• I'm happy to introduce the Styleforum Happy Hour, our brand new podcast featuring lively discussion about menswear and the fashion industry. In the inaugural edition, a discussion of what's going on in retail today. Please check it out on the Journal. All episodes will be also be available soon on your favorite podcast platform.

  • Styleforum Gives - Holiday Charity Auction 8: Cuir de Russie card case from Equus Leather

    We are very proud to present this year's edition of the Styleforum Holiday Charity Auctions, this year in support of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Spokane (www.rmhcspokane.org). Each Auction lasts 24 hours. Please follow and bid on all the auctions.

    The 8th auction is for a Cuir de Russie card case from Equus Leather. Please bid often and generously here

    Fok and the Styleforum Team.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

How skilled are Chinese workers?

stevejobs

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
244
Reaction score
0
Do you think the stigma of "Made in China" has diminshed for clothes yet? I have bought some nice designer pieces lately and though they are labelled as Chinese origin, the quality is not bad.

Apparel makers have been doing business in China for over two decades now, so I think that except for obviously cheap brands, the craftmanship has substantially improved.

I believe that is why designers like Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, and Marc Jacobs have few qualms with have their brands associated with Chinese-made apparel.
 

Xiaogou

Distinguished Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2008
Messages
3,798
Reaction score
53
The issue has more to do with what the manufacturer is willing to pay for quality. Cheap, reliable, looks good; pick 2.
 

TheFoo

THE FOO
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
22,512
Reaction score
3,505
Originally Posted by Xiaogou
The issue has more to do with what the manufacturer is willing to pay for quality. Cheap, reliable, looks good; pick 2.

This seems to be the case. From what I can tell, the 'Made in China' designer stuff my wife looks at is at least as good as it used to be when it was made in Italy.
 

academe

Distinguished Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
1,872
Reaction score
229
^^^
My experience has been similar to yours; I think there are good craftsmen and artisans in China. I think it's more a matter of how much attention companies pay to training and quality control.
 

gnatty8

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Messages
9,929
Reaction score
2,010
Originally Posted by academe
^^^
My experience has been similar to yours; I think there are good craftsmen and artisans in China. I think it's more a matter of how much attention companies pay to training and quality control.


Bingo. And this is a discipline forced on them by the market through price.. Show me a fantastic pair of shoes made in China, and I may not pay the same as I would pay for an English/Italian right off the bat, but if the quality is consistent and the finishing attractive, then over time, I will pay close. Note that psychologically, I will always discount goods made in India/China/Insert Other Developing Country here so that I will never pay par to the Italian/English/US goods, but I am old and set in my ways..
 

mkarim

Distinguished Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
4,645
Reaction score
34
Originally Posted by academe
^^^
My experience has been similar to yours; I think there are good craftsmen and artisans in China. I think it's more a matter of how much attention companies pay to training and quality control.


But how does one know whether the quaility of a particular Chinese-made item is good?
 

academe

Distinguished Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
1,872
Reaction score
229
Originally Posted by mkarim
But how does one know whether the quaility of a particular Chinese-made item is good?

There's the rub! I suppose one would have to inspect the clothes quite carefully before buying; look at the construction, the fabric/material, etc.
 

GBR

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2006
Messages
8,547
Reaction score
717
China has some very good craftsmen who produce garments comparable with anywhere. It also has some whose work is dire. The skill is finding out which is which.
 

sartort

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
1,497
Reaction score
3
Originally Posted by chrome_dout
RLBL = made in China and people seem to love it.
Black Label is not made in China. If you are referring to Polo, then yes, some of it is indeed made in China. My favorite shirts are RL Regent Custom Fits which are made in Hong Kong. They seem to be well made, or at least meet my lax standards, but I really like them due to the high collar and great spread. For that reason I prefer them to my black label and purple label shirts, despite their being made in China. But back to my point, the vast majority of Polo stuff mentioned on here is the tailored clothing which is made in Italy, almost always by Corneliani.
 

Eccentric

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
610
Reaction score
3
There is nothing physically prohibiting the Chinese from turning out nice things, just as there is nothing to assure that everything made in Italy is of the highest quality.
 

SoCal2NYC

Fashion Hayzus
Joined
Apr 8, 2007
Messages
12,204
Reaction score
5
Read Deluxe: How Luxury Lost It's Luster.
 

babygreenspots

Distinguished Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2006
Messages
1,214
Reaction score
13
This is a complicated question for a number of reasons, several of which other posters have already mentioned. Let me add two. First, much of what is "made in italy" whether fabric or actual clothes is actually "Made in China". I'm not sure if this applies at all to the types of traditional brands that are beloved on this forum like Corneliani etc, but I would like to see evidence that they don't have some components made in China. Second, much that is made in Italy is actually made by legal and illegal Chinese laborers, generally from Wenzhou or other parts of Zhejiang. Many of the factories in Prato and other key textile areas are already owned by Wenzhouese and the direction is for the manufacturing to continue shifting to Wenzhou.

This doesn't really answer the question about how skilled Chinese workers are. There certainly are skilled workers in China, but it is not that easy to find them or their products. Obviously, all of the good stuff is for export and high-end design is still mainly in the hands of the Italians. They are trying to come up with ways to keep that advantage while the Chinese are working hard to wrest it from their hands. The overall trend is clearly toward higher skill and better products though.
 

dragon8

Distinguished Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
4,660
Reaction score
57
China is the motherland of counterfeit goods. some of those goods are very very good depnding on teh price you are willing to pay. Everything comes down to price
 

bkk

Senior Member
Joined
May 8, 2008
Messages
612
Reaction score
0
With nearly all of the issues I've run into with manufacturers in Asia, it almost always came down to quality. It may have been the managers didn't understand how to run a line to reduce fallout, or the manu wasn't willing to spend a bit more money to ensure a much better product, but in the end, it was always quality. I don't think I ever ran across a problem where the line worker wasn't skilled enough. If you perform the same task 8 hours a day hundreds or thousands of times, you get pretty good at it.
 

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

  • 1 - 4

    Votes: 31 3.7%
  • 5 - 10

    Votes: 143 17.2%
  • 11 - 20

    Votes: 276 33.1%
  • 21 - 30

    Votes: 130 15.6%
  • 31 - 40

    Votes: 71 8.5%
  • 41 - 50

    Votes: 49 5.9%
  • 51 - 60

    Votes: 25 3.0%
  • 61 - 70

    Votes: 22 2.6%
  • 71 - 80

    Votes: 17 2.0%
  • 81 - 90

    Votes: 7 0.8%
  • 91 - 100

    Votes: 9 1.1%
  • 100+

    Votes: 53 6.4%

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
429,208
Messages
9,230,168
Members
193,756
Latest member
glupainnui
Top