How To Find A Reliable Fabric Supplier In China?

Some Beginning Words

Thousands of years ago, Chinese farmers began to plant mulberry trees, cultivate silkworms, and then wove the silk fabrics from cocoons’ fibers. At present, there are a lot of large-scale and highly-efficient fabric mills along with China’s southeastern coastal areas, thanks to the country’s stable geo-political climate and people’s concentrate on economic development in the past decades. 

Under globalization, China’s fabrics are exported billion tons annually to many countries overseas. Foreign investors want a piece of the Chinese market. Also, many brands shift their fabric purchases to China from other southeastern countries like Malaysia and Vietnam, especially in the current epidemic impact.

However, as a newbie to the textile business, there will be many obstacles when coming across fraudulent fabric suppliers in China. So how to find a reputable fabric supplier in China?

Follow me, and I will guide you in this article step by step. 

Step One, Where To Begin? 

1)You can be lucky to find some reliable suppliers if your warm-hearted and experienced friends can make a good introduction for you. It means less time-consuming and the reduced cost of trial and error considerably. But in most cases, there is no such luck under the cruel business competition. 

2)Trade shows are an excellent place to start. Before the epidemic atmosphere, you can attend some professional textile trade shows in China like Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles, Canton Fair, Global Sources Fashion. More details here.

Now online trade shows will gradually take the role over. So please pay attention to online trade shows as well. 

3)Undoubtedly, Google search is the handiest way to get what you need. But the headache is that you need to browse various web pages to do filtering work. So we bring one tip for you.

Before typing in the search query “fabric name+ supplier in China,” you should first know that there are some B2B platforms in China as below. You can spot them on the first result page due to their vast paid membership.

4)To find more competent manufacturers and suppliers, you can filter the B2B platforms by typing in the search query “fabric name+ supplier in China-B2B -Marketplace -leads -platform -directory -connecting -member -buyers -forum -”yellow pages” -yellowpages -online -shop -store -blog -wikipeadia -youtube” to find their independent sites.

5)Besides, finding a reliable sourcing agent also works for you more efficiently and to the point. 

Step Two, How To Verify? 

After step one, I bet you will find some exciting fabric companies. So let’s discuss the verification in this part. 

  • We can google as much information as possible about these suppliers. Some may have paid membership of B2B platforms in China; some have trade shows online; some even have independent company websites and paid business email addresses. Sometimes, it seems more creditable if some suppliers have various SNS accounts like Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Instagrams, Youtube, Pinterest, etc. 

Normally, paid marketing means less risk but not absolutely. 

  • You can ask some professional questions like if the suppliers have their Quality Management System (ISO 9001: 2008) and Social Compliance like BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative) and SEDEX certification. And if they can provide professional product certificates like GRS, OCS, GOTS, BCI, Oketex, etc., that will be better.
  • You can ask for their business license to test more details if their business scope is only within the textile range, not with other mixed messy stuff. And if they know your market well from their exporting experience.
  • Last but not least, you can employ some local freelancers on Upwork, Fivver to visit the companies for you, to see if their business operation is legal and smoothly proceeded.

Step Three, What To Compare? 

After step two, you indeed narrow target suppliers within 3-5. So what to compare can help us find the best reliable ones. 

1) Clarify your sourcing fabrics and your purchase plan. You choose the fabric suppliers who only make a specific type of fabric like chiffon, denim, corduroy, etc. Or you can select the ones who can control different types of materials in both woven and knitted.

2) Ask if customized sourcing fabrics and the most flexible MOQ they can offer as a small trial order are concerned.

3) The attention to detail demonstrates the competence of the company. It reflects the company’s attitude of care and a commitment to meet every need a customer puts forth. When a company can pay attention to the minor concerns of customers, it is unlikely that any significant problems will occur. If one company whose quotation is a formal PFD sheet with its logo, contact details, product information like constructions, densities, compositions, weights, widths, quotation FOB net and sea freight separately, MOQ, lead time, packing, etc. More details, better. 

4) Please ask for hanger quality samples from your remaining suppliers and compare their prices with qualities. Believe you won’t choose the cheapest one unless you see their quality. 

5) Customer services like if the sales can make prompt email replies or messages online, track the sample parcel, and update in time. 

6) The most important thing comes to the payment terms. If your suppliers can accept more ways of payment like LC, DP, TT, etc., please opt for a Letter of Credit the first time at your convenience. It is highly customizable and enables new trade relationships by reducing credit risk. Still, it can add to the cost of doing business in the form of bank fees and formalities. 

Step Four, Place A Trial Sample Order.

To reduce the significant loss, we recommend placing a trial sample order like one roll before placing bulky container goods. Then, once you’ve worked with your supplier for a while, you can evaluate the relationship to make sure it’s working for you.

1) Make a signed and stamped contract between both of you. 

2) You will see the roll quality is the same as the hanger sample.

3) If your suppliers implement the delivery on time. 

4) If there is a pleasant business communication service. 

Step Five, Plan B

Under the guide of steps one to four, you may find one or two trusty suppliers. But please take extra options when some emergency cases come. Like one cooperated supplier quotes the prices much higher suddenly in the repeated orders which means less profit or no profit, so it’s always safe to have an alternative. 

The Takeaway

Your fabric suppliers can boom or break your business, so choosing the right provider is vital. You can escape the scammers by doing essential search work up front, like the company’s background investigation, and make a step-by-step test plan to achieve your goal. 


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