BEIJING — A range of new regulations affecting the manufacturing of clothing and textiles will come into effect in China on Sept. 1. The 49 new standards cover classification, terminology, dyeing and testing for many different materials including cottons, mixed linens, synthetics and microfibers across several product categories, ranging from wedding dresses to dog clothes.
The new standards, announced by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, will come into effect just three months after the last set, which focused on children’s clothing.
“The trend for the standards is to be stricter and more unifying,” said He Xiaosi, manager of CCFGroup consultants based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang. “Previously, standards used to be quite loose, whereas now to follow the standards that affect people’s lives, air quality, textile manufacturing, [manufacturers] really have to raise the quality.”
“After the announcement, manufacturers will have to renew equipment and provide more training, requiring capital investment,” said He. “The new standards for different aspects such as dyeing will require further investment. This could result in gradual price increases. So the impact on the clothing industry will be increased prices and costs of procurement.”
But ultimately He said the development is a positive one. “Where the new standards will have an impact is in the testing — they will unify the overall industry’s development. Without a standard, there’s nothing for manufacturers to compare against,” he said.
Demand for certain kinds of fabrics, like brushed cotton and blended polyester, is on the rise in China, according to Xiao Ding, laboratory head at Jinjiangzhong Fabric Standard Inspection Company. Xiao said companies are making increasingly complex fabrics, incorporating different materials and dyeing methods. Xiao was quoted in a report published by state news agency Xinhua.
The new regulations affect a whole range of products and fabrics. The new rules deal with issues such as:
– The evaluation of oil absorption properties of non-woven fabrics
– These determination of seam strength and elongation in knitted fabrics and elastic woven fabrics
– Brushed cotton and polyester blended fabric-dyeing
– Clothing markings, packaging, transportation and storage
Meanwhile, the textile manufacturing sector’s value-added growth — the difference between gross output and intermediate inputs such as energy and materials — stood at 7.3% in the first half of the year, according to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
That represents a slowdown in year-on-year terms — hardly surprising given China’s overall economic slowdown. The figure for large-scale textile manufacturers registered in the first six months of 2015 came in at 8.1%. It grew 7 percent in full-year 2015.
The overall textile industry saw increased profits of 5.8% in the first six months of the year, due to an increased pace of change in the “upgrading of traditional industry,” the ministry said.