Updates include treated fabrics and improved cup, strap and wing construction.
Bra makers in China are modifying designs and adopting specialized materials to boost product quality.
Several factories are increasing yield of unpadded models as molded cups tend to deform easily. A few are using shape-retentive sponge for the bust.
Wider straps are being employed, particularly in larger bras, because these are less likely to slip or twist. Further, such style allows the breasts' weight to be distributed over a greater area, providing added comfort to the wearer. From 12mm, the standard measurement is now 15 to 18mm.
To help keep them in place, some shoulder bands are chemically treated or incorporate granules that create friction between the component and the skin.
Shenzhen Hawk Beauty Clothing Industry Co. Ltd offers bras that have broader wings and more space at the bottom of the cups. This construction aids in pushing the breasts up and streamlining the side of the body.
As regards materials, companies are utilizing fabrics with modal or rayon from bamboo. These fibers provide breathability, and moisture-wicking and anti-bacterial properties to products. Nanotreated nylon-spandex from Japan and South Korea is also gaining popularity. It boasts resistance to microbes and static.
Shape-memory alloy is sometimes utilized for the underwire. A number of designs have oil bags or massage beads said to promote blood circulation.
Bras from China come in a variety of styles and materials. Sports, wireless, push-up, convertible, seamless, maternity and nursing versions are among the available types. Band sizes are between 32 and 42in, while cup dimensions are generally from A to D.
Models may adopt cut-and-sew or molded cups with full or demi coverage. The component is usually made of pure cotton, or polyester lace or mesh.
Several products have detachable foam padding. Cotton, or polyester- or nylon-spandex is employed for the wings. Releases come in silk, and functional and environment-friendly textiles.
The straps are often adjustable and removable, and consist of one or two bands per side. Plain, textured and patterned kinds are common.
Stainless steel hooks-and-eyes are typical closures. In general, bras are fitted with two to four hooks, and three or four rows of eyes, which allow a tighter fit.
Suppliers turn out solid-colored, printed and embellished styles. According to interviewed companies, plain designs are targeted at clients in Europe, while lace-trimmed and embroidered versions are for Asia buyers. Rhinestones and satin bowknots are popular decorations as well.
Polka dots, and floral and animal-skin themes are increasingly adopted. The usual colors are white, black and pink, although many factories also offer selections in brighter and bolder hues.
Prices vary depending on the materials, constructionintricacy and size. Low-end models are below $2, and are made of cotton, nylon or polyester. The last can be mixed with up to 10 percent spandex.
Products adopt plastic underwire. While variants often have a single shade, polka-dot and striped releases are also available.
Going for $2 to $5, midrange styles are made of the same fabrics as the least expensive kinds, but the spandex content reaches 20 percent. Lycra is sometimes used as an alternative elastic fiber. A number of suppliers employ imported textiles.
The underwire comes in steel or stainless steel. Allover prints, lace and embroidery serve as trimming.
Models in the high end range from $6 to $45. Pure silk, rayon from bamboo, organic cotton and modal are preferred for such designs. Selections feature better functionality, and are typically moisture-absorbent, and anti-static and -bacterial. More ornate embellishments are common in the price segment.
Bra exports from January to October 2010 amounted to nearly $2 billion, indicating a jump of about 36 percent YoY. The volume also went up by at least 20 percent. The Asia-Pacific region, the EU and North America absorb most of China's output.
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.
Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.