Textile manufacturing is an important manufacturing industry which is a major contributor to the global economy. The textile manufacturing industry is a large scale industry in different countries across the globe. The textile manufacturing industry is primarily focused on the production of cloth and yarn followed by the designing and manufacturing of different textiles and their distribution. The different raw materials used in the textile manufacturing industry are generally divided into synthetic products and natural products belonging to the chemical industry. The major companies belonging to the textile manufacturing industry operate mills that are used for the production of textiles and various textile products by processing natural and synthetic fibres. The major companies in the global textile industry include Toray Industries in Japan, International Textile Group, WL Gore and Associates, Guilford Mills, Unifi and Mohawk Industries which are based in the United States, Hyosung in South Korea and Weiqiao Textiles which operate in China.
The textile manufacturing industry is mainly based on the different fibres into yarn followed by fabric and textiles. The fibres which are converted into fabric and textiles are used for fabrication into clothes and the other different artefacts. Cotton is considered as the major natural fibre that is hugely processes and treated to be used in the textile industry. The processing and treatment of cotton constitutes an extensive part of the textile manufacturing industry. The textile manufacturing industry employs a number of processes involved in the fabric forming and spinning phases. The textile manufacturing industry follows complex procedures to process and treat the different natural and synthetic fibres to produce a wide range of textile goods. Different techniques using machine and hand techniques are employed in this industry.
The demand in the textile industry is driven by the demand of the consumers as well as the different companies operating in the garments industry. The apparel industry is the major influencer of the demand levels in the textile manufacturing industry. The demand of the consumers for furnishings like curtains and carpets also influence the demand levels in the textile manufacturing industry. The profitability of the companies operating in the textile manufacturing industry depends on the operational efficiency of the companies. The large companies in this industry try to operate on economies of scale by producing items in high volumes so that the operational costs are lowered. On the other hand, the small textile manufacturing companies try to compete with the strategy of the production of specialized textiles (The International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF), 2012). The textile industry is generally concentrated with the large companies bringing in 60% of the total revenues derived from the industry.
The main products of the textile manufacturing industry are yarns, fabrics, threads, curtains and carpets. The industry uses natural materials like cotton and wool and synthetic materials like plastic to produce threads and yarns. The threads and yarns are used to manufacture different types of fabrics like knit fabrics, woven fabrics etc. The manufacturing processes also include the production of finish fabrics by using coating and dyeing techniques. The fabrics are used to manufacture finished consumer goods like textile bags, curtains, carpets, rugs and linens. The woven fabrics form about 25% of the total revenues from the textile manufacturing industry, the carpets and rugs account for 22% whereas the yarn products account for about 15% of the revenues from this industry.
The textile manufacturing industry caters to the whole textile industry comprising of the silk textiles, cotton textiles, hand crafted textiles, woollen textiles, readymade apparels, coir and jute etc. (Nasmith, 1999, p.191). The major factors affecting the textile manufacturing industry in the present day scenario are the textile industry including the apparel businesses and major garments retailers, increased competitiveness in the textile manufacturing businesses, costs incurred in the business, location of the business and the mills, the demand conditions in the industry and the different regulatory policies implemented by the government authorities in the different countries of manufacturing.
The manufacture of cotton, natural fibres and synthetic fibres are the main components of the textile manufacturing industry. Cotton is considered as the most important natural fibre which is cultivated in 60 countries across the globe. The global yield of cotton in 2010 was 35 million tonnes (Allwood, 2012, p.118). The cotton manufacturing process is one of the most important and large scale processes employed in the textile manufacturing industry. The different stages of the cotton manufacturing process include preparatory processes, cultivation and harvesting, producing spinning yarn, producing weaving related fabrics and finishing giving fabrics and textiles. The natural fibres in the textile manufacturing industry are taken from different plants, animals or minerals. The plants used are flax, cotton and sisal, the animals are goat, sheep, silk worm and rabbit and the minerals used are asbestos etc. The vegetable fibres are derived from the seeds of cotton, the stems of plants like hemp, flax and jute and the leaves of sisal plant. The manufacturing process involves a number of techniques to create a clean and even yarn or thread. The synthetic or artificial fibres are manufactured by extruding different synthetic materials like polymers (Boarrd, 2009, p.56).
The textile industry has started facing different environmental issues. This is because the textile manufacturing processes lead to different environmental problems (Berndt, 2013, pp.11-12). One of the major environmental problems caused by the textile manufacturing industry is the pollution and over usage of water. The textile manufacturing industry, especially the cotton production process is extremely dependent on huge water usage. Also, the different chemicals used in the dyeing, cleaning and farming of the fabrics have caused several environmental degradations like water pollution, air pollution and soil degradation.
The textile manufacturing industry has an annual growth rate of 9-10%. Different factors affect the growth of this industry. The impact of the global recession had slowed down the growth and performance of the textile manufacturing industry which has now recovered and growing at a steady rate. The textile manufacturing industries in the developing economies have started contributing more to the world economy and have seen a rise after 2009 by taking an important place in the global textile market as shown in Appendix 1.
The evolving demands and requirements in the global textile and apparels market and the different advances in technology have caused the textile manufacturing industry to grow at an accelerated rate. But the environmental hazards caused by the manufacturing processes, especially water pollution and soil degradation are major challenges faced by the global textile manufacturing industry. The industry should concentrate on employing strategies and corporate social responsibility activities to ensure sustainability in the future.
- Allwood, J. 2012.Well dressed? The present and future sustainability of clothing and textiles. Available at http://www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/uploads/Resources/Other_Reports/textiles.pdf. [Accessed on 7 February 2014].
- Berndt, C. 2013. Trends in manufacturing to 2020: A fore sighting discussion paper. Available at http://www.innovation.gov.au/industry/futuremanufacturing/FMIIC/Documents/TrendsinManufacturingto2020.pdf. [Accessed on 7 February 2014].
- Boarrd, N. 2009. The Complete Technology Book on Textile Spinning, Weaving, Finishing and Printing. London: Routledge.
- Nasmith, J. 1999. Recent Cotton Mill Construction and Engineering. New Jersey: Wiley.
- The International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF). 2012. International Cotton Industry Statistics – ICIS. Available at http://www.itmf.org/wb/pages/home/publications/detail.php?id=2. [Accessed on 7 February 2014].