Baby & children's headwear companies are reducing harmful elements while still considering fit and function.
China manufacturers of baby and children’s hats and caps are ramping up efforts to improve safety, comfort and performance.
As part of this initiative, suppliers are minimizing strangulation hazards in the latest products. While conventional styles adopt chin straps to secure hold, these fasteners can inadvertently stifle breathing.
To limit accidents, Wuxi Together Sportswear Co. Ltd is creating releases with elastic strips along the back of the head rather than at the front.
Businesses are also utilizing innocuous components. Xiongxian Guantong Caps Manufacture Co. Ltd is switching to hook-and-loop tape or garter closures instead of metal buckles and buttons. The last two have a greater tendency to scratch or pinch the skin, or cause discomfort when worn.
In addition, a growing number of suppliers are sourcing nontoxic fabrics such as organic cotton. These textiles also employ health-friendly dyes to ensure the headwear is azo-free.
Apart from safety, material choice addresses increased comfort and function. Many factories are opting for pure cotton as it has a softer hand, and good moisture absorption and breathability.
To soak up sweat better, baby and children's caps from Xiongxian Guantong utilize this fiber for the inner band.
Also under efforts to enhance performance, products for the colder months employ wind-resistant and warmth-retentive inputs. Suppliers such as Wenzhou Start Intl-Kintex Co. Ltd incorporate fleece lining, while other factories adopt jersey or Lycra mesh blends.
The most popular type of cap is the baseball version. Current models highlight altered constructions that use two or three panels rather than the traditional six.
The releases boast thematic designs such as a flame motif spread across the crown or from the panels to the bill. This technique is utilized to help create a 3D effect. Other variants are fitted with matching colored piping along the crown and visor.
As regards China’s hat line, bucket versions are the best-sellers. Many adopt pure cotton satin or twill.
Regardless of style, the commonly employed materials include pure cotton, polyester, acrylic and wool, and their respective fiber blends. These can come in twill, satin, canvas, denim, interlock, peach fabric or polar fleece constructions.
Some models utilize polyester that is made to simulate acrylic and wool. Besides lower costs, the synthetic input is chosen for its shape-retentive property.
Striped and checkered baby and children's hats and caps remain popular. Those in bright hues such as pink, blue, yellow and red are mainstream as well. Apart from solid variants, releases that incorporate three to four shades are available.
The line usually adopts cartoon images as the primary motif. The items may also be embroidered, printed, or trimmed with applique, rhinestones or butterfly knots.
To improve product quality, Xiongxian Guantong uses embroidery equipment from Germany, South Korea and Japan. Compared with local versions, imported machines turn out designs that boast better density and evenness.
Larger and thicker embroidery such as those consisting of 10,000 stitches are more expensive than those having only 1,000. Sometimes the cost difference is equivalent to the unit value of a hat.
Further, Xiongxian Guantong prefers utilizing heat transfer prints to water transfer variants. Despite the higher outlay, the former is finer and allows for intricate details.
In terms of price, low-end hats and caps are $1 to $2. They are made of polyester, T/C or acrylic, and employ basic prints and minimal trimming.
Quoted at $2.50 to $4, midrange baby and children's hats and caps come in pure cotton or cotton-acrylic. The pieces boast larger and more detailed prints and embroidery. Some are lined with self-fabric. Releases between $4.50 and $7 are considered high-end. Versions in wool, organic cotton and wool-acrylic are available. Embellishments are elaborate and in various colors.
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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