Source: New Cloth Market

Guangdong province alone produces roughlyhalf of the world's production of denim. Most produced here is used to makejeans, originally, a quintessential American product that has become China's most popular article of clothing. To meet demand for denim, it has to supplementdomestic supplies with imported cotton. The US is its biggest supplier withsales at US$1. 7 billion in 2008. Read about the Chinese industry's manychallenges and how it has fared under the global economic slowdown.

Denim, a quintessential American fabric

A writer for American Fabrics magazine once declared in thelate 1960's that: "Denim is one of the world's oldest fabrics, yet itremains eternally young." That still applies. Considered as the quintessentialAmerican fabric, 78 percent of U.S. consumers said they love or enjoy wearingdenim, while 39 percent of Chinese consumers echoed these same sentiments in arecent survey. Some surveys even indicate jeans ownership at 74 percent.

Most denim is made into jeans, the most popular article ofclothing in China. As the world's largest denim. manufacturer, China produced 2.8 billion meters (1.74 million miles) of denim fabric in 2007. While theofficial number for 2008 is still not available, the industry believes productiondropped by 20 percent.


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Originallypublished in New Cloth Market: February 2010