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Sourcing: Best city for leather factories?

Sourcing: Best city for leather factories?

Mar 9th, 2005, 07:26 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2
Sourcing: Best city for leather factories?


I'm seeking craftspeople/producers that can make very high quality custom designed leather luggage. Many people have recommended China as a better choice than Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, etc. but I'm not sure where exactly. Which city would be best for craftshops/small factories that can produce high-end leathergoods in small volumes? I need quality craftsmanship similar to Hermes/LV, etc. NOT looking for replicas, just describing the quality level wanted.

Those I've found online are expensive and require high minimum quantities but I realize that smaller craft businesses tend not to be online so it's best to just plan an extended visit to an area with strong crafts industry & try to locate a suitable firm and hopefully leave with a sample product set. Problem is, which city is the best bet?

Geekette is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 12:56 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
I think your question is beyond the scope of this site, as people here are travelling on holiday and buying retail items. I canít understand from your question whether you want these items for yourself, or if you are in the retail/wholesale leather business and are looking for a manufacturer. If the latter, and if you are a US citizen, I would suggest you contact the US Commercial Service in those countries you re interested in. The Commercial Service is a department of each US Embassy. While their primary task is to promote US business abroad, they do provide advice on doing business in each country. Take a look at the following websites


For a list of US embassies worldwide, go to http://travel.state.gov/.

You might also try the Chinese embassy in the US, take a look at www.china-embassy.org. You can get links to other embassies by going to the travel.state.gov site and clicking on International Travel, then scrolling down to the country you are interested in.

Another useful source of help would be the American Chambers of Commerce in the countries you are planning to visit. Some useful website there are:

Philippines: http://www.amchamphilippines.com/
India: http://www.amchamindia.com/amcham/home/home.xml
Indonesia: http://www.amcham.or.id/
Thailand: http://www.amchamthailand.com/acct/asp/ - this also has links to virtually every other AmCham group in Asia.

I would think the South Korea and possibly India are also potential sources for leather manufactures, esp South Korea.

If you have not done business in Asia before, do a lot of research and homework, get recommendations from others, join an international business association like the American Chamber of Commerce and be very sceptical of everything you see and are told. You have virtually no legal recourse in most Asian countries if you have a problem with a manufacturer, so it is better to do research and take your time before plunging in.

Cicerone is offline  
Mar 15th, 2005, 10:59 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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If you are considering Philippines, you might want to consider Marikina City
mylene68 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2005, 12:22 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 69
Message: If you are considering the Philippines they have introduced "free zones" where the company does not pay the usual taxes and also receives a lot of benefits. India is also an option. Agree with the other post. Do your homework - you will not regret it!
travellinbug is offline  
Mar 16th, 2005, 01:32 PM
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I lived in Indonesia for two years and found the quality of the leather goods to be poor.
rapunzll is offline  
Mar 19th, 2005, 09:19 PM
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I'm not sure if you're looking at India as an option. If you are, then the small towns of Ranipet and Ambur, a 3-4 hour drive from Chennai [Madras] have many leather factories. One that I know of which produces high quality leather material is the Gaitonde factory at Ranipet...also the KH Shoes group near Ranipet. Don't know about their contact addresses or pricing...however, since they are reasonably big groups, I suppose they have websites. You could try a google search.
ayakkadan is offline  
Mar 20th, 2005, 09:50 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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Thanks for the responses. To clarify, I'm on the wholesale side & currently sourcing production for a new leathergoods line. I've checked websites for & contacted the embassies/trade commissions/Chambers of Commerce for several countries and they typically offer some general economic/industry information (most of which I'm aware of from earlier research), not the specific producer/location info that I'm seeking.

While I realize that many forum participants are travellers and retail shoppers, some actually live and work in some of the places in question. So I post in forums like this is not only to get trade specific info, but also for the valuable insider cultural/business etiquette/precautions that are inevitably included in some responses.

Geekette is offline  
Mar 20th, 2005, 08:22 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Geekette, I'm one of those who lives and works in Asia. (I'm actually in the export business.)

For small leather goods, I'd ONLY recommend Korea or China. I'd also stongly suggest that you find (and be prepared to pay) an agent. For China you can work with an office in Hong Kong. If you've never been involved in importing before the agent can help you through the complexities of foreign trade.

There are leather marketing organizations in Asia that hold trade fairs that you can attend to make contacts. This is especially good for small scale importers to get in contact with small scale manufacturers. If you google leather, export, Hong Kong, Korea etc. you will find listings.
marmot is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 13
If your considering the Philippines, you might want to visit the website of the Department of Trade and Industry (the counterpart of the Bureau of Commerce)at www.dti.gov.ph CITEM and BSMED, an attached agency and bureau within the DTI respectively, organizes trade fairs (national and international), they also have a database of manufacturers and exporters in the Philippines. You might want to check this out.
mylene68 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2005, 10:20 AM
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We will be in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Koh samui, Kuala Lumpur for 4 weeks. Can I assume from above that I should not waste any time looking for subtle lambskin mens and womens jackets for my wife and I? I can get them in the USA for $500 or a bit less.
StanKase is offline  
Jul 12th, 2005, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,282
I don't know about KL but Thailand is NOT the place to look for leather. They have some decent sting ray and crocodile bags and you do seem some leather here and there but it ain't Italy. It may be cheaper than in the US but I can't vouch for the quality. There are plenty of wonderful things to buy in Thailand but leather is not at the top of the list.
glorialf is offline  

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