Suppliers' differentiation efforts focus on launching casual shirts and dress shirts that boast special qualities.
China manufacturers of woven tops are incorporating functional properties in their latest releases for increased marketability.
Several models now have quick-dry and UV-protective features. Others are treated to resist wrinkling and fungi.
A few companies are turning to branded materials and coating agents for their specialized qualities. Supplex is the usual choice because it boasts a texture similar to cotton. Further, this fabric from Invista is breathable, colorfast and shape-retentive.
Factories use 3M's Scotchguard to make garments withstand spills and stains. The finishing chemical also helps wash out dirt and smudges during normal laundering, and adds to the clothes' durability.
Nevertheless, most woven tops from China still come in traditional textiles such as cotton, polyester, viscose, linen, wool and silk. Pure variants of the first and last materials are often preferred in formal styles.
Designs for ordinary occasions usually adopt blended fabrics such as CVC, T/C and T/R. Compared with 100 percent cotton, CVC and T/C are not as prone to wrinkling and shrinkage. Spandex can be mixed in for enhanced comfort and fit.
Although stiffer than cotton, linen remains a popular option as it is durable and moisture-absorbent. Models made of this input are suitable for hot weather. They, however, crease easily and require ironing.
Typically combined with cotton or spandex, wool boasts a good shape, softness and elasticity. Silk is strong, lustrous and smooth to the touch, but resists wrinkling only moderately.
China-made woven casual shirts and dress shirts can be fitted with short, three-quarter or long sleeves. Sleeveless variants are available as well. Spread, convertible and Peter Pan collars are commonly employed. Some styles for women incorporate a cinched waist.
In general, formal tops have fewer decorations than those for regular days. Men's designs may be solid-colored or patterned. While black, blue, beige and white remain popular, many releases are now adopting bright and pastel shades of yellow, green, blue and pink. Stripes and plaids are the usual motifs.
Selections for women are more ornately embellished. Besides polka dots, stripes, plaids and fl oral prints, models are often trimmed with embroidery, lace, beads, rhinestones, bowknots, ribbons and rivets.
Several pieces highlight ruched, pleated, ruffled or flounced portions.
Prices start at $3 and can exceed $11, depending on the materials, accessories, tailoring complexity and finishing treatment. The first accounts for the bulk of production expenses.
Women's woven blouses are about 20 percent more expensive than men's variants because of the intricate details and decorative techniques applied.
Further, designs are frequently updated so each pattern is utilized less. On the other hand, releases for males change little over time. Additionally, they are not as labor-intensive to create and embellish.
In the men's category, low-end woven tops are between $3 and $4.50 per piece. They come in polyester, cotton-linen, T/C, CVC and viscose-spandex. The first two materials are also employed in midrange garments, which go for $4.60 to $8. High-end versions exceed $8, and are made of silk, wool or linen.
Cotton is used for casual shirts and dress shirts across all price points, but a higher yarn count pulls up value.
The least expensive blouses for women are $3.30 to $5.50 each. Polyester, T/C, T/R, CVC and less than 40s cotton are the typical fabric options. Intermediate items range from $5.60 to $11, and adopt 40 to 60s cotton, linen or cotton-linen. Wool, and silk satin, chiffon and georgette tops are common in the most upscale selections.
Designs in the low end are often plain or incorporate minimal adornments. Those that feature functional properties have higher quotes.
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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