The Emerging US Textile Market

Textile manufacturing is one of the largest manufacturing industries in the world, and it has been for centuries. Wars have been fought over it, wars have been won and lost because of it, and fortunes have been made many times over. The United States of America was once a world leader in the textile manufacturing sector. While it’s no longer as big as it once was, it remains one of the most complex and innovate countries for textile manufacturing in the world.

By The Numbers

  • While textile capital expenditures dropped to a low in 2009, with only $1.3 billion dollars invested, it has rebounded since, at a rate of around $150 million more per year.
  • The shipments and inventories of U.S. textile has also rebounded, at a rate of nearly 4% annually since 2009.
  • The textile and apparel industries directly employed 373,000 Americans as of 2013, with over 100,000 more employed in direct support, such as supplying natural fibers and machinery.
  • The U.S. textile industry is the fourth largest textile exporter in the world, exporting nearly $18 billion dollars in 2013, mostly as raw materials
  • The rebounding industry has seen growth mainly in the south – South Carolina (home of Kellett Enterprises), North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana and Tennessee have seen the greatest growth in textile jobs since 2009.

Emergence of Innovation

The end game of the U.S. textile sector is no longer simple products such as upholstery and clothing. Textile products of today that are coming out of the sector include:

  • Heart valve and stents
  • Aircraft bodies
  • Advanced body armor
  • Antimicrobial fibers
  • Textiles incorporating electronics

There is much more innovation possible, and the American government has recognized this – in March of 2015, they provided a $75 million private investment in researching, prototyping, and commercializing technical textiles. These textiles are similar to the last two examples above – textiles with extraordinary, sometimes novel properties. This investment is being made in American companies, and American jobs.

As part of the U.S. textile sector for 55 years, Kellett Enterprises has always been on the innovating and emerging side of the industry – in fact, our early success was built on the innovation of the first three-layer shake absorber in the LP-13 Shake Absorber Vibration and Isolation Pad. We will continue to innovate, and provide the people of South Carolina and the United States as a whole with quality products and quality job opportunities.

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