The last installment in this two-part series discusses product trends in the scarves hub.
Scarf suppliers in Zhejiang are directing R&D efforts toward visually appealing releases and broadening adoption of functional fabrics.
In line with the former, makers are increasing output of colorful models with allover patterns. Common motifs include leopard prints, zebra stripes, flowers, polka dots, swallow grids, stars, hearts, letters and geometric shapes in gradient hues. Yarn-dyed and wrinkled woven pieces are offered as well. Enriching designs further, companies are incorporating jacquard weaving and lace edges.
Plain designs, however, still represent 30 to 40 percent of the line. These often come in red, orange, blue, green and other vivid shades. Lurex may also be used to impart a shiny appearance.
Manufacturers are favoring organic materials, especially in the high end, for their biodegradability and anti-bacterial property.
Modal is among the popular choices. Made from reconstituted beech, it is one of the most durable environment-friendly filaments, similar in strength to polyester. The textile features high elasticity and resembles the feel of silk. The fabric also drapes well and is softer than regular cotton and cotton-Lycra blends.
Bamboo is another typical option as the plant is sustainable, reaching a full height and girth in two or three years. The material is available and easy to grow as either rayon or charcoal fiber. The first variant withstands bacteria buildup and retains this attribute despite repeated rinsing and exposure to the sun. The input is also hypoallergenic, and resists static and UV rays. Bamboo charcoal, meanwhile, is selected for its deodorizing, soft and comfortable characteristics.
To ensure quality, businesses are employing detailed spot checks from raw materials to finished items. The yarns are inspected for the correct density, weight, thread count, twist and fiber composition, fabrics are tested for resistance to shrinkage and pilling.
Dyed pieces are exposed to the sun, saliva and perspiration, and undergo repeated rubbing and washing to determine colorfastness. Makers also see to it that printed patterns are in the right position and shade.Needle detection is conducted before the products are packaged.