Finishers of Textiles, NEC

SIC 2269

Industry report:

Companies included in this category are those that dye and finish textiles, not elsewhere classified, such as bleaching, dyeing, printing, and finishing of raw stock, yarn, braided goods, and narrow fabrics, except wool and knit fabrics. These establishments perform finishing operations on purchased textiles or on a commission basis.

Most companies in this category dye raw stock or yarn. (Any fiber may be dyed in the raw stock or yarn form.) Business declined steadily throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s for companies engaged in raw stock or package dyeing. Although analysts had expected business to continue to grow because "fancy" fabrics, such as plaids, stripes, and various patterns, required that yarn be colored prior to weaving or knitting, demand throughout the textile industry began to wane. In 2009, this industry had 220 establishments that employed 5,800 and generated $481.5 million in revenues. California, North Carolina, and New York had the greatest concentration.

In 2001, approximately 450 U.S. companies were engaged in finishing textiles, not elsewhere classified. This represented a substantial increase from the 178 firms reported in 1991, but by the mid-2000s, that number had dropped to an estimated 258 companies. In 2001, these businesses shipped $465.6 million worth of goods, which was less than half of the $1.2 billion shipped in this category in 1991. Textile and fabric finishers employed 24,294 people in 2000 with a total annual payroll of $653 million. By 2007, that number had dropped to 6,702 employees, with the majority being hourly production workers.

In 2007, there were 90 finishing plants that held a combined 34.9 percent of market share and employed 2,420 workers. The majority of revenue resulted from the printing of cotton labels sector of the industry, which posted $925.9 million in sales for 15.5 percent of market share. The dyeing of raw stock, yarn, and narrow fabrics sector was comprised of 41 companies that employed 2,361 workers and reported combined revenues of $137.9 million. Other important sectors in the industry were the chemical coating or treating of narrow fabric, which posted $29.7 million in sales, and the dyeing, finishing, and printing of linen fabrics, which reported $27.6 million in sales.

Reflecting the ongoing decline in this industry, the total number of establishments in this industry fell to 220 in 2009. These establishments combined to employ 5,832 and generated $481.5 million in revenues. The number of finishing plants fell from 90 in 2007 to 71 in 2009. This sector, which made up 32.3 percent of all firms in the industry, employed 2,592 and generated $260.3 million in revenues. The printing of cotton labels sector was down dramatically, falling to just $26.4 million in 2009--likely reflecting a major firm leaving the business sector. The 32 firms that made up the dyeing of raw stock, yarn, and narrow fabrics sector accounted for 1,122 employees and $99 million in revenues. Eight firms engaged in finishing of raw stock, yarn, and narrow fabrics; they combined to employ 616 and generate $24.6 million in revenues. The chemical coating or treating of narrow fabrics sector, which was made up of eight firms, employed 328 and had revenues of $21.2 million.

In the late 2000s and into the early 2010s, the textile finishers were battling a number of trends. Employment and production numbers had been slipping for over two decades as more and more of the U.S. textile industry was moved overseas and as imports of textiles rose rapidly. In addition, a recession, which began in 2008, dampened demand. Finally, the cost of raw goods, such as cotton and wool, rose during the late 2000s, driving up the cost of doing business. According to a 2010 report by Research and Markets, the overall broadwoven fabric finishing mills industry only operated at 37 percent of its full production capacity in 2009. The industry, which had revenues of $2.9 billion in that year, had the potential to generate approximately $7.8 billion if operating at full capacity.

Industry leader Knoll Inc. of East Greenville, Pennsylvania generated 2009 sales of $780 million with 3,177 employees. Founded in 1938, Knoll Inc. created workplace furnishings, office systems, seatings, tables, desks, storage, textiles, and accessories. Milwaukee-based Meridian Industries, which generated estimated sales of $300 million with 1,500 employees, was another industry leader. Founded in 1943, Meridian consisted of five businesses: Aurora Specialty Textile Groups, Inc.; Kent Elastomer Products Inc.; Kleen Test Products Corporation Inc.; Majilite Corporation, and Meridian Specialty Yarn Group, Inc. Other industry leaders in 2007 included Paxar Corporation in White Plains, New York, and Ronile, Inc., of Rocky Mount, Virginia.

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News and information about Finishers of Textiles, NEC

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