The latest bodysuits incorporate practical and health-friendly fabric, dyes and trimmings.
China manufacturers of baby bodysuits are adopting functional materials to enhance comfort and safety.
Many suppliers are employing cotton for its softer hand and good moisture absorption. Velour in 80:20 cotton-polyester is popular as well given its elastic quality.
Companies also utilize thicker fabric or padding to improve warmth retention, particularly for rompers used as outerwear. Polyester polar fleece is a typical choice for winter releases since the material is comfortable and lightweight. The input, however, is not as skin-friendly as cotton.
Makers such as Polywell Textiles (International) Co. Ltd therefore offer polyester-padded models lined in cotton. Compared with regular bodysuits, the designs are larger and entail additional workmanship, rendering them more expensive. Most exceed $6.
To ensure safety, natural fabrics are increasingly used given their nontoxic and “green” properties. Fifty percent of Shanghai Feiyangshun International Trading Co.’s romper selection utilizes 100 percent organic cotton. Polywell’s exports in the same material rose 10 to 20 percent in the past year, accounting for 30 to 40 percent of the supplier’s total shipments in the line.
In addition, natural dyes are adopted. The range of colors available in China, however, is still limited. Most are off-white, and light green and brown, although a few textile providers are developing red pigment. Bodysuit makers source more vibrant organic fabrics overseas on request.
Manufacturers are also utilizing safer embellishments such as prints, embroidery and applique, which pose fewer choking hazards. Trimmings and closures are usually subjected to pull tests.
Further, finished rompers are verified for heavy metal, azo and formaldehyde content, pH levels, colorfastness and leftover needle fragments. Most bodysuits comply with CPSIA, EN 71 and Oeko-Tex Standard 100.
Products & prices
China-made bodysuits are typically in cotton or polyester. Among the common fabric constructions are interlock, jersey, ribbed, pique, polar fleece and velour. The textiles are between 180 and 200gsm.
Most rompers utilize snap buttons as they are easy and quick to secure, while some padded winter designs employ zippers. Closures may be placed at the front, shoulder or back, with a few styles using diagonal plackets across the chest.
In terms of design, animals, flowers and cartoon characters are the popular motifs. Several releases have butterfly knots or woven tape along the cuffs, hem and neckline. Vibrant colors such as pink, green and blue are mainstream.
Bodysuits are often sold in sets and packaged in gift boxes. These can include baby booties, gloves, socks, hats or scarves.
The key price determinants are the materials and workmanship. The least expensive models are $1.20 to $2.50, and adopt CVC or pure cotton jersey. Simple and small single- or 2-color prints are utilized. The garments use snap button closures.
Quoted at $2.55 to $6, midrange rompers employ pure cotton, 85:15 cotton-polyester or 95:5 cotton-spandex. The fabrics may be in a jersey, ribbed, interlock, pique, velour or terry knit. The pieces have larger and multihued prints, and embroidery, applique, or woven tape or ribbon trimming.
Products from $6.50 to $20 are considered high-end. The models are made of pure combed cotton, organic cotton or bamboo rayon in a jersey, ribbed, interlock, pique or terry construction. Similar embellishments are used as in the midrange category. Releases with polyester padding and zipper closures fall under this segment.
In the past six months, bodysuit prices increased up to 20 percent due to cotton rates nearly doubling in 2010. If the fiber’s cost continues to rise this year, manufacturers expect quotes to climb 10 percent. Also affecting values are the higher labor spending and the yuan appreciation.
To boost viability, makers are lowering the MOQ. Moreover, Shanghai Feiyangshun plans to promote its in-house line, which will be launched in 2H11. The company will focus on OBM business because small orders of its OEM and ODM models are costlier to produce. Polywell is expanding market reach to areas such as New Zealand and Australia.
With these efforts, companies are hopeful that sales will increase at least 5 percent this year.
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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