• Textile Machinery Top
  • What's New
  • Network
  • Contact Information


Special Interview with Mr. Sumio Suga & Ms. Mayuko Teratsuji,
Knitted Department of Sanwa Co., Ltd.

2009 Autumn

Price competition is getting more and more severe in the casual clothing market, which people tend to replace frequently, such as underwear.
In the meantime, consumers are becoming more selective and demanding extra functions at the same low price.

We interviewed Sanwa Co., Ltd., who has decided to use VORTEX yarn as a secret weapon to differentiate their products under these difficult market conditions.

Mr. Suga & Ms. Teratsuji

Mr. Sumio Suga [Photo right]
Manager of Knitted Dept. of Sanwa Co., Ltd.

Ms. Mayuko Teratsuji [Photo left]
Assistant Manager of Knitted Dept. of Sanwa Co., Ltd.

How did you find out about VORTEX?
Mr. Suga & Ms. Teratsuji
We were first introduced to VORTEX yarn as a new material by a subcontractor in China.
At the time when VORTEX yarn was introduced to us, we were mainly making water-absorbing/quick-drying underwear made of polyester/cotton blend material.
However, there were a lot of demands from consumers and customers to use natural materials, and we were looking for a functional material just made of 100% cotton.
We liked the fact that VORTEX yarn itself has various functions and it does not require post processing. So, we decided to develop new products by using VORTEX yarn.
Is there a big difference between a fabric whose functional uses is added in the post processing or a fabric made of a yarn that has these functions in the yarn itself?
Mr. Suga & Ms. Teratsuji
Yes, there is a big difference.
When these functions are added in post processing by using chemicals, etc., its effectiveness weakens after washing.
However, when a yarn's structure itself has these functions, its effectiveness is almost permanent.
Being washable is a big advantage for a product.
Furthermore, underwear processed with a chemical gives an impression that it may not be good for the skin. Many customers indicated that they would avoid purchasing underwear processed with a chemical, especially for children's underwear.
Depending on what chemical is used, it can cause discoloration after washing, which may lead to consumer complaints.
Please give us your frank opinion on VORTEX yarn.
Mr. Suga & Ms. Teratsuji
When we show our customers a fabric made of VORTEX yarn, textile professionals comment that it is totally different from traditional fabrics.
Since the texture and crispness of a fabric made of VORTEX yarn is completely different from traditional fabrics, it is easy to differentiate our products.
A children's apparel manufacturer requested us to develop 100% cotton underwear that meets the following conditions:
Using ordinary cotton is not good enough;
material must have high functional uses;
this product is to be sold in summer.
Furthermore, the price of this product was predetermined by the manufacturer.
These were tough conditions to meet, but we successfully developed and proposed a product using VORTEX yarn. Our customer really liked the product and decided to use it.
We understand that the product is selling well.
We are planning to sell 100% cotton VORTEX material for men's underwear.
We think that it will do even better than children's underwear.
What are the important factors in developing new products?
Mr. Suga & Ms. Teratsuji
Products with only one added benefit are not competitive in recent markets. To be more competitive, products must have additional functions, such as water-absorbing/quickdrying plus deodorant processing.
The fact that we are receiving a lot of inquiries from consumers concerning functional uses indicates their high level of interest in them in recent years.
This is true not only for underwear but for outerwear as well. Outerwear having a stylish design alone does not sell well.
By using VORTEX yarn, products can claim the functions of the yarn itself, such as being washable and pilling resistant. It is very helpful to us that by using VORTEX yarn, products can claim two or three additional functions without going through additional processing.
Water-absorbing/quick-drying products tend to be packaged in bluish packages, which gives an impression that these products are targeted for spring and summer seasons.
However, many of our distributors have requested to use these products throughout the year. Since in winter laundry does not dry quickly even when hung outside and tends to be dried inside the house, there are indeed needs for water-absorbing/quick-drying products.
In order to respond to these needs, we have made improvements on the package design of the products, and we are proposing to use water-absorbing/quick-drying materials all year.
Most of the materials with waterabsorbing/quick-drying functions are a polyester/cotton blend. In recent markets, price competition of products made of polyester/cotton blend materials is so severe that it is not profitable.
On the other hand, products made of 100% cotton can be marketed at a relatively higher price.
Sanwa Co., Ltd.

Osaka, Japan

Sanwa Co., Ltd.

Sanwa Co., Ltd.

Sanwa Co., Ltd. is a fashion apparel manufacturer who not only sells products under nearly thirty of its own clothing brands but also sells products made of yarns that have been carefully selected to wholesalers and mass retailers as well as proposals for sales plans to specialty stores.

Sanwa's products are sold in mass retailers and supermarkets in Japan.

The above information was written in September 2009.