Top 10 countries for sourcing fabric and garments

The textile sector is indeed strong and has been growing considerably over the years. The garment sector is also vital for the global economy due to the way it fosters trade, creates employment opportunities, and drives innovation.

In this article, we gathered significant information about the textile market with a list of the most affordable sourcing fabric and garment destinations and additional details about each location's particular features.

This resource will assist you in locating the most affordable supplier, whether you are a manufacturer or an e-commerce company, in order to optimize your supply chain, reduce costs, and eventually offer products that appeal to more of your target audience.

Sourcing fabric and garment: let’s explore the textile market

Growing costumers demand, the development of technical textiles, globalization and trade, worries related to sustainability, technological advances, and the impact of e-commerce and digitalization all contribute to the textile market's ongoing growth. In addition, the need for innovative and modern textiles is continually driven by fashion trends and evolving consumer preferences. These elements work together to produce a vibrant and growing market for textiles.

Since textiles are the 7th most traded products in the world, let’s explore some key indicators.

The market size

The size of the textile industry market was calculated at $959.87B in 2022 and will exceed $1371.84B by 2030, expanding at a CAGR of 4.05 percent from 2023 to 2030, according to a study of verified market research. The statistics show the major economic impact of this field.

The picture below clearly shows countries on the top of textile international trade

apparel sourcing fabric top exporters countries


Impact of the fabric industry on employment

Millions of people are employed worldwide in the textile sector in a variety of positions, including designers, technologists, machine operators, quality control inspectors, and logistical staff. Its connections to other industries like agriculture, fashion, retail, and others have an even greater positive effect on employment. Overall, the industry's extensive operations serve local communities, promote economic progress, and create jobs at various skill levels. 

A study of Clean Clothes and Dr. Sheng Lu, University of Delaware gathers data about the cheapest countries in terms of monthly minimum wages for garment workers. According to Dr. Sheng Lu, University of Delaware, Ethiopia holds the lowest wages in the 3 last years with only 23 per month. Moreover, in 2019, New York University published a study revealing that well-known apparel companies like H&M, PVH (on the head of Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein), are employing thousands of workers in Ethiopia. 

Meanwhile, the monthly earnings in Asia are still low, but they are marginally higher: 85 euros in Pakistan, 83 euros in Bangladesh, and 48 euros in Madagascar.

sourcing fabric minimum monthly wages


Top 10 best destinations for sourcing fabric based on export value

The following illustration exposes the top exporting countries in Asia with $882B In 2021. This ranking is based on export value and contribution to the global market.

Top 10 sourcing fabric destinations



1. China: The biggest market for textiles

China excels in producing various fabrics, including traditional materials like cotton, silk, and wool, as well as synthetic fibers and specialized textiles.

The essential sourcing guide of Investment monitor reveals that after two decades of joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), and over two years of the pandemic Covid-19, China’s textile sectors seem to be in a better position. The guide shows also that the country remains the world’s largest apparel exporter, supplying over 40% of the world market in 2020. 

Concerning monthly wages, China continues to be the world's top exporter of apparel, and in 2019 the industry's minimum monthly wage (based on the national average) was 200 euros.

The following table shows more key indicators for China

key indicators sourcing fabric China

Moreover, the main important markets in China are illustrated in the map below

sourcing fabric area in China


Textile production area in China

China's vertical integration within the industry ensures streamlined operations, quality control, and cost optimization. The presence of textile manufacturing clusters and hosting trade fairs and exhibitions further contribute to China's position as a prominent fabric-sourcing hub.

Numerous well-known exhibition halls frequently host trade exhibitions for the textile and fabric industries. Here are some well-known show facilities that frequently host fabric-sourcing events, while specific events may vary:

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2. Bangladesh: a significant participant in the apparel industry

Despite ongoing compliance issues, Bangladesh has made investments in its infrastructure and has a strong supply network. 

The sector has grown to include value-added items and has been significant in empowering women and encouraging sustainability. Thus, the country exported $46.2B value of textiles in 2021, making up 5.23% of the world's total. Such as woven materials, cotton, polyester, denim, and so on.

List of Top 10 Fabric Manufacturers and Exporters in Bangladesh in 2020

  1. Shasha Denims Ltd
  2. Nice Denim Mills Limited
  3. Ha-Meem Denim Ltd.
  4. Envoy Textiles Ltd
  5. Paramount Textile Limited
  6. NZ Fabrics Ltd
  7. Sister Denim Composite Ltd
  8. Square denims Ltd
  9. Amber Denim Mills Limited
  10. Argon Denims Ltd

3. Vietnam: a popular destination with affordable prices

Vietnam offers a variety of possibilities at affordable pricing, making it an economical place to source fabric. With $43.7B, Vietnam’s textile sector made up part of the global export at 4.95%. 

High-quality cotton, polyester, rayon, silk, knitwear, denim, and synthetic blend fabrics are among the products that the nation is renowned for making. Vietnamese polyester materials are strong and low-maintenance, while cotton fabrics offer diversity. The country is especially known and distinguished for its comfortable fabrics: shantung Taffeta, Bengaline Fabric, and Ebony Satin. Meanwhile, Vietnam is also making progress in denim manufacture. 

Note: As a supply management expert, Docshipper not only offers procurement services in Asia, especially in Vietnam but also helps businesses in freight forwarding to and from the country. If you are interested in further information about our service, contact us now or call us directly.

4. India: a large market with a wide variety of textiles

The textile sector in India has a reputation for offering a wide range of materials at reasonable costs, including traditional Indian textiles. Fabrics like silk, cotton, wool, and jute, which have a long history of traditional handicraft, highlight the cultural diversity of India. Additionally, a vast variety of fabrics, including top-notch brocades, chiffons, georgettes, and handwoven textiles, are produced in India. 

India has also become well-known for producing organic and sustainable textiles and for encouraging environmentally friendly activities like organic cotton farming and water conservation. India's textile industry thrives by maintaining its traditional craftsmanship while satisfying the global demand for a variety of diversified, reasonably priced, and sustainable materials thanks to a thriving handloom sector that supports skilled craftsmen and a sizable presence in textile exports.

In 2021, India had achieved $41.4B and contributed with 4.7% to the global textile export.

For instance, according to knnindia knowledge and news, the textile industry in India contributed 7% of the country's GDP and employed 45 million people over the previous three years.

Sourcing fabric top markets India



5. Turkey: a robust textile sector

With $286 billion in exports in the last year, Turkey's textile and fabric sector is about 4.05 percent of world exports in 2021.

Turkey is the more interesting country for sourcing fabric for the European and American continents, states the Middle East and Africa textile portal

This growing sector is indeed recognized for the range variety of types of fabric such as: 

  1. Chiffon
  2. Cotton
  3. Crepe
  4. Denim
  5. Lace
  6. Leather
  7. Linen
  8. Satin
  9. Silk
  10. Synthetics
  11. Velvet
  12. Wool
  13. recycled fabric

Turkish textile enterprises were able to boost their exports to their maximum level of the fifth top exporter of textile goods around the world in 2021, according to studies by the Middle East and Africa Textile Portal and the Observatory of Economic Complexity.


Turkey sourcing fabric monthly export

6. Pakistan: affordable fabrics and a range of garment production options

Pakistan is an interesting destination to consider when sourcing fabric thanks to its unique qualities and particular textiles that are highly sought-after.

With $19.2B export value and 2.18% of the global export value, Pakistani cotton is a popular option for apparel and household textiles because of its high caliber, suppleness, and durability. With its beautiful patterns and decorations and lightweight and breathable qualities, lawn fabric is perfect for summer clothing. Pakistani denim materials display toughness and adaptability, while the luxurious texture and delicate drape of Pakistani silk are generally praised. In the market, linen fabrics are also widely used because of their natural texture and cooling properties. 

Vinazgarment presented a report collecting information on Pakistan's best-rated fabric producers:

  • Nishat Mills Limited is one of the largest Pakistan fabric manufacturers : 
  • Sapphire Textile Mills Limited is one of the prominent Pakistan fabric manufacturers:  renowned for their innovative designs.
  • Gul Ahmed Textile Mills Limited is one of the renowned Pakistan fabric manufacturers: recognized for their unique designs and long-lasting quality.
  • Alkaram Textile Mills is one of the well-established Pakistan fabric manufacturers: famous for their modern styles and dedication to quality.
  • ChenOne is one of the famous Pakistan fabric manufacturers: renowned for its innovative styles and superior-quality products.

7. Indonesia: cost-effective to source fabrics and garments

Indonesia afforded $14,3B in 2021 contributing 1.62 % to the global textile export and is renowned as an affordable destination for sourcing fabric. This country is recognized for its production of traditional handwoven fabrics, such as ikat and songket. These fabrics showcase meticulous craftsmanship and are rich in cultural heritage. In terms of natural fibers, Indonesia offers options like cotton and silk, which are commonly used in various industries. Furthermore, the country's textile industry produces a wide array of affordable synthetic fabrics, including polyester and rayon, which are favored for their versatility and cost-effectiveness. With its diverse fabric offerings and competitive pricing, Indonesia proves to be an attractive sourcing destination for those seeking affordable and unique fabrics.

8. Cambodia

In 2021, Cambodia's export value was $13,2B with 1.42% of the global market. The most known 

The ikat silks, also known as hol or chong kiet in Khmer, the twill-patterned silks, and the weft ikat textiles are the three most significant types of silk textiles produced in Cambodia.

If you are interested in sourcing authentic fabric from there, visit Cambodia's Premier Textile & Apparel Sourcing Expo.

9. South Korea

With $12.2B export value and 1.39% of global export, specially skilled weaving and stitching are hallmarks of South Korean textiles. Cotton, silk, and hemp are examples of special use materials. Important techniques include nubijang (quilting), jogakbo (patchwork quilts), jasujang (embroidery), and bojagi (wrapped cloth).

10. Japan

$8.23B value export with 0.93% of global export value.

As the West began to recognize the beauty and usefulness of Japanese fabrics and their long lifespan, there was a rise in demand for them everywhere. The fact that well-known Japanese designers like Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Kenzo Takada, and Hiroshi Fujiwara showed their collections during international Fashion Weeks helped to accelerate this fact even further.

Here is a list of some of the most well-known Japanese fabrics that are used by designers around the world.

  • Kasuri
  • Noragi 
  • Sashiko
  • Zanshi 
  • Sakiori

Top 10 countries for sourcing fabric based on many combined criteria

From another perspective, Just Style developed a thorough analysis based on 15 criteria to determine the results of the garment sourcing:

  • Ability to offer Free/Freight on Board (FOB), the most popular shipping arrangement for exporting clothing.
  • Price
  • Tax advantages
  • Compliance/sustainability
  • Quality of the product Efficiency
  • lead period
  • Reliability
  • the capacity to produce simple goods
  • monetary security
  • Ability to integrate vertically and acquire new materials
  • Political steadfastness
  • flexibility in terms of order size
  • Ingenuity and the capacity to create things with consumers
  • Ability to produce items with value-addedsourcing-fabric-world-top-10-

Issues to consider if you are sourcing fabric 

Businesses must be aware of the inherent threats associated with sourcing fabric. Navigating these hurdles is essential, from potential supply chain delays and variable material costs to quality differences and compliance issues. Ignoring these risks can result in monetary losses, reputational damage, and weakened product integrity. Businesses may reduce any negative effects and ensure a more efficient and effective procurement process by proactively identifying and resolving the risks connected with fabric sourcing.

Be aware of scammers

The disadvantage of online purchasing is that you might be scammed. This does not mean that, for example, or Amazon are unsafe platforms. But, the online environment stays limited despite its countless advantages.

In fact, shopping online not only saves us time but also virtually allows us to cross international borders. Simple, quick, comfortable, and money-saving is the process, you don't need to go to China to source products or make transactions. However, there are measures that you must take to purchase your merchandise safely. For example, if you are purchasing goods from an Alibaba supplier, here is a list of things you must ask him before taking the decision.

DocShipper Advice : DocShipper provides an extensive database of trustworthy suppliers across the world. We carry out in-depth supplier research, narrow down the top candidates, and ensure quality, conformance, and affordable price. Join us today to speed up your procurement process! Do you want to know more? Contact us or call us directly.

Quality assurance challenges in sourcing fabric 

Ensuring consistent fabric quality can be a major hurdle for businesses in the freight forwarding industry. Without stringent quality assurance measures, companies may encounter various issues that can undermine customer satisfaction and harm their reputation. From substandard materials to defective products, compromising on fabric quality can lead to costly returns, dissatisfied customers, and diminished competitiveness in the market.

In summary, addressing quality assurance challenges in fabric sourcing for freight forwarding businesses requires a strategic approach. Firstly, conduct a thorough supplier evaluation, considering factors such as reputation, certifications, and past performance.

Transitioning to sample testing, carefully assess fabric samples for key quality parameters and compare them against specific requirements. Implementing a comprehensive inspection and monitoring process at various supply chain stages helps identify and rectify any quality deviations or defects. Lastly, foster collaboration and open communication with fabric suppliers to ensure shared commitment to delivering high-quality fabric.

By implementing these strategies, businesses can overcome quality assurance hurdles and enhance customer satisfaction while maintaining a competitive edge in the market.

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Language does really matter

Language constraints present substantial obstacles to successful collaboration and decision-making in the sourcing and freight forwarding industries. These issues can cause misunderstandings, delays, and mistakes when working with manufacturers, suppliers, and logistical partners from various nations and regions. 

The effectiveness of the sourcing and freight forwarding procedures may be compromised by these obstacles, which may have an impact on the caliber of the items, client satisfaction, and overall operational efficiency. To accurately express requirements, directions, and specifications, communication must be clear and effective. 

The need for language instruction, translation services, and multilingual communication technologies is further exacerbated by cultural differences and complicated documentation. Businesses should actively handle language barriers in order to boost teamwork, reduce errors, and maximize their sourcing and freight forwarding processes in order to compete in a market that is getting more and more globalized.

DocShipper Alert : Do you need assistance with suppliers who speak Chinese, Vietnamese, or any other Asian language? Don't worry! Our multilingual team will bridge the communication gap and handle all the interactions and negotiations with your fabric suppliers, ensuring a seamless and successful partnership. Fill out the form to contact us or call us directly.

Legal and compliance issues when sourcing fabric

Imagine the irrevocable damage to your brand's reputation if you mistakenly used cloth from unethical sources or broke laws pertaining to environmental sustainability. Make sure to adhere to compliance standards like CE, ROHS, CEE. Reach In addition to potential legal consequences, there could be severe reviews and consumer backlash. Customers expect transparency and moral behavior from the brands they support in today's socially conscious environment. Ignoring fabric sourcing compliance might put your whole company in danger.

DocShipper Advise : We help you with the entire sourcing process so don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

  • Having trouble finding the appropriate product? Enjoy our sourcing services, we directly find the right suppliers for you!
  • You don't trust your supplier? Ask our experts to do quality control to guarantee the condition of your goods!
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Alibaba, Dhgate, made-in-china... Many know of websites to get supplies in Asia, but how many have come across a scam ?! It is very risky to pay an Asian supplier halfway around the world based only on promises! DocShipper offers you complete procurement services integrating logistics needs: purchasing, quality control, customization, licensing, transport...

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