by Fredrik Grönkvist
In this product guide, we explain everything you must know about Underwear & Lingerie Manufacturers in China, including industrial clusters, supplier qualification and design customization options. We also explain what you must know about potential quality issues and applicable labelling requirements – and substance restrictions in the United States and the European Union.
China’s export oriented underwear manufacturers are largely concentrated in the country’s primary textiles production centers; Guangdong Province, Fujian Province and Zhejiang Province. If you intend to visit manufacturers in Mainland China, you are likely to find yourself in one of the following cities:
Underwear and lingerie is, in relative terms not a very capital intensive industry. Manufacturers in such ‘low value added’ industries then to be rather unsophisticated, thereby requiring a rigid Quality Assurance (QA) process, managed by the buyer.
The first step of the QA process is, as explained below, to draft a comprehensive product specification. There are, however, certain useful signals for qualifying Underwear and Lingerie Manufacturers:
The product design can either be based on an existing ODM SKU, or an OEM specification. While you may submit, or submit, reference samples – they are only complementary to the design drawing. These are your options:
The design drawing must include all design elements and dimensions.
A reference sample is either provided by the supplier (when buying ODM products), or the buyer (when buying an OEM product). As mentioned, the reference sample is only complementary to, and not a replacement for, a design drawing.
The most straightforward method is to order fabric samples, or complete units, from the supplier. The buyer can then freely select the material of choice from the supplier’s standard catalog. Another method is to submit fabric samples, that the supplier can match with a fabric from their own standard catalog – or, in rare cases, weave the fabric entirely according to the specifications of the buyer.
The size table is an appendix of the design drawing, listing dimensions for each size. ODM products can also be customized by adjusting the size table accordingly. The size table must also be complemented with dimensional tolerance
Underwear and lingerie are subject to general textiles labelling requirements. Said labelling requirements differs between markets, and buyers are unwise to assume that the supplier is aware of the specific requirements in your market. Hence, you must provide ‘ready made’ graphical files (.aiformat) to the supplier. Include the following:
The label can be printed on a double folded polyester patch, or directly on the inside fabric.
Quality issues in textile manufacturing often stem from an incomplete or conflicting product specification. Below follows a list of common quality issues when buying Underwear and Lingerie:
The purpose of the quality inspection is to defect quality issues before the produce is packed and shipped. When buying Underwear and Lingerie from Chinese manufacturers, you must draft a Quality Inspection protocol including the following procedures:
Underwear and lingerie are subject to various substance regulations in major markets, primarily the United States and the European Union. Depending on your market, you need to ensure compliance with one or more of the following:
Fredrik Grönkvist is the co-founder of ScandinAsian Enterprise in Shanghai. Since 2010, he and his team have helped hundreds of companies worldwide, primarily in the EU and US, to develop and manufacture products in China. He is also the main contributor on www.chinaimportal.com, a leading knowledge base for small- to medium-sized enterprises importing from Asia. For further questions, you can contact him on www.chinaimportal.com/contact-us/.