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International Textile, Trim and Ready-to-Wear Exhibition 1996
Apparel designs evolve into high-quality styles
Fashion Accessories - December 1996

This year’s International Textile, Trim and Ready-to-Wear Exhibition (INTEX) has proved to be bigger than ever, with 180 exhibitors from 23 countries participating. Judging from the quality of designs that Singapore makers exhibited at the fair, it was apparent that the local apparel industry has evolved over the years to become one of Asia’s most competitive garment and textile sectors. The country has indeed come a long way from being a mass-production center to a value-added manufacturing and design hub.

Local garment manufacturers these days perform dual roles. Due to high production costs, companies carry out small yet sophisticated operations in Singapore and farm out less complicated operations to companies in the region, or they set up factories in China, Indonesia and Malaysia. These firms also import and export materials.

Despite the increasing material costs, Singapore’s apparel industry has maintained its competitive edge. Total trade in 1995 amounted to $10 billion, nearly half of which accrued from exports. Unfazed by the continued rise in labor and production costs, Singapore companies have upgraded their design-making capabilities, sourcing, marketing and distribution services.

More than 50 major international garment-buying companies source their materials in Singapore. Ralph Lauren and Levis Strauss, for example, use Singapore as a springboard, having gone as far as locating their regional headquarters in the country.

These companies use local, Malaysian, Indonesian or Chinese companies to manufacture their labels.

The Singapore Trade Development Board (TDB) spearheads Singapore’s efforts to further develop and promoted the country as an important fashion business hub. TDB organizes the industry’s participation in overseas international fashion shows and exploratory business missions to new markets such as South Africa, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Singapore hopes to maintain its foothold in the fashion industry mainly because of its strength in providing quality design services and a high level of commitment to design development. Government backing, Asia’s economic boom and developments in the local apparel trade bode well for a more promising future for Singapore’s fashion industry.

Makers explore new designs
A HOST OF interesting designs greeted visitors to Intex, ranging from wrinkle-free apparel to slimming pants. Here are some of them:

Wrinkle-free pants, produced by GTI Sportswear Corp. to battle the working person’s woe, are ideal for working people as they require little pressing. The pant’s material has a smooth hand-feel, high-crease retention and is machine-washable. The Manila-based manufacturer developed the fabric five years ago. Growing sales volume prove that this new material is popular with buyers.

Made of different blends of cotton material, the fabric is treated during the early stages at the mill. If buyers wish to provide a ready-made material, it can be cured and set in GTI’s ovens. The firm sees to it that the cotton-based material passes its stringent quality and compatibility tests.

Three-quarters of GTI’s total production capacity of some 200,000 units of pants are devoted to the production of the fabric. Taiwan and Korea are the firm’s main markets. Materials are available in various colors depending on customers’ preference. Shadows, however, depend very much on her seasons. In fall, shades are darker and materials used are slightly heavier. During spring, it becomes lighter and brighter.

GTI also caters to the golf-wear market. High-quality trousers are available in popular colors of black, khaki, navy blue and olive.

OEM orders are accepted. A minimum quantity of 1,000 pieces per color is required. The average cost is $12 to 14 per piece. L/C is the common mode of payment, while delivery, takes 90 to100 days upon order confirmation.

Current major clients include Levi’s, RH Macy, Tommy Hillfinger, Greg Norman, GAP and Anne Taylor.

Slimming pants from Fashion Lamination called Louitech, are designed to help people lose weight fast. The pants work best when worn during exercise routines. Made from advanced spandex, the item features a tight-fitting material that clings to the body, thus speeding up the burning of extra fat and the metabolism.

The design is made of a three layer material. The first layer, featuring spandex, absorbs sweat. The neoprene in the middle-layer is air- permeable, reducing stickiness and discomfort. These two materials are fused together under pressure and sewn for maximum comfort, making it easy for the third layer to disperse heat.

OEM orders are welcome. Packaging is in standard polybags.

Fashion Lamination’s main product is Lamitex, prefect for waterproof apparel and sweat-absorbing textiles.

Lamitex is suitable for knitted and non-woven textiles, light overcoats, jackets, raincoats and footwear. It is also made up of neoprene and elastic Lycra spandex fabrics. It is windproof, breathable and abrasion –resistant. It is available in any color.

Lamitex protects the wearer from rain while preventing the garment from getting soaked. The minute holes in the material allows it to breathe and facilitate the passage of air.

OEM orders require a minimum purchase of 5,000 meters. For normal purchases, the minimum order is $10,000 worth.

Buttons in various materials, produced by INA Buttons of the Chhabra Group, are made of rod and sheet casting, urea and wood. They come in all shapes and colors.

The firm describes itself as “creating a revolution in the button trade.”

INA’s its resin-based buttons are made in-house. Markets are Dubai, Bangladesh, Europe and Sri Lanka.

Buttons sellf for 25 cents to $8 each, depending on material and quantity.

Delivery takes 9 to 10 days after order confirmation. The minimum order requirement is 100 Grade Gross (GG).

Comfortable, colorfast, abrasion and shrinkage-resistant socks from Rio Sister are the result of the firm’s continued product tests, study and research.

Socks are subjected to various tests. Rio has invested heavily in the most modern CAD design programs and computerized knitting machines.

Clients include Nike, Addidas and Alain Delon from Kuala Lumpur. The maker uses only high quality yarn and cotton bucks, with Taiwan, Korea and Japan as the main sourcing countries. It exports to Singapore, China and Hong Kong.

A wide variety of colors are available, as socks are dyed in house.

Minimum order is 200 dozens of socks, in three to four different colors. Delivery lead time is 60 days.

Fabric from recycled fibers
Newly recycled fabrics by Deepak Woollens are the result of diligent search for model environment-friendly products. Available in blends of recycled fibers like wool/jute, synthetic wool, nylon wool, silk wool and jute blends, these fabrics are expected to create an impact in the textile markets. They are suitable for blazers, jackets, outer shirts, sportswear and also formal wear.

The company has five factories and employs 4,000 villagers around India. With a yearly capacity of 1 million meters of fabric and 1,000 metric tons of yarn, Deepak caters mainly to international markets for blazers, jackets, blouses, skirts, shirts and also formal wear.

Markets cover Japan, the United States, Germany, Hong Kong and South Africa.

Deepak accepts L/Cs or TTs and sets a minimum order of 700 to 1,000 meters. These requirements, however, may even be lowered for first-time buyers. Delivery takes approximately 45 days.

OEM orders are welcome.

Inlaid buttons from Ian International proved irresistible for garment manufacturers and designers who visited the fair.

“Comparable if not superior to European and Japanese fancy button” was how the company spokes-person described the items, besides being “very price-competitive.”

The firm uses various natural materials for its exclusive range of buttons and novelties; flowers, wild grass, seashells, bamboo, corn fiber, horns, bones and stones.

Because all items are handcrafted, they take on a natural look. The handmaking process makes it almost impossible for two products to look the same.

All buttons, buckles, seashells, beads and other novelties feature natural colors, although they can be wood-dyed or painted to customers’ specifications.

The firm caters mainly to Japan, the United States and Italy. Its cheaper range costs 4 to 70 cents.

The more expensive range sells for more than 70 cents to $3. Minimum order requirement is 1 GG.

The minimum quantity for standard orders are 50 dozen; delivery takes 30 to 45 days. Larger orders take 60 days to finish.

Deepak Woollens
Contact: Deepak Goel, Director
Fax: (91-22) 200- 0716 Inquiry #0324

Fashion Lamination Co. Ltd
Contact: Tsai Chang Ching, Director
Fax: (886-2) 833-1946 Inquiry #0325

GTI Sportswear Corp.
Fax: (632) 911-7001 Inquiry #0326

Ian International
Contact: Pedro Sepulveda Jr., General Manager
Fax: (632) 346- 0460 Inquiry #0327

INA Buttons
Contact: Chhabra Neeraj, Managing Director
Fax: (91-129) 234-043 Inquiry #0328

Rio Buttons
Contact: Lai Lock Yes, Executive Director
Fax: 825- 5333 Inquiry #0329


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