. Organic cotton, modal, and soybean and milk protein fibers are gaining traction as well. Environment-friendly and nontoxic colorants are also preferred by companies. Reactive- and water-based dyes are often sourced from BASF and Clariant.

Large or allover prints are commonly employed to boost visual appeal. Motifs and colors depend on the target user. Popular patterns include florals, polka dots, leopard spots and snakeskin. These may be applied via silk-screening, or the offset, heat-transfer or discharge method. Lace, fringe, beads, sequins, applique and embroidery are the trimming options. Heavy embellishments and intricate detailing are prominent in upscale styles. Although neutrals continue to be mainstream, vibrant hues such as fuchsia, turquoise, jade green and sapphire blue are becoming more prevalent.

T-shirts, blouses and dresses account for a significant portion of the men’s and women’s spring/summer clothing segment. The first ranges from $1.50 to $19, with the least expensive models coming in cotton, CVC or T/C. Mercerized or semicombed cotton, cotton-spandex, rayon and nylon are generally utilized in midrange variants. High-end tops are made of mercerized, combed or organic cotton, merino wool, silk, or soybean or milk protein fibers.

Makers employ polyester, cotton, CVC, T/C, T/R, viscose and rayon for blouses quoted at $11 and below. Releases exceeding $11 adopt silk. Going for $5 to $25, women’s dresses are in cotton, polyester, T/C, acrylic, viscose or acetate. Rayon, linen, wool, cashmere and silk are additional fabric choices for pricier designs.

Similar to men’s and women’s wear, using natural inputs is widespread among manufacturers of baby and children’s garments. Besides organic cotton and bamboo rayon, linen and ramie are common options. High-density materials are preferred as these contribute to durability. The seams are typically double-stitched. Companies often utilize different kinds of fabrics in one product to create contrast or texture. Embroidery, patch- and beadwork, laminated lace and sequins enhance aesthetics further.

Casual jackets, dresses, shorts and jeans are among the popular children’s spring/summer apparel from Jiangsu. Outerwear pieces are between $6 and $20, while girls’ frocks start at $2 and reach $15. Shorts and jeans are priced at $1.50 to $7 and $4 to $18, respectively. Models come mainly in pure cotton or cotton-polyester. The amount of synthetic fiber is generally greater in less expensive releases. Functional textiles, and PU and genuine leather may be employed in some upscale items.

Read Part 2 and Part 3 of this report.

SUPPLIER PROFILES

Girls' jean

Jiangyin Huanyu International Trade Co. Ltd

Year established: 2009
Head office location: Jiangsu
Key export product: Garments, textiles
Annual export sales: $5mn to $10mn
Total monthly capacity: 100,000 pieces
Average monthly exports: 100,000 pieces
Export ratio: 100%
Annual R&D spending: $20,000
Major customer: Toyoshima, Marubeni, Caitac

Model: HY11087
MOQ: 1,000 pieces
Delivery: 45 days
Description: Children’s cardigan; 100% cotton jersey; 220gsm; striped

Girls' jean

Jiangsu Light Industrial Products Import & Export

Year established: 1974
Head office location: Jiangsu
Key export product: Garments
Annual export sales: $10mn to $50mn
Total monthly capacity: 300,000 pieces
Average monthly exports: 300,000 pieces
Export ratio: 100%
Annual R&D spending: $50,000
Major customer: Kmart

Model: FDS11-83
MOQ: 50,000 sets
Delivery: 60 days
Description: Girl’s clothing set; 60:40 cotton-polyester jersey top; 95:5 cotton-spandex jersey leggings

Girls' jean

Leadtex Clothing Co. Ltd

Year established: 1995
Head office location: Jiangsu
Key export product: Garments
Annual export sales: $10 to $50mn
Total monthly capacity: 400,000 pieces
Average monthly exports: 300,000 pieces
Export ratio: 75%
Annual R&D spending: $1 mn

Model: K05079
MOQ: 1,000 sets
Delivery: 90 days
Description: Children’s clothing set; 180gsm cotton jersey T-shirt; cotton twill shorts; for 3 to 8 years old

Girls' jean

Yixing Sainty Garments Co. Ltd

Year established: 1998
Head office location: Jiangsu
Key export product: Garments, textiles
Annual export sales: $5mn to $10mn
Total monthly capacity: 150,000 pieces
Average monthly exports: 150,000 pieces
Export ratio: 100%
Annual R&D spending: $20,000

Model: 2
MOQ: 1,000 pieces
Delivery: 60 days
Description: Girl’s T-shirt; cotton jersey; 180gsm; printed

Note: All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.

Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.

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