It's a variant of ISO-9001. Essentially, documented quality control procedures in mass production. Usually this involves things like inspections of raw materials (fabric isn't torn), inspection at stages of the production process and then inspecting a percentage of made goods. You can get simple or complex depending on the part or process. Each inspection is documented to prove it took place and to audit later if there are problems.
and, have you done any smaller orders for goods that require more skill? Like suits etc.?
I have an MTM suit from the mainland, but the tailor is originally out of hong kong, so I didn't include them in my original post. I'm very happy with the suit. Most of the more skilled work I need is in the initial samples, which are all handmade. Quality varies here as we will sometimes sacrifice quality for speed when presenting ideas. If you show them what you want, you can get anything made with comparable quality. You won't get someone who's got 20+ years experience, but if they can see the stitch, they can sew it.
How do you find the fabrics (particularly wool) that are available in China?
The limited amount of wool I saw was average to my eye, but I'm not an expert on that. I deal mostly with cottons/blends, nylons, PVC and leather. It's all for promotional, and so, more about perceived value (and the clients budget) then other virtues. On the raw materials side they are set up for big runs of commodity items (sombeody's gotta stock target and walmart). I would work very closely with the factory if the raw materials (like silk or wool) were vital to a project. It would be well worth your time and money to investigate manufacturers thoroughly if you were going to do a production run of premium goods. Importing materials would be a real option at the top levels. Remember, Americans love crap. Most of the Chinese manufacturers are used to Westerners asking for cheap. My last trip I went into the Dunhill store in HK. I fell in love with a dunhill brief of amazing beauty, suppleness and lustre. The split cowhide swatch I received for a project this a.m. was well made, but no comparison to the dunhill.