Made In China

Ever wonder where in China your [insert brand name here] clothes are made? I always have. A few weeks ago, I got a sneak peek at a sweater factory. Haiyang has a bunch of them, though factory is a slight misnomer. The word factory brings to my mind huge complexes full of heavy machinery and sooty smoke stacks situated somewhere beyond the train tracks, but these factories aren’t like that. The textile factories here are just big warehouse like buildings that line the wide, mostly empty, streets. You could say they are part of the Haiyang sprawl.

I was impressed by the mix of high-tech and low-tech methods of production. In one warehouse, huge computerized sewing machines stitched the sweaters together. Three people — two guys and a girl who all looked to be in their early to mid-twenties — oversaw the work of a dozen plus machines.

In another, a group of women donning red jackets sat huddled over smaller machines, putting the final touches — collars, cuffs, etc. — on the sweaters. I can’t say I envied the task. I can only imagine the hours and years the women have put in to master the meticulous work.

One area of the factory was dedicated to the final production processes.

Huge industrial sized washers and dryers sat in a corner.

Next to it, were ironing stations.

IMG_4261Followed by folding stations.

IMG_4262And finally, a packaging area where workers placed size stickers on clear plastic bags before the sweaters were put in…

IMG_4266…and then haphazardly thrown in a box.

IMG_4267This being a sweater factory and all, there were piles and piles of sweaters all over the place. Some were waiting to be washed, others were drying, some were fashionable, others were decidedly not.

Oh, yeah, and there was yarn. Lots of it. One room was dedicated to it.

Of course, the best part was the “shop”…which was one big room with hundreds of sweaters strewn about. I dug through the piles and boxes to find a few sweaters to take home. And I was pretty happy with the deal I got. I’ll take 80RMB ($13) per sweater over the much more expensive price tag that will go on them back home in the U.S. Then again, I didn’t see any labels for American brands, but there was a pretty big European brand in the mix. One of my sweaters also had a label stating that it was manufactured in Denmark…definitely not true.


This entry was published on November 25, 2013 at 3:34 pm. It’s filed under Haiyang and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

8 thoughts on “Made In China

  1. Well, life becomes more expensive in china. in our days we paid no more than 40 RMB from the factory “outlet”.

  2. Whoa, you know I was all over this post – the bags of yarn and giant knitting machines! Interesting, funny, and sad about the made in Denmark… but at least this seems like a “good” factory – they’re letting people in and letting you take pictures.
    The washing, ironing, and sticking the board inside the sweater is called blocking. You do this to handknits too – I never thought about it on a large scale – interesting!

    • Yeah, I thought of tagging you in it. Blocking? Didn’t know that (obviously!). There are a bunch of other textile factories around us, so if I go to others I’ll be sure to let you know.

  3. I like seeing the men ironing! Lol 😉 That is crazy that the tags say they are made elsewhere!?! I wanna see pictures of you modeling your deals!

    • Yeah, thought the men ironing was funny too. Actually, it looked like an intense job, but less skilled than the actually sewing. I don’t need to model — I got sweaters that look like all the other ones I own.

  4. Made in Denmark… hilarious! Can’t believe they can get away with that. Oh wait, yes i can! My mom would love seeing all that yarn. She still has piles of it in her closet that she “knits” with from time to time. I’m sure she would love to do a tour like this. Very cool that they let you take all these pics, btw. I have to say though, my back hurts now looking at the whole process. I don’t think I could do one of these jobs without further strain on my ‘ol back-a-roni.

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