Fabric Mills

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 735 fabric mills in the US transform yarn or fibers into fabric that is further manufactured into usable items, such as apparel, sheets, or towels. Major product categories include nonwoven fabrics, broadwoven fabrics, knit fabrics, and narrow fabrics. Almost half of US textile output is used for technical applications, such as conveyor belts and automotive floor coverings. About 40% of output goes towards home textiles and floor coverings. Apparel accounts for just over 10% of US textile output.

High Capital Requirements

The US fabric mill industry is highly capital-intensive and requires a significant investment in plants, property, and equipment.

Competition From Foreign Manufacturers

Overseas textile production has decimated the US fabric manufacturing industry.

Industry size & Structure

The average fabric mill operates out of a single location, employs 61-62 workers, and generates about $17-18 million annually.

    • The textile mill industry includes fiber, yarn, and thread mills; fabric mills; and textile and fabric finishing and coating mills. Fabric mills may be vertically integrated and perform operations within the textile supply chain in addition to fabric production.
    • The fabric mill industry consists of about 735 companies that employ 45,300 workers and generate $13 billion annually.
    • Nonwoven fabric mills account for about 26% of companies and 55% of industry revenue; broadwoven fabric mills for 34% of companies and 28% of revenue; knit fabric mills for 17% of companies and 10% of revenue; and narrow fabric mills and schiffli machine mills for 23% of companies and 7% of revenue.
    • The average nonwoven fabric mill employs about 90 workers and generates $37 million annually; the average broadwoven mill about 63 workers and $14 million annually; the average knit fabric mill about 48 workers and $10 million annually; and the average narrow fabric mill about 34 workers and $5.8 million annually.
    • The industry is concentrated; the top 50 companies account for 66% of industry revenue.
    • Large companies with fabric mill operations include Elevate Textiles (Burlington), Milleken, and Albany International. Large firms may have operations in foreign countries.
    • US textile production is primarily located in southeastern states and Pennsylvania. One third of all textile jobs were located in Georgia and North Carolina in 2019.
                              Industry Forecast
                              Fabric Mills Industry Growth
                              Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                              Recent Developments

                              Nov 9, 2022 - NRF: Holiday Spending to Hold Up Despite Inflation
                              • Despite high inflation and rising interest rates, the National Retail Federation (NRF) expects consumer spending to remain resilient this holiday season. While the NRF acknowledges consumers are feeling the pinch of higher interest rates and inflation, it believes economic fundamentals – including job growth, rising wages, and savings accumulated during the pandemic - will sustain consumer spending. The NRF also points to US gross domestic product growth of 2.6% in the third quarter as evidence that the US economy hasn’t slipped into recession. The NRF forecasts holiday spending will rise between 6% and 8% over 2021 levels to reach between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion. The outlook for 2022 is down from the 13.5% rise seen in 2021 but is better than the average 4.9% growth seen over the last decade.
                              • Amid inflation, 38% of consumers said they plan to spend less on gifts this holiday season than last year, according to a survey by Morning Consult released in November. About 45% of shoppers said they planned to spend about the same as they spent in 2021. The most popular gift category is gift cards, with 56% of survey respondents saying they planned to give them. Gift cards are not as affected by inflation as goods and allow for greater control over spending. Other popular gifts include apparel (39% of gift buyers), toys (36%), money (33%), and holiday food and alcohol (29%).
                              • US fabric mills may see less competition from China-based counterparts amid a continued slowdown in Chinese manufacturing activity and exports. While conditions have improved, China’s zero-COVID policy continues to pose challenges for the country’s manufacturing sector. The Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose slightly to 49.2 in October from 48.1 in September. A reading below 50 suggests output is contracting rather than expanding. While output and new orders declined, they did so at slower paces, and purchasing levels grew for the first time since May. However, exports contracted for the third consecutive month amid ongoing cost pressures. Input costs rose for the first time in three months, but manufacturer selling prices declined for the sixth straight month as producers promoted sales to move goods.
                              • The value of manufacturers’ textile mill shipments fell 0.2% in September compared to the prior month, according to the US Census Bureau. Shipment values were up 2.8% compared to September 2021.
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