Textile Goods, NEC

SIC 2299

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

Companies that primarily weave wool felts and wool haircloth are classified in SIC 2231: Broadwoven Fabric Mills, Wool (Including Dyeing and Finishing). Those that primarily make needle punch carpeting are classified in SIC 2273: Carpets and Rugs. Businesses that primarily make lace goods are classified in SIC 2258: Lace and Warp Knit Fabric Mills, and those that primarily sort wiping rags or waste are classified in SIC 5093: Wholesale Trade.

Production, revenues, and employment in this segment of the textiles industry, like most others, were declining rapidly in the late 2000s. In 2009, 1,015 establishments employed 18,967 workers in the category of textile goods not classified elsewhere. Total annual sales for the industry were $1.94 billion. Georgia accounted for 43 percent of revenues, Massachusetts for 12 percent, and California for 8 percent. New York and North Carolina rounded out the top five states.

The overall decline in the textiles industry during the first decade of the twenty-first century was a result of weak economic conditions in the United States and increased imports from countries that utilize cheap labor. Imports from China, for example, totaled $720 million in 2004 and jumped to $857 million in 2005. That year, in an effort to reduce the amount of textile goods pouring into the United States from China, the two countries signed an agreement that allowed China to increase its textile imports to the United States by only a certain percentage each year. When the agreement ended in 2008, the National Committee of Textile Organizations and other industry organizations called for a new import-monitoring program on Chinese products. Although meetings on the issue were held between the United States and China in mid-2009, no agreement was reached.

The top industry leaders for this category in the late 2000s included Milliken and Co. of Spartanburg, South Carolina, with $2.3 billion in sales and 10,000 employees. WestPoint Stevens Inc., formerly of West Point, Georgia, filed for bankruptcy in 2003 after sales declined 9.1 percent to $1.6 billion and losses totaled $133 million. However, the company emerged from Chapter 11 in August 2005 and, after relocating to New York, changed its name to WestPoint Home Inc. With a workforce of about 4,000, Atlanta-based Interface Inc. had 2008 sales of $1.1 billion. Other significant companies in the industry included Russell Corp. of Atlanta, Georgia; Carpenter Co. of Richmond, Virginia; Ply Gem Industries Inc. of Kearney, Missouri; and Albany International Corp. of Albany, New York.

Employment in the textile manufacturing industry overall declined steadily in the first decade of the twenty-first century due to technological advances and imports from China and other lower-wage countries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that employment in the industry would fall an average of 5 percent annually, dropping from 69,070 in 2006 to 34,400 in 2016.

Environmental concerns continued to affect business in this category, especially those using textile by-products. Taking by-products to the landfill used to be common practice among all textile plants, but by the late 1990s this had become economically infeasible and environmentally unacceptable, and plants were looking for other outlets for their by-products. This opened up new opportunities for companies in this classification, and firms continued to study the feasibility of recycling textile waste.

One possibility of dealing with textile waste came in 2009 from researchers in India, who found that the Eisenia foetida (E. foetida), a particular species of earthworm grown commercially for composting, could be used at textile mills to reduce waste.

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