Quilting is a famous folkcraft in Pujiang and in recent years, it has grown into a modern industry that integrates technology with traditional techniques. The county now produces premium quality and innovative home textile products that are sold all over the world, making it the largest quilting and home textiles production and export base in Mainland China
Pujiang County, located in the central part of Zhejiang Province in Mainland China, is traditionally known as a land of culture and a hometown of poetry, paintings and folk art. Adding to these honorary titles, the county was named as China’s Famous Quilting and Home Textile City in May 2006 by the China National Textile and Apparel Council and the China Home Textile Association.
In December 2017, Pujiang established the National Quality and Safety Demonstration Zone for Export Quilting Products. During the same time, a number of well-known textile companies had also emerged to further consolidate the county as the base for the trademarks and brands of Zhejiang’s quilting industry. Quality improvement and product innovation have helped to promote sustainable and healthy developments of the county’s quilting industry. In 2019, there were more than 400 quilting enterprises in Pujiang, achieving market and online sales values of around RMB10bn and RMB6bn, respectively. Meanwhile, over 60,000 jobs were created.
Integrating folkcraft with technology and style
Pujiang quilting, commonly known as cross lace and crochet, is one of the county’s folkcrafts with a history of more than 500 years. During the country’s reform and opening-up, its quilting and home textile industry adopted a series of innovative measures and its products have developed rapidly since. The quilting process has evolved from manual and mechanical-based production to computer-controlled. Quilting products range from basic beddings such as blankets and mattresses to bedding sets, baby’s and children’s quilted sets, sofa cushions, car cushions, floor mats, tablecloths, door and window curtains, storage items, ladies’ luggage, shoes and hats, fashion accessories, kitchen and catering products, bathroom items and Christmas decorations, providing more than a thousand varieties.
Pujiang’s quilting and home textile industry has developed from offering everyday products to handiwork and gifts, from home furnishings to clothing and household fabrics, reshaping the combination of household and home furnishing textiles with artefactual craftsmanship. The integration of technology with style and the transformation and upgrading of the quilting and home textile industry have achieved remarkable results and turned it into a major industry of Pujiang with its own characteristics. The industrial chain is led by key enterprises and backed by thousands of processing operators and tens of thousands of professional supporting teams. The industry starts with cotton yarn, cotton cloth, spray cotton and other raw materials to provide a one-stop production chain incorporating design, cutting, stitching, embroidering, sewing, washing, inspection and packaging.
Nurturing talent, developing technology
The Zhejiang Provincial Quilting Craft Association is stationed in Pujiang. In June 2018, the association and Wuhan Textile University established the Pujiang County Home Textile Design and R&D Centre with support from the county’s Party Committee, the municipal government and various relevant departments. The centre takes advantage of Wuhan Textile University’s strength in scientific research and talent to enhance its internal management and bring in excellent R&D and design teams.
The centre is staffed with four specialist professors, five postgraduates, seven undergraduates and all its personnel hold university degrees. The centre endeavours to serve member companies by providing information and consultations, talent referrals, training and other services. It has provided more than 200 people, product designs and sample services to its members, as well as developed technology for raw material processing. Moreover, it has introduced more than 6,000 new pattern designs to the industry and helped solve problems for enterprises through technological sharing.
With the concentration of resources into one location, Pujiang stands out as Mainland China’s largest production and export base for quilting products. Since its establishment in 2016, the Pujiang Quilting Demonstration Zone has passed provincial and national quality and safety inspections, effectively bringing forth the formation of an industrial cluster and further advantages to the industry. Product responsibility and integrity are fully recognised, while product quality and brand building are improving and strengthening year after year. The Pujiang quilting home textile industrial cluster now registers 1,263 local trademarks. Among them, eight, including Over Boundary, Mengxishi and Qianbaihui, have been awarded the title of famous trademarks of Zhejiang Province, and seven, including Lovever, have obtained the title of famous trademarks of Jinhua City.
Reaching out to global markets
The competitiveness of the industrial cluster’s export has steadily improved. Enterprises in the demonstration zone have received zero complaints and returns for three consecutive years, clearly demonstrating the industry’s capability in “no operation violations, no hidden dangers at the source, no blind spots in management and barrier-free exports”. As a result, the core competitiveness of its quilting products is greatly enhanced. The continuous introduction of quilting into Pujiang’s cultural and art products has enriched the varieties it offers as new styles emerge continuously. It’s no wonder that the county’s quilting products sell well in Europe, the US, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and many other countries and regions. In recent years, fostered by the Belt and Road Initiative, a new batch of potential markets, including the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, South Africa, Italy and Chile, has been explored.
The Quilting Craft Association has always attached great importance to participate in home textile exhibitions. It organises many local key enterprises to actively participate in overseas exhibitions such as those held in the US, Germany, Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan, as well as large-scale domestic exhibitions such as the Canton Fair, China Fair and Shanghai Home Textile Exhibition. To help member companies tap into new markets, the association organises more than 200 booths for key enterprises to participate in exhibitions every year. It commissions professionals to design booths and sharpen the image of Pujiang quilting enterprises.
Having made good use of professional and large-scale exhibition platforms, the status of Pujiang quilting products has been enhanced. Promoting Pujiang quilting enterprises through multiple channels has also given China’s Famous Quilting and Home Textile City wider exposure.