• Importing Bamboo Textiles from China: A Complete Guide

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    Bamboo textiles are used in a wide range of products, from t-shirts and knitwear to rugs and towels. Bamboo rayon fabrics are widely seen as both fashionable and ecological.

    But that’s not the whole story.

    In this article, you will learn how to find the right bamboo textile manufacturer, labeling requirements in the EU and US, trade shows, and MOQ requirements.

    In addition, I’ll also explain why bamboo fabrics are not always as ecological or ethical as you might think.

    Bamboo Textiles Manufacturers in China

    Bamboo textiles are used for a wide range of products. A few examples follow below:

    • Clothing
    • Rugs
    • Towels
    • Knitted textiles
    • Beddings
    • Curtains

    It’s rare to find suppliers that exclusively work with bamboo fabrics. Instead, some apparel factories can offer bamboo textiles, through their network of fabric suppliers. In most cases, only a portion of the output consists of products made of bamboo fabrics.

    Of course, this is not only how it works in the apparel industry, but also for beddings, rugs, and curtains.

    That said, only a relatively small percentage of all suppliers in the textile industry work with bamboo fabrics. Basically, they don’t have any bamboo textiles supplier in their subcontractor network.

    bamboo textiles

    Sourcing Textiles Suppliers on Alibaba.com and Globalsources.com

    You can’t approach any textiles manufacturer and assume that they can offer bamboo fabrics. Instead, you must specifically look for suppliers that can.

    There are two categories of suppliers to consider:

    a. Bamboo Apparel Factories

    They cut, they sew and they pack. But all fabrics, zippers, and buttons, are purchased from subcontractors. Some of these suppliers are, partially, specialize in making bamboo apparel.

    If they are, they will advertise this on their Alibaba.com or Globalsources.com pages. If they don’t have any product listings on their page, you’ll just waste your time contacting them.

    b. Bamboo Fabric Suppliers

    If you have more specific fabric requirements, you are better off going directly to the source. There are many large fabric suppliers in Jiangsu and Zhejiang, producing various types of bamboo textiles.

    One such company is Shanghai Tenbro Bamboo Textile Co., Ltd, which is one of the largest bamboo textile producers in the world. Just keep in mind that fabric suppliers don’t make the final product. For that, you will need to source a separate apparel manufacturer (or one that makes beddings, if that’s what you’re buying).

    You can also ask the fabric supplier to give you a referral. They tend to have a few partners they work with on a regular basis.

    Why product scope is not all that matters

    Supplier sourcing is a bit more complex than just looking at the product scope. Always take a close look at the following when sourcing suppliers:

    • Product test reports (i.e., REACH or OEKO Tex Standard 100)
    • Quality Management System (i.e., ISO 9001:2015)
    • Social Compliance Certification (i.e., BSCI or Sedex)

    The final assessment is based on the quality of the physical samples, but this framework will still take you a long way.

    Bamboo Viscose Rayon Fabrics Production Issues

    Bamboo fabric is ‘known’ for being ecological, antibacterial, organic, ethical. You get the point. But that is not the whole story:

    Are bamboo textiles organic?

    Bamboo fibers are melted and mixed with chemicals to produce bamboo rayon fabrics. There is nothing organic about that.

    This is what the official GOTS website has to say about it:

    “[Bamboo rayon fabrics] can therefore not be considered as natural or even organic fibre, even if the bamboo plant was originally certified organic on the field.

    In consequence, in GOTS-certified textiles bamboo fibers can only be used for the tolerated remaining balance of conventional fibers. If the rayon is made from organically grown bamboo up to 30% may be used for the label grade ‘made with organic materials’.”

    Are bamboo textiles ethically produced?

    Many workers are exposed to extremely dangerous chemicals and toxic fumes during the refining process. Carbon disulfide is one such substance, that causes heart attacks, blindness and even psychosis. There’s nothing ethical about that.

    Are bamboo textiles antibacterial?

    Another hyped-up benefit of bamboo fabrics is their presumed antibacterial feature. Some studies have shown that processed bamboo rayon fabric only retains this feature to a very limited extend.

    So limited in fact, that the US FTC (Federal Trade Commission) bans companies from stating that any bamboo rayon product is antibacterial.

    Other studies have found that there is no difference between bamboo fabrics and cotton.

    So they bother with unethical and ‘not so antibacterial’ bamboo rayon fabrics?

    We get a ton of inquiries from brands that want to produce everything from ‘organic bamboo shopping bags’, to ethically produced bamboo t-shirts or ‘antibacterial bamboo towels’. That’s also why I decided to write this article.

    I think it’s mostly hype. Bamboo sounds good, and you can fetch a higher price tag when using what is perceived as more ecological material. It’s nice to be ethical and ecological, as long as someone else pays for it.

    Bamboo fabrics do have some benefits:

    • Limited water usage
    • Biodegradable
    • No soil erosion (rather the opposite)
    • No pesticides

    Hopefully, the production processes will improve in the near future.

    Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) Requirements

    Apparel manufacturers normally use less bamboo fabric, than cotton and other materials. Hence, the MOQ requirements tend to be less flexible when it comes to bamboo fabrics.

    Most suppliers have the following MOQs:

    • Per order: 500 – 1000 pcs
    • Per design: 300 – 500 pcs
    • Per fabric: 300 – 500 pcs
    • Per color: 300 – 500 pcs
    • Per size: 100 – 500 pcs

    ‘Standard fabrics’ (i.e., 100% cotton) tend to have lower MOQs, as the supplier can split up the fabrics over many buyers.

    Bamboo Textiles Labeling Requirements

    In the United States, bamboo textiles are regulated by The Textile Fiber Products Identification Act and the Textile Fiber Rule.

    Bamboo rayon fabrics must be labeled as ‘rayon (or viscose) made from bamboo’, not as ‘100% bamboo’. Incorrectly labeling your product is illegal and can result in the destruction by the customs authorities, or a forced recall. Or both.

    In the European Union, textiles importers are not even allowed to use the term ‘bamboo’ as a fabric description. Instead, you should use ‘viscose’.

    Textile labels are, for the record, mandatory in both the EU and the United States, so you cannot opt to leave the fabric label out.

    Keep in mind that Chinese suppliers are not aware of American or European bamboo labeling requirements. Provide them with a ‘ready-made’ label file to make sure they don’t get it wrong.

    Chemicals and Heavy Metals

    Bamboo textiles are subject to the same substance regulations as all fabrics. Importers based in the European Union must ensure compliance with REACH – which regulates lead, mercury and other substances.

    If you’re based in the United States, you must comply with CPSC substance bans and CA Prop 65 (if you’re based in California).

    Trade Shows

    There are several annual textiles and clothing trade shows in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and Vietnam. However, none of these are specifically for bamboo fabrics.

    Hong Kong S.A.R

    • HKTDC Hong Kong Fashion Week
    • HKTDC Hong Kong International Home Textile and Furnishings Fair
    • Global Sources Fashion Fair

    China (Mainland)

    • Canton Fair Phase 3
    • Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics

    Vietnam

    • Vietnam Int’l Textile & Garment Industry Exhibition
    • SaigonTex

    List of Bamboo Textiles Manufacturers in China

    In this section, we list some bamboo textiles manufacturers based in China. Note that these suppliers are fabrics manufacturers, which are not necessarily making the final garments.

    Listed Companies

    • Shanghai Tenbro Bamboo Textile
    • Nantong Tianhong Textile Technology
    • Jihua 3509 Textile
    • China Populus Textile
    • Shaoxing Haitang Textile
    • Qingdao Fab Mill
    • Shanghai Trendhome
    • Dongguan F.M.D Textile
    • Jiangxi Sinowinning Textile

    Disclaimer

    We are not affiliated with any of the companies listed in this guide. We have selected these companies based on their claimed product scope, history, certification, and capabilities.

    Shanghai Tenbro Bamboo Textile

    Shanghai Tenbro Bamboo Textile is a fiber textile manufacturer and supplier with a factory based in Shanghai. The company develops a broad range of products made with bamboo viscose and blend fabrics, covering garments, baby’s products, packaging, and more.

    Main Products

    • Bamboo polyester fabrics
    • Bamboo pulp and wood pulp products
    • Modal pulp products
    • Bamboo packaging
    • Bamboo bedding
    • Bamboo bathroom products

    Summary

    Location: Seven Floor, Building A, Lane 658, Jinzhong Road, Shanghai

    Nantong Tianhong Textile Technology

    Nantong Tianhong Textile Technology was founded in 2001 as a designer and manufacturer of natural fiber fabric. The company mainly develops bamboo viscose fabric combining fabric of other compositions, such as cotton, polyester, acrylic, elastane, and other materials.

    These fabrics can be used as the main materials for underwear, loungewear, hoodie, shirt, and activewear. The constructions include jersey, interlock, rib, terry, poplin, flannel, and more.

    The knitting factory of Nantong Tianhong is over 3,000 square meters, equipped with 40 circular knitting machines from Japan and Germany, which yields an annual output of more than 4,000 tons of fabrics.

    Main Products

    • Organic bamboo viscose and cotton blended fabrics
    • Recycled bamboo viscose polyester blended fabrics
    • Recycled bamboo viscose acrylic blended fabrics

    Summary

    • Certification: ISO 9001, ISO 14001, BSCI, OHSAS 18001, OEKO-TEX 100, Global Recycled Standard, FSC
    • Compliance: Not mentioned
    • MOQ: Not mentioned
    • Samples offered: Yes

    Location: Room 868, Building D, Jingyang Digital Town, No.699 East Renmin Road, Chongchuan District, Nantong, Jiangsu

    Jihua 3509 Textile

    Jihua 3509 Textile is a subsidiary of a listed Corporation, Jihua Group Corporation Limited, from Hubei Province. The company was founded in 1950, first as a military factory specialized in manufacturing yarns for bedding industries.

    Jihua 3509 Textile nowadays also caters to hospitality industries and provides a rich selection of bamboo textile fabrics, such as bamboo quilts, pillowcases, bed sheets, as well as kitchenware products such as napkins, aprons, and table cloth made of bamboo blended fabrics.

    Main Products

    • 40*40 133*95 114“ 4/1 bamboo viscose sateens
    • 40*40 133*95 114“ 3/1 bamboo viscose twills
    • 300TC 60*60 200*90 bamboo viscose fabrics
    • 300TC 60*40 173*120 bamboo viscose fabrics
    • 250TC 40*40 140*100 sateens
    • 500TC 80*80 200*81*3 sateens
    • 60% bamboo 40% comb cotton fabrics

    Summary

    • Certification: ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001
    • Compliance: Not mentioned
    • MOQ: 3,000 meters
    • Samples offered: Yes

    Location: No.16, Fangzhi Road, Makou Town, Hanchuan, Hubei

    China Populus Textile

    China Populus Textile is a textile company that focuses on the research and development of green materials such as bamboo and hemp viscose fabrics.

    The company was founded in 2000 and mainly supplies fashion and homeware industries various types of green fabrics to produce tops, trousers, undergarments, hosiery, and more.

    Main Products

    • Bamboo viscose acrylic textiles
    • Bamboo viscose nylon textiles
    • Hemp viscose cotton textiles

    Summary

    • Certification: Not mentioned
    • Compliance: Anti-bacterial test
    • MOQ: Not mentioned
    • Samples offered: Yes

    Location: 7F, Metropolis Tower, Haidian East Three Street, Zhongguancun, Haidian District, Beijing

    Shaoxing Haitang Textile

    Shaoxing Haitang Textile was established in the 1990s, as a factory specializing in making fabrics for business wear shirts, such as the blend of bamboo viscose, polyester, cotton, and modal. Other than stock fabrics, clients can also customize the fabrics.

    Shaoxing Haitang Textile also provides printing, embossing as well as construction designing services for the fabrics, which make the fabrics suitable to be made into shirts of different styles for different age groups.

    Main Products

    • 100% Bamboo viscose fabrics
    • Bamboo viscose polyester fabrics
    • Tetoron Cotton (TC)
    • Chief Value Cotton (CVC)
    • Terry Rayon (TR)
    • Modal

    Summary

    • Certification: OEKO-TEX 100
    • Compliance: Anti-bacterial test
    • MOQ: Not mentioned
    • Samples offered: Yes

    Location: No.388, Building 15, Second Area, Yuezhou Textile Market, No 399 Xiaxi Road, Lingzhi Town, Yuecheng District, Shaoxing, Zhejiang

    Qingdao Fab Mill

    Qingdao Fab Mill was founded in 2004 with a factory located in Qingdao, Shandong Province. The factory manufactures fabrics made of natural materials, such as hemp, linen, bamboo, and other eco-friendly fibers.

    Other than fabrics, Qingdao Fab Mill also manufactures garments and accessories with bamboo and hemp blend, including socks, T-shirts, hoodies, baseball hats, and more.

    Main Products

    • Bamboo viscose sheets fabrics
    • Bamboo cotton-blend twill sateen fabrics
    • Bamboo cotton baby swaddle wrap
    • Knitted bamboo spandex viscose jersey fabrics
    • Knitted bamboo french terry fabrics
    • Bamboo viscose fleece fabrics

    Summary

    • Certification: Not mentioned
    • Compliance: Not mentioned
    • MOQ: Not mentioned
    • Samples offered: Yes

    Location: Room 302 Building 1, No.43 Qutangxia Road, Qingdao, Shandong

    Shanghai Trendhome

    Shanghai Trendhome is a company that specializes in producing bedding fabric for hotels, and hospital wards. Product materials include bamboo, organic cotton, silk, polyester, and microfiber.

    The design and production processes are done in Trendhome’s in-house factory in Shanghai. Products include bed linen, comforter sets, duvet cover sets, bedspreads, and towels.

    Main Products

    • Bamboo viscose polyester fabrics
    • Bamboo viscose cotton fabrics

    Summary

    • Certification: Not mentioned
    • Compliance: Not mentioned
    • MOQ: 200 meters
    • Samples offered: Yes

    Location: Room 503, No.1, Lane 78, Shujian Road, Minhang District, Shanghai

    Dongguan F.M.D Textile

    Dongguan F.M.D Textile is a fabric manufacturer specialized in footwear fabric. The company was founded in 2003, offering integrated services from consultancy, development, design, manufacture to sales of shoe fabrics.

    F.M.D mainly uses organic and eco-materials such as bamboo, hemp, cotton, recycled materials, and blended materials to produce its products, making a broad range of shoes for different purposes, including flats, sneakers, tennis shoes, and sandals. Currently, the yearly output of F.M.D exceeds 5 million meters of fabrics.

    Clients can also do more customization services to the fabrics, such as printing, coating, flocking, embroidering, waterproofing, and the like.

    Over the course of the past two decades, the company has established long-term business relationships with more than 40 footwear brands, such as Nine West, Aldo, and Coach.

    Main Products

    • Bamboo fabrics
    • Organic cotton fabrics
    • Organic hemp fabrics
    • Linen and cotton blended fabrics

    Summary

    • Certification: Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)
    • Compliance: Not mentioned
    • MOQ: Not mentioned
    • Samples offered: Yes

    Location: No.248, Beihuan Road, Baotun Zone, Houjie Town, Dongguan, Guangdong

    Jiangxi Sinowinning Textile

    Jiangxi Sinowinning Textile is a manufacturer of organic fabrics, including bamboo viscose fabrics, cotton, and polyester blend fabric, and MJS Yarn.

    The manufacturing center of Sinowinning Textile is over 66,000 square meters large, equipped with 30 machines. There are more than 100 professional workers and 52 are senior technicians, researchers working in the factory, contributing to more than 500 tons of fabrics monthly.

    Main Products

    • Bamboo polyester fabrics
    • Bamboo cotton fabrics
    • Bamboo fiber blend fabrics
    • Bamboo viscose blend fabrics

    Summary

    • Certification: Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)
    • Compliance: Not mentioned
    • MOQ: Not mentioned
    • Samples offered: Yes

    Location: Fengxin Industrial Area, Fengxin Town, Yichun, Jiangxi

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