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 730 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 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 fabric mill industry consists of about 730 companies that employ 43,400 workers and generate $13 billion 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 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. More than 20% of all fabric mill jobs were located in Georgia and North Carolina in 2021.
                              Industry Forecast
                              Fabric Mills Industry Growth
                              Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                              Recent Developments

                              Mar 6, 2024 - Producer Prices Flat, Employment Down
                              • Producer prices for fabric mills remained stable in 2023, after experiencing several years of steady growth following the pandemic, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, employment in the industry has decreased significantly, with a decline of December 7.7% in 2023 compared to the previous year and a 17.7% decrease from 2019. Wages for the textile mills industry, which includes fabric mills, have increased by nearly 24% from 2019 to 2023 as manufacturers compete in a tight labor market, per the BLS. Average hourly wages in the industry saw an uptick in Q4 2023, reaching nearly $21 an hour.
                              • Consumer confidence levels fell in February 2024 after increasing for three consecutive months, according to data from The Conference Board. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index fell to 106.7 in February 2024 from 110.9 in January 2024. According to Dana Peterson, Chief Economist at The Conference Board, “The decline in consumer confidence in February interrupted a three-month rise, reflecting persistent uncertainty about the US economy. The drop in confidence was broad-based, affecting all income groups except households earning less than $15,000 and those earning more than $125,000.” Peterson added that the decline in consumer confidence was largest in householders over 55 and those under 35. Plans to purchase homes, autos, and large appliances decreased slightly on a six-month basis.
                              • Fabric mills will have to monitor minimum wage changes, as 22 states increased their minimum wages in January 2024, according to USA Today. States that raised their minimum wages in January 2024 include Hawaii ($14), Maryland ($15), Nebraska ($12), and Washington ($16.28). About half of the increases are automatic adjustments linked to inflation. Several states are set to boost their minimum wage levels later this year, including Florida (up to $13 in September) and Nevada (up to $12 in July). According to the Economic Policy Institute, nearly 40 US cities and counties will increase their minimum wage rates above state levels at the start of the new year. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, and more than 20 states, primarily located in the South and the Midwest, use the federal minimum as their wage floor.
                              • US manufacturing activity contracted in February 2024, falling below the baseline for growth for the sixteenth consecutive month, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing ISM Report on Business. The Manufacturing PMI registered 47.8% in February, down 1.3 percentage points from the 49.1% recorded in January. A reading above 50% indicates manufacturing expansion. February’s New Orders Index was in the contraction zone at 40.2%. The February Production Index was 48.4%, a decrease from January’s 50.4%. Eight manufacturing industries tracked by the ISM reported growth in February: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Primary Metals; Plastics & Rubber Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Chemical Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; and Transportation Equipment. The industries reporting contraction in February were Furniture & Related Products; Machinery; Wood Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Paper Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components.
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