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The textile industry ranks among the oldest manufacturing industries in the United States, starting with Samuel Slater's yarn spindle plant, established in Rhode Island in the year 1790.
The industry has expanded significantly since then, but suffered greatly from the Great Depression and other more recent factors such as COVID-19 and trade disputes. Nevertheless, this industry remains a critical one. This article will explore some of the key facts and trends in the textile industry in 2023 and will explore the industry's largest textile mills.
According to exlusive data collected by MNI, compiler and publisher of the industrial data that powers IndustrySelect, the U.S. textile industry accounts for 2,216 companies nationwide, of which employ 153,884 individuals.
The most recent average reported annual sales figures in the textile industry average $64 billion. Additionally, 30% of textile manufacturers import raw materials, compared to 11% of U.S. manufacturing as a whole. Additionally, nearly 50% of the finished product is distributed internationally, representing the world’s faith in U.S. textile manufacturing strength and quality.
Regionally, the South holds the highest concentration of textile manufacturers at 52% of the total number in the U.S. The Northeast follows at a distant second with 23%, and the Midwest and the West trail with 12% each.
|Top Companies||City||State||Number of Employees|
|Mohawk Industries, Inc., Aladdin Div.||Dalton||GA||3,255|
|Maples Industries, Inc.||Scottsboro||AL||2,350|
|Mohawk Industries, Inc.||Calhoun||GA||1,600|
|Fruit Of The Loom, Inc.||Bowling Green||KY||1,300|
|Shaw Industries, Inc., Plant 65||Andalusia||AL||1,300|
|Shaw Industries, Inc., Plt. 15||Cartersville||GA||1,300|
|Shaw Industries, Inc., Plt. W-D||Dalton||GA||1,300|
|Coats Group, PLC||McAdenville||NC||1,000|
|Milliken & Co.||Spartanburg||SC||1,000|
Mohawk Industries, Inc., Aladdin Div. is located in Dalton, Georgia and employs 3,255 individuals. Mohawk Industries concentrates primarily on residential carpeting. In keeping with its commitment to sustainability, Mohawk developed its proprietary SmartStrand® renewable polymer carpeting, creating a new category within the textile industry.
Maples Industries, Inc. remains true to its “Made in America” roots. Its Scottsboro, Alabama manufacturing facility’s 2,350 employees create 100% American-made area rugs. Family-owned and -operated since 1928, Maples Industries credits its longevity to the forward-thinking leadership that embraced the changes in the textile industry that allowed the company to create colorful, durable designs for nearly 100 years.
Hanesbrands, Inc.represents the globalization of an American brand. With its 1,800 workers in its Winston-Salem, North Carolina plant, Hanesbrands delivers quality apparel to the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia and South Africa.
Mohawk Industries, Inc., with 1,600 employees in Calhoun, Georgia, also represents the globalization of an American brand. Last year alone, the company completed $10 billion in worldwide sales to more than 170 countries.
Shaw Industries, Inc., Plt. 15 calls Cartersville, Georgia home, where it employs 1,400 individuals. Shaw supplies carpet, artificial turf and other specialty products throughout the United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Australia, China, Brazil and other major worldwide marketplaces.
Fruit Of The Loom, Inc., located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, produces classic cotton activewear with its 1,300 employees. The company began producing muslins in 1856 and retained its American pride when it became the first company designated to make silk slips for women’s uniforms and silk parachutes for the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II.
Shaw Industries, Inc., Plant 65 and its 1,300 employees call Andalusia, Alabama home. The Andalusia plant recently underwent a $250 million renovation to its manufacturing facility to provide a safer and more efficient working environment. This particular plant concentrates on manufacturing residential carpeting.
Shaw Industries, Inc., Plt. W-D in Dalton, Georgia is taking tremendous steps to protect its 1,300 employees from COVID-19. In addition to a liberal leave policy and free stress counseling, Shaw Industries re-tooled its manufacturing plant to create a safer working space. Despite pandemic-related supply chain issues, Shaw continues to provide quality, American-made commercial and residential flooring products to its customers.
Coats Group, PLC is located in McAdenville, North Carolina. While its roots may be in Scotland, the Coats Group is firmly planted in the United States. First to invent three-ply cotton sewing thread as an affordable alternative to silk thread in 1812, the company realized that its future was in America in the 1840s. Today, Coats and its 1,000 employees are an international force in manufacturing high-performance engineered yarns – all from renewable sources and all based in North Carolina.
Milliken & Co Employing 1,000 workers in Spartanburg, South Carolina, this Milliken location manufactures and markets a wide range of products, including floor covering, and performance and protective textiles
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Editor's note: The article was originally published in February 2021. It has been updated to reflect new statistics on the textile industry in the U.S.