Makers are emphasizing trimmings, structure and function to promote the line.

China suppliers of evening bags are enhancing visual appeal and design variety to boost sales.

In 1H10, the export volume of bags and travel goods climbed 25 percent to 7.3 billion pieces. Guangdong province, a key production hub, contributed 2.3 billion pieces during that period. The featured category accounted for 10 percent of these overall figures.

To sustain growth, makers are creating more eye-catching styles. In particular, companies are adopting shiny and bold embellishments, the most-popular of which are rhinestones.

Metal hardware such as studs and rivets is also used as trimming. The common types come in gold or silver finishes, and round or square shapes. Recent releases employ scattered accents instead of allover detail.

Alternatively, some makers offer pieces featuring fully decorated surfaces. Quanzhou Handa Bags Co. Ltd has selections covered with metal mesh, while Wenzhou QSP Trading Co. Ltd utilizes paillettes for the line.

In terms of structure, clutches in square and rectangular forms remain popular. Several manufacturers also turn out variants in novelty circle, heart, star and bowknot designs.

Compact styles measuring less than 30cm in length are the best-sellers. To increase the usability of such pieces, businesses are enhancing storage area to accommodate additional items such as makeup, keys and mobile phones. Factories are keen on reinforcing shape to avoid bulges when the bag is filled.

Manufacturers are also improving materials, especially for midrange and high-end models, to raise product value. For instance, Shanghai Osen Trade Co. Ltd adopts genuine leather rather than fabric or synthetic types. The supplier offers cowhide releases that may be embossed with other animal skin patterns.

Further, several upscale versions boast imported trimmings such as rhinestones and crystals from Taiwan, South Korea, Austria or the Czech Republic.


Materials & product prices

The majority of evening bags from mainland China are available in synthetic or genuine leather, or fabric.

The first is the most-widely adopted and is offered in PU and PVC variants. Both may be dyed and embossed to simulate authentic hides. Items that employ these inputs are $3 to $8.

Between the two choices, however, manufacturers prefer using PU leather. Apart from the closer resemblance to the feel of actual skins, it is safer than PVC types that are often processed with toxic lead stabilizers. In fact, many clients in the EU and North America require that synthetic bags utilize the former.

Genuine hide is usually taken from cows, pigs and sheep. The materials are more durable than imitation kinds, but need additional care and conditioning. Finished goods are about $10.

Fabric is often used for summer collections as these are not as heavy as leather. Polyester is the most-popular choice because it can be processed into chiffon, satin and velvet. Textile bags begin at $1 and may exceed $6.

Chiffon is a light and translucent fabric that provides an elegant look. Satin, meanwhile, has a shiny, smooth and filmy surface.

Velvet is chosen for its matte appearance and fuzzy texture. Variants from China are usually 80:20 cotton-polyester.

Regardless of the shell material, models typically adopt 210d polyester or satin lining. Closure options include zippers, magnetic snap buttons and kiss locks, of which the last is the most-commonly utilized.

Products are often decorated with rhinestones, crystals, rosettes, paillettes, bowknots or metal hardware. They can also be fringed, flounced or pleated. Some selections highlight detachable fabric, leather or metal chain straps as well.

Evening bags from China start below $3 and can top out at $10. Materials and design are the main determinants of quotes.

The least-expensive releases are no more than $3. The models are made of locally sourced textiles or PVC leather, and employ polyester lining. They have simple structures and adornments.

Midrange variants are between $3 and $6, and come in domestically procured chiffon, satin, velvet or PU leather. The products are embellished with rhinestones, crystals, rosettes, bowknots, paillettes or metal hardware.

Quoted at $6.50 to $10, high-end versions use inputs and trimmings similar to those found in the midrange. Some pieces, however, may utilize imported types. Further, all resources are certified and inspected by third-party organizations for heavy metal and azo content.

In the next six months, prices are expected to increase between 5 and 10 percent amid higher material outlay. The main reason for the cost adjustment is heightened global demand, which is raising production requirement.

Last June, PVC climbed 13 percent YoY to 7,450 yuan per ton. PU rates in several China districts also jumped 20 percent within the first four months of this year.

Spending for 210d polyester DTY in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, reached 12,700 yuan per ton in July 2010 from 10,750 yuan in October 2009. During the same period, 150d polyester POY from Suzhou, Jiangsu province, was 12,300 yuan per ton, representing a 17 percent increase.

As regards genuine hide, expenses are higher not only because of the influx of orders but also from the stricter quality standards imposed on leather suppliers.

Aiming to raise the caliber of the tanning sector, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a ruling last December requiring plants to have proper processing and waste treatment facilities. Complying with the regulations, however, entails a large amount of capital and leads to markups. For more on “Spotlight on product aesthetics, diversity”.