Thread Mills

SIC 2284

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

Establishments in this classification are primarily engaged in manufacturing thread from cotton, silk, manmade fibers, wool, or similar animal fibers. Important products in this category include sewing, crochet, darning, embroidery, tatting, hand knitting, and other handicraft threads. Establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing thread from flax, hemp, and ramie are included in SIC 2299: Textile Goods, Not Elsewhere Classified.

From $725 million in 1998 shipments to $224.2 million in 2008, the thread mills industry was contracting. The largest component of this category is sewing thread, which is primarily purchased by the apparel industry. Like most segments of the textile industry, the 298 establishments in the 2009 U.S. thread sector continued to be challenged by increased international competition as well as a weak domestic economy in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

Along with the decline in sales, total thread industry employment figures dropped. Employment of machinery operators in the textile industry overall was expected to continue to decline through 2018 because of changing trade regulations and labor saving machinery. Hourly production workers in thread mills earned less on average than many of their counterparts in other industries. North Carolina had the most mills and by far the most employees, accounting for over 70 percent of employees and 84 percent of revenues generated, followed by Georgia and Massachusetts.

According to a 2009 industry report from Dun and Bradstreet, just eight firms were primarily engaged in the manufacture of thread from natural fibers, employing 535 people (10 percent), but this segment led the industry with $328.4 million (80 percent) in revenues. Cotton thread, sewing thread, and thread from thread mills had the most employees with 1,319, 1,244, and 1,189, respectively. Despite the large number of employees, cotton thread was manufactured by just 13 firms (4.4 percent). Sewing thread had 29 firms (9.4 percent), and embroidery thread had 158 firms (53 percent).

In the late 2000s and early 2010s, U.S. thread making continued to decline with the overall decline of the textile industry. By the end of the 2000s, an estimated 80 percent of all thread consumed globally was being produced in low-cost markets of Asia, Eastern Europe, Central America, and the Caribbean.

In 2009, the United States exported $1.4 million worth of goods under the export category spun yarns, other yarns and thread. Honduras was the main recipient, receiving goods valued at $605,880, followed by the Dominican Republic ($241,029) and Mexico ($128,614).In the same year, the United States imported $154.9 million worth of goods under the category yarn for retail sale, sewing thread. Canada and Turkey were the top importers into the United States, shipping in goods valued at $36.3 million and $33.8 million, respectively. These two countries were followed by Mexico ($27.7 million) and China ($13.7 million).

American & Efird, Inc. of Mount Holly, North Carolina, posted sales in 2009 of $327.6 million. Coats North America De Republica Dominicana, Inc., located in Charlotte, North Carolina, was another industry leader; the company posted sales of $13.6 million in 2009. Liberty Throwing Company of Scranton, Pennsylvania, generated $6.4 million in revenues in 2009.

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News and information about Thread Mills

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