Canvas and Related Products

SIC 2394

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

This category covers establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing awnings, tents, and related products from purchased fabrics. Establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing canvas bags are classified under SIC 2393: Textile Bags.

Some of the top canvas products manufactured in the United States include awnings, camping and non-camping tents, fitted and flat tarpaulins, and sails. The industry also produces goods such as fabric roofs for sports arenas, canvas bags, and customized carry cases for electronic items.

Approximately 1,449 companies operated in this category in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Most companies primarily producing canvas and related products were small, with about 85 percent employing fewer than 20 workers. The industry employed 19,395 workers in 2007, down slightly from 19,681 in 2000. Top-producing states in the late 2000s, according to Dun and Bradstreet's 2009 Industry Reports, included Michigan, California, Florida, and Texas.

The canvas and related products industry has become more of a custom industry since the 1950s, offering more colors than the well-known khaki or green. After growing steadily throughout the late 1990s, due to the booming U.S. economy, shipment values for canvas and related products made from cotton, nylon, polyester, and other industrial materials declined from a high of $1.7 billion in 2000 to $1.6 billion a year later. However, the industry rebounded in the early 2000s, climbing steadily to $2.6 billion in 2005 and reaching $2.7 billion in 2007.

One of the companies whose primary business was the manufacture of canvas and related products was American Recreation Products Inc. (ARP) of St. Louis, Missouri. ARP had annual sales of around $90 million in the mid-2000s and became a subsidiary of Sun Capital Partners in 2008. Other industry leaders included Birdair Inc. of Amherst, New York, with annual sales of $73 million; Hoover Industries Inc. of Miami, Florida, with estimated sales of $39 million; North Sails Group Inc. of Milford, Connecticut, with revenues of $35 million; and Anchor Industries Inc. of Evansville, Indiana, with sales of $25 million.

An important new product that came on the scene in the early 1990s was the flexible fabric side, called a curtainsider, for truck trailers. Some curtainsiders are made of synthetic textiles that resemble canvas but are cheaper and easier to clean, but the more expensive, true canvas is still offered for consumers who desire a more durable product and are willing to pay the higher price for better quality.

As with other segments of the textile industry, competition from overseas manufacturers represented a challenge to American canvas mills. For example, imports of canvas and related products from China alone totaled $271 million in 2005, up from $254 million in 2004. In 2008, figures from IBISWorld showed that in the textile bags and canvas mills segments together, U.S. exports were worth $150.8 million, whereas imports had a value of $993.3 million.

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