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Zhejiang's position as winter knitwear hub strengthened by solid support

Date: 2012-12-16

A solid support infrastructure strengthens Zhejiang's position as the main hub for winter knitwear.

Zhejiang leverages a stable auxiliary network and strategic location to become China's principal manufacturing hub for knitted winter gloves, hats and scarves.

Armed with almost 30 years of experience in the line, the province boasts a strong support industry. Makers in the area can easily subcontract key processes such as spinning, dyeing, printing, embroidery and packaging to local specialists.

A 586,000-strong manpower pool and 440,000 commercial trucks from the backbone of the hub's land cargo industry. These allow for well-timed deliveries.

Zhejiang benefits from a developed sea and air transportation infrastructure. Having the longest coastline in the country that stretches up to 6,646 kilometers, the province is home to major docks located in Jiaxing, Zhoushan, Wenzhou, Taizhou and Ningbo. These shipping ports have a total handling capacity exceeding 310 million tons.

The last four cities, together with Hangzhou, Yiwu and Quzhou, also have civil airports that connect the province to 185 domestic and international destinations.

Such advantages enable Zhejiang to command 20 and 30 percent of the China's total export value and volume, respectively. In the first eight months of 2012, the hub shipped an estimated 1.7 billion pieces of winter knitwear, generating approximately $1 billion in revenue.

The province's selection of winter knitwear includes gloves, hats and scarves. The first category accounts for about 40 percent of products sent overseas.

Prioritizing quality and safety, most manufacturers in the area conduct detailed spot checks from the yarns, for instance, are inspected to ensure density, weight, thread count, twist and fiber composition. The fabrics used are likewise tested for resistance to shrinkage and pilling.

Dyed pieces, meanwhile, 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 typically done before the products are packaged.

Companies are directing R&D efforts toward fashionable releases. Many of the latest scarves, for example, come in collar styles that cover the shoulders and chest. Glove manufacturers are launching fingerless pairs that wrap only the wrists and palms. Long versions extending beyond the elbow are also offered.

Models often adopt jacquard knitting and vivid hues. Animal, flowers and geometric shapes are the popular patterns. Low-end scarves utilize rayon, acrylic or polyester, and are priced below $3. Midrange pieces are between $3 and $8, and use cotton, acrylic, rayon, mohair or wool. Upscale versions are made of organic cotton, wool or cashmere and exceed $8.

The least expensive gloves do not reach $2.50 per pair. These come in nylon, polyester or acrylic. Versions with fleece lining range from $2.50 to $5, while designs in wool and cashmere can surpass $15.

Winter hats are quoted from {文章内容}.60 to above $3. Acrylic and polyester are the main materials. Midrange versions often have lining. Upscale versions can employ rabbit hair or wool.

SOURCE: globalsources.com