Baby & children's dress businesses are adopting pure and organic variants that command higher prices.
India suppliers of baby and children’s dresses continue to utilize cotton amid the material’s high costs and limited supply.
Although the local government curtailed the shortage via the export ban and the withdrawal of shipping subsidies, garment makers feel the initiative came too late.
Despite the 295,000 bales of bumper crop in October 2009 to December 2010, standard Shankar-6 cotton rates still increased from $506.05 to $836.08 per candy or 355kg in January this year.
According to the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry, the country witnessed high fiber outlay beyond mid-December even after the recent harvest and the adjustment in global values.
Moreover, experts projected that the carryover cotton from the previous October 2009 to September 2010 marketing season would run out by Dec. 15. Resultantly, raw material and fabric expenses climbed, with end-product rates yet to increase in proportion to the change.
To ensure profitability, manufacturers are switching from blended textiles to pure and organic cotton. Leveraging the fiber’s soft and breathable properties, which render it ideal for delicate skin, companies are able to command higher prices. Quotes for baby and children's dresses made of organic variants can be raised 30 to 40 percent.
Similarly, Grey Field is creating value-added designs to justify markups. Products are embellished with ribbons, embroidery, patches, floral decals, bows or lace. The supplier plans augmentations of 20 to 25 percent this year.
As an alternative, several makers are considering using synthetic and other natural fibers in place of cotton.
Meanwhile, companies are urging the government to establish high-capacity spinning and ginning facilities to offset the shortage.
Products & prices
Baby and children’s dresses from India are generally made of knitted or woven pure combed cotton. These can come in interlock, single jersey, poplin or voile constructions.
The fabrics are in solid colors, or checkered, striped, polka-dot or floral motifs. Pink, turquoise, blue, red and orange are widely adopted.
The garments come in a variety of styles, including classic and modern cuts. Although most pieces are sleeveless, a few traditional designs have puff or flared arms. Contemporary releases comprise strapless and halter-top dresses.
Regardless of classification, the bodice is usually trimmed with frills, smocking, crochet, bows or lace. Similar decorations are used on the hem and neckline. The latter is often round or V-shaped.
Baby and children's shift dresses are available, but for models with an accentuated shape, the waist typically falls at the natural level or lower. Fabric is gathered to highlight the area. A belt may also be included.
The skirt is commonly flared, pleated or tiered. Welfit Export’s multilayer versions combine different printed fabrics that vary from the bodice.
India-made baby and children’s dresses are between $2 and $10, depending on the materials, construction and accessories.
The most basic designs are $2 to $3. They come in solid knits, or plain or printed woven cotton. Some cotton blends are available. Designs are trimmed with gathering or patchwork, and can include belts.
The midrange selection starts at $3.50 and reaches $5. Releases are in solid knitted or woven cotton, or a mix of both. The garments have smocked bodices, halter or strapless necklines, ruffles, low waists, and tiered or flared bottoms.
The most upscale pieces are $5.50 to $10, and employ knitted and woven conventional and organic cotton. Models can adopt frills and lace on the neckline, sleeves and hem. Baby and children's dresses with smocking, pin tucks, pleats, embroidery or patchwork on the bodice are offered as well.
In 2011, manufacturers are generally optimistic that sales will improve 10 to 20 percent as most companies saw up to 20 percent improvement in 2010.
Note:This article was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.
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.
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