Clothing and Textiles Quality Control: A Complete Guide – By Renaud Anjoran

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clothing quality control

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Asia Import Platform: Apparel & Textiles

Renaud Anjoran is the founder of Sofeast, a quality control agency based in Shenzhen, and a leading expert in quality assurance. Renaud is also a regular contributor to the Chinaimportal Knowledge Base.

In this article, he explains what apparel and textiles importers must know about preventing and managing quality issues.

Keep reading, and learn more about the types of quality issues in the apparel industry – and how they can be avoided.

Based on your experience, what are the most common quality issues, that Buyers of Apparel and Textiles must be aware of?

I would distinguish between three types of quality issues.

First, some quality issues are due to the materials and accessories. For example, the yarn was not dyed in the wrong color, or a zipper does not come from the agreed supplier or brand. They are widespread on many or all garments. I would include non-conform packing materials here.

How to avoid these issues?

a. If you purchase high volumes, have your suppliers work with directed sub-suppliers that your company vets. Prices might go up a bit, but you will usually get it back through fewer issues. Note, this is especially true of packing materials, and not always applicable to fabrics or to the main accessories. Some companies buy the materials and accessories and pay workshops for a CMT job.

b. Have the supplier make a pre-production sample in the bulk materials. Review that sample, as well as fabric swatches (not small ‘lab dips’) for other colors, if any.

c. Send an inspector in the factory to check all the materials and accessories.

Second, some problems are due to the patterns or to the way the fabric was cut. A common temptation for factories is to reduce fabric consumption. It generally takes two forms:

1. Cutting just a bit smaller. As a consequence, finished garments tend to be smaller than requested – sometimes an entire size under expectation, especially if sewing operators don’t respect the ‘sewing allowance’.

2. Positioning the shapes so as to improve efficiency, irrespective of the desired direction of threads. On underwear this can affect fitting, and more generally it can trigger bad visual defects such as twisting or puckering. This is quite common in China.

There are many other potential issues coming from the cutting. They are more common on knit fabrics since they are not always processed adequately (insufficient time to retract, too many layers…). Continue reading Clothing and Textiles Quality Control: A Complete Guide – By Renaud Anjoran

Outdoor Wear Manufacturers in China: A Complete Guide

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Outdoor wear suppliers

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Asia Import Platform: Apparel & Textiles

In this product guide, we explain what you must know before importing Outdoor wear from China. In similarity to our other apparel and textiles guides, this article will give you insights into Outdoor wear manufacturing clusters, product specifications and minimum order quantities. In addition, we also explain what you must know about relevant technical standards, labelling requirements and more.

Outdoor Wear Manufacturing Clusters in China

In recent years, Chinese outdoor wear manufacturers have faced increasingly tough competition from producers in other Asian countries. Primarily, Cambodia and Bangladesh. That said, as this industry is largely reliant on technical fabrics, which are also made in China, the country maintains a strong competitive advantage.

Most, exporting oriented, Outdoor wear manufacturers are located in the following cities and provinces:

  • Quanzhou, Fujian
  • Fuzhou, Fujian
  • Xiamen, Fujian
  • Jinjiang, Fujian
  • Shenzhen, Guangdong
  • Guangzhou, Guangdong
  • Suzhou, Jiangsu
  • Wuxi, Jiangsu
  • Hangzhou, Zhejiang
  • Ganzhou, Jiangxi

As you can see above, Outdoor wear buyers are wise to visit the southern, coastal, provinces of Fujian and Guangdong, as this is where most relevant manufacturers are based. Continue reading Outdoor Wear Manufacturers in China: A Complete Guide

Importing Private Label (ODM) Clothing from China

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Private label apparel

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Asia Import Platform: Apparel & Textiles

Private label products are becoming increasingly common. Re-inventing the wheel is often unnecessary, especially considering the abundance of factory standard products to choose from in China, and other Asian countries. While a Private label product is, at least according to its original definition, based on a fixed set of specification, combined with the buyers branding, the lines blur in China’s apparel industry.

In order to avoid quality issues and severe misunderstandings when buying Private Label apparel from manufacturers in China, you must follow a strict procedure, involving selection of reference designs and fabrics, size measurements and labelling. In this article, we explain how to manage the ODM apparel product development process in two stages. Continue reading Importing Private Label (ODM) Clothing from China

Apparel & Textiles Product Development Explained – Interview with Saral Kochar of Techpacker.com

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Saral Techpacker

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Asia Import Platform: Apparel & Textiles

The creation of clear technical specifications, such as a bill of materials and design drawings, is the key to success when developing new apparel designs. Regardless of where in the world your products are manufactured, you don’t want to leave your supplier guessing. To further get clarification on the subject, we decided to reach out to Saral Kochar, Founder of Techpacker.com in Hong Kong.

In this interview, Saral explains what you must know about design drawings and  technical specifications when outsourcing apparel and textiles production to manufacturers in Asia – and how things can turn out if you fail to produce such documentation.

Saral, how did you end up in Hong Kong’s textiles industry?

By luck I guess. I wanted to study chemistry and physics but with poor education system in India and maybe not enough motivation, I was pushed into study business and accounting. So after high school, I was very indecisive regarding my career path but then everyone in our family from my grandfather to all his sons and daughters and cousins are in fashion and textile businesses, therefore I decided to study product design development in fashion from London College of Fashion.

After 3 years of study, I was offered to work at American Eagle Outfitters at their design office in New York. While working there, I came across Li & Fung from Hong Kong as one of the core suppliers. I was very intrigued by its business model as being the largest trading company in the world providing sourcing and logistics for many of the top brands and therefore wanted to learn more about it. So I flew to Hong Kong and interviewed with them and soon was offered a contract which I happily accepted. Continue reading Apparel & Textiles Product Development Explained – Interview with Saral Kochar of Techpacker.com

Children’s & Baby Clothing Manufacturers in China: A Complete Guide

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Baby Clothing Manufacturing in Asia

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Asia Import Platform: Children’s Products

In this week’s product guide, we share our expertise on children’s and baby clothing manufacturing in China. What may not come as a surprise, especially not for our regular readers, is that the emphasis in this guide lies on product compliance: including substance regulations, labelling requirements and physical properties. In addition, we also explain what you must know about product testing – and why importers in this field are wise to stay away from ready made ‘off shelf’ items.

Challenges When Importing Children’s & Baby Clothing

Children’s products, including clothing, are strictly regulated in all major markets, including the United States, Australia and the European Union. Noncompliance penalties are severe, and range between US$5, 000 to US$100, 000, per violation, in the United States. Penalties in Europe, for example the United Kingdom, are slightly lower, but can result in imprisonment of up to 6 months, and a fine of £5,000 per violation. That is, of course, in addition to the obvious fact that all non-compliant baby and children’s clothing are subject to an immediate forced recall. Continue reading Children’s & Baby Clothing Manufacturers in China: A Complete Guide