Importing from China provides an excellent opportunity to both resellers and buyers. However, it may not be easy to import small cloth from China, especially for newbies. The importing process can be pretty confusing and costly if you don’t know your potential suppliers in China.
Finding suppliers in China is a big topic, and hence I want to divide it into several parts for a detailed discussion. Read through with patience, and I promise you won’t be disappointed.
1. Why Import Clothing from China?
China is considered a manufacturing hub as the “Made in China” tag has made its way successfully worldwide. The manufacturing industries in China are expanding at an unimaginable rate. Apart from high quality and organized production lines, a few other reasons to consider importing small cloth from China are:
(1)Low Manufacturing Cost
One of the primary reasons to import from China is the low price offered for high quality. The low manufacturing cost in China is because its accessibility to the material required is more convenient. The machines used in manufacturing are available at a much lower price than in any other country.
Affordable Human Resource
China is home to approximately 1.40 billion people, making it the most populous country in the entire world. Labour is abundant and cheap in China as many people, including immigrants, live at the poverty level and are willing to work many shifts for low wages.
China can produce high output in less time. They can easily hire more people to complete volume-demanding production requiring less money than in any other country. Labour in China receives special training to excel in mass production. It has more refined and organized production lines than any other country in the world.
Low Raw Material Cost
The cost of raw materials such as cotton, polyester, and wool are comparatively low than in other countries. China is known for its largest textile-producing industry. Cotton, wool, and polyester are amongst China’s top export goods. Due to high production, the raw materials are available at a low price.
Shipping Cost is Low
There are various shipping methods in China to import goods, such as express, air shipping, and sea shipping. Due to these reliable and affordable shipping methods, Chinese suppliers can ship their products at lower rates than the rest of the world.
However, there are situations where it would be better to ship your order by air or sea. If your order is of low volume, it is ideal for air because of quick shipping time. This article contains details and the rough cost of every shipping method to help you through the process.
2. What to look at when we select a clothing manufacturer?
Not all clothing textiles manufacturers are good. Choosing a random supplier online can end up in a disaster, as you cannot verify that whether he will be able to reach your quality requirements or not. Some of the essential factors that you should consider while looking for a good clothing manufacturer are:
There are specific product categories, and suppliers can’t be experts in every category. This also includes the type of material, printing technique, and machinery that the supplier is using. For example, suppose you are planning to import GOTS certified organic cotton shirts. In that case, you should look for a supplier that is manufacturing GOTS certified organic cotton shirts instead of a supplier manufacturing cotton shirts only. You’ll get an idea of a supplier product scope by quickly reviewing their website or supplier page on Alibaba or Global Sources.
Similarly, if you require DTG printed t-shirts, always select the supplier with proper machinery or equipment for DTG printing. It is essential to choose a supplier according to your product scope to avoid any future disappointments.
Clothes Manufacturing Capability
Every supplier has a specific manufacturing capability. If the supplier has limited machinery or labor force, he may not finish huge orders on time. You can have a better idea after you carefully consider the following variables:
- What are the supplier’s weekly and monthly production capacity?
- For how many brands have the supplier worked with before?
The supplier needs to deliver the orders on time as significant delays can potentially harm a project timeline and marketing plan. It is more likely for them to attract customers over Christmas or Black Friday sales. Any delay in the manufacturing process of the order will directly affect the profitability of the business.
Quality management system and social compliance
Adhering to set standards, government regulations, and industry rules is crucial to any supplier to produce high-quality products. When it comes to the textile industry, there are many restrictions, such as limiting formaldehyde usage, AZO dyes, lead, and many others.
However, not all manufacturers can provide compliance documents making it hard to assess a clothing supplier’s capability to produce compliant products. Many experienced importers recommend that you not only rely upon suppliers to manage quality but also implement your quality assurance procedures to attain your desired quality level.
A quality management system is one such method that ensures the implementation of all essential procedures to achieve high-quality products. It helps in monitoring all imperfections and discovering approaches to restrict them.
3. What to Include in the Techpack
After finding a good supplier for your order, it is time to consider what you should include in your TechPack. Some of the important considerations are:
Apparel industrial facilities, by and large, obtain textures from materials producers. Most providers can give arrangements of conventional cotton and manufactured materials offered through their organization of subcontractors.
In any case, if you have explicit texture necessities, for example, Bamboo rayon, Organic Cotton or Viscose, you should go straightforwardly to a materials producer. That will make it significantly more straightforward to track down the correct sort of textures.
To help you further, below is the list of fabric specifications:
- Material/Composition (i.e. 98% cotton, 2% spandex)
- Fabric Weight (e.g., 240 g / m²)
- Yarn count (ex. 40 x 40)
- Yarn type (e.g., combed)
- Colors (Pantone or RAL)
- Treatment (e.g., Flame Retardance)
- Coating (e.g., PU coating)
Bill of Materials (Components)
It is a list of materials and components used in the making of a single unit. In this list, you must specify the quantity of each element for a single company correctly.
- Seam material
To specify design, it is better provide the supplier with reference samples or design drawings. All these design drawings and reference samples will be used as attachments in product documentation by a supplier.
- Reference samples
- Sample photocopies
- Design drawings
A size chart lists dimensions for almost all sizes. In the size chart, you’d better include the following measurements:
- Collar (Front)
- Collar (Back)
- Shoulder Width
Logos, prints, and embroidery
You must provide all the print and embroidery details to the supplier properly. In your design drawings, specify the position of logos, prints, and embroidery to reduce the risk of any misunderstandings.
Other than design drawings, provide print and embroidery files to the supplier in .eps or .ai format. It must include the following details:
- Printing technique
When it comes to textile printing, there are various printing techniques. To further guide you, some of the standard textile printing techniques are:
- Screen printing
It is the most common type of printing that directly applies ink to the fabric through mesh screens. It is reasonably inexpensive for large volumes.
- Digital textile printing (DTG)
This printing technique prints full-colored images on fabric through high-quality DTG machines. It is a fast process and produces high-quality printed apparel within a few hours.
- Block printing
It is a traditional type of printing in which wood or metal blocks are cut to a specific pattern and then stamped on the fabric.
- Heat/thermal transfer printing
The printing technique mainly used to print letters or numbers for creating customized sportswear is heat/thermal transfer printing.
It includes instructions related to the packaging of the order. Some typical packaging ways are:
- Opp bag packing
- Customized box packing/neutral packing box
4: How to reduce MOQ when importing from China
Whenever you deal with a vendor, he will provide you with a quotation that includes an MOQ. MOQ stands for Minimum order quantity that depends on their production. Usually, China’s small cloth traders have set an MOQ ranging from 500 – 1000 pieces per product.
The MOQ of a garment depends not only on the design of the garment, but also on how many colors, sizes and whether the fabric you use needs a high minimum quantity.So after he checked with his accessories factory, he would figure out the MOQ of the clothes and tell you. Of course, if you feel the factory MOQ is too high, you can also try the following three ways to try to get a lower MOQ.
1: Show your sincerity
You can tell the factory that this is just a trial order to test the market and style. After the trial order, the quantity will reach their minimum quantity.
If you want a lower MOQ, you can increase the price you’re paying for a single unit. You can always get the other party to agree on your terms if you’re willing to spend a little more cash.
3: Cooperate with trading companies or Sourcing companies
If you are just a small seller who wants to customize your own style but do not want to buy too much and do not have good factory resources, you may want to consider directly cooperating with a trading company or purchasing company, because they have a good relationship with the factory, so they may get a lower quantity.
Minimum order quantity(MOQ)
- MOQ per fabric
- MOQ by reference
- MOQ by color
- MOQ by size
- For further clarification of how the MOQ is structured, an example follows below:
- MOQ per Fabric: 1000 pcs (Set by subcontractor)
- MOQ per SKU: 500 pcs (Indirectly by subcontractor)
- MOQ per Color: 500 pcs (Set by subcontractor)
- MOQ per Size: 250 pcs (Set by Clothes supplier)
- Startups and small businesses have two options
- Reduce the number of SKUs
- Reduce fabrics kinds
- Reduce cols
- Reduce size
- Choose regular packing/supplier’s packing
- If you insist in one fabric which has high moq but can not afford the whole product
- Such as you only want to order 100PCS shirt, but the fabric’s moq is 500 meters which can do 300 shirts, then you can pay for the 500 meters fabric but ask supplier to do 100 shirts, the left fabric can be used for next order.
- · Let Webest sourcing help you import small cloth from China Contact US
5: Textiles & Apparel Trade Fairs in Mainland China and Hong Kong
HONG KONG FASHION WEEK
Location: Hong Kong
When: January (Fall / Winter) and July (Spring / Summer)
Babies and children’s wear
Inspection, testing, certification & verification services
GLOBAL SOURCES FASHION FAIR
Location: Hong Kong
When: January (Fall / Winter) and July (Spring / Summer
Bags & Luggage
Scarves & Gloves
Belts & Footwear
Fabrics, Lace & Trimmings
Sweater & Knitwear
Down Jacket & Outerwear
Underwear & Sleepwear
Swimwear & Beachwear
CANTON FAIR PHASE 3(GUANGZHOU)
Location: Guangzhou (Mainland China)
When: April/May and October/November
Men and Women’s Clothing
Sports and Casual Wear
Furs, Leather, Downs & Related Products
Fashion Accessories and Fittings
Textile Raw Materials & Fabrics
Carpets & Tapestries
Cases and Bags
Sports, Travel and Recreation Products
6. How to ship cloth from China?
Purchasing things from China is very easy, but many customers don’t know how to ship products out in its best way. As choosing the right shipping way depends on the weight, volume and the shipping destination and product category( such as sensitive items, powder/liquid/electronics and so on). It is really difficult for customers to figure out.
Most of Alibaba sellers and Trading companies are more likely to overcharge on shipping cost because they are not professional on all shipping ways, thus, it is hard for them to help you find the best shipping way.
Or many of them prefer to use your own freight forwarder to pick up cargo at their warehouse or at the port of China, which is more convenient for them.
For some manufacturers, most of their customers are trading companies, thus, they do not have an idea either.
So in order to better help customers to calculate transportation costs and understand which shipping way is suitable for their products, I will list several common shipping ways below.
There are multiple ways to ship clothing from China. However, the cost depends on three main factors:
- Shipping address
The advantage of express delivery is that it is faster but more expensive than other means of transport, suitable for small, not too heavy products, such as 90% of the samples are sent by express delivery. But not all countries are suited to the same express. Such DHL works better for Southeast Asian countries while FedEx is better for Europe and the United States. Below is the summary for your easier understanding.
2 Air shipping
Because of COVID-19, the price of the air shipping has skyrocketed due to the decrease in the number of plans. The price used to be about $3-$5, but now it is much more expensive. Here is the approximate price for reference.
Shipping time: 8-12 days
In general, the forwarder will calculate your dimensional weight If it’s dimensional weight is larger than the actual gross weight of the product, then forwarder will charge based on dimensional weight. Otherwise, they will charge based on gross weight.
Let’s take one example, if the carton size is 50*50*50CM and gross weight is 10KGS. Which weight does forwarder will charge? Let’s calculate below
Dimensional weight: 50*50*50/6000=20.8KGS
Gross weight: 10KGS
So your forwarder will charge by dimensional weight.
3: Fast sea shipping(Sea Freight UPS Combined)
It’s similar to traditional shipping, but not the same. The second shipping is dispatched by UPS, that is why it is pretty fast compared to traditional sea shipping. So when your product is small volume but heavy, then you can consider this shipping way. Below shipping rate is for your reference.
Shipping time: 20-25 days
This shipping ways is only available for USA.
4: Railway shipping(Railway UPS Combined)
Below shipping rate is for your reference.
France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Gran, Czech Republic and so on: $2.3/KG
The extra cost is around $0.3/KG for wooden and textile products and this shipping way is only available for EU.
Now it’s your turn
Do you have any other questions about importing small cloth from China? If you think this article helpful, share it with your friends and share your ideas in the comments section. If you want to find a China sourcing agent, you can contact us, we are one of the leading China sourcing companies.