Weft Knit Fabric Mills

SIC 2257

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

Establishments in this classification are primarily engaged in knitting weft, or circular, fabrics or in the dyeing or finishing of weft, or circular, fabrics. These companies may sell their fabrics to manufacturers of outerwear, underwear, or other products in the apparel or home furnishings industries. Companies engaged in knitting weft outerwear fabrics and subsequently producing outerwear in the same establishment are discussed in SIC 2253: Knit Outerwear Mills. Also, establishments engaged in knitting circular underwear and nightwear products and that manufacture the end-product at the same site are discussed in SIC 2254: Knit Underwear and Nightwear Mills. Overall, those companies who buy knit fabrics for the production of outerwear and underwear are described in the major group for apparel and other finished products made from fabrics and similar materials.

Fabrics produced in this category are used across the spectrum of finished goods, from leisure and active wear to more expensive evening wear. The handling of circular knit fabrics is a more delicate process than the handling of woven goods, because the fabrics are not as stable in the finished state. Extreme care must be taken and special containers must be used when shipping circular knit fabrics.

The industry changed in the late 1990s with the introduction of microdenier fabrics. These densely woven textiles mimic soft silk because they are woven from fabrics containing less than one denier per filament; this creates a fabric that feels like silk and costs considerably less.

The merging of many small- and mid-sized companies into giant conglomerates during the late 1990s helped the U.S. textile industry to buy and sell merchandise worldwide. This consolidation was largely due to changes in international trade agreements. For example, industry leader Guilford Mills' acquisition of Hofmann Laces Ltd. in 1996 was one of the largest in its history, part of a series of takeovers designed to help the company expand globally. In 1999, Guilford Mills began work on a huge textile and garment manufacturing park in Altamira, Mexico, to expand its foreign operations. However, due to increased competition from imports and a sluggish U.S. economy, the firm found itself unable to handle its mounting debt. Guilford Mills filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2002, from which it emerged later in the year. As part of its restructuring, the Wilmington, North Carolina-based firm shifted its focus from apparel fabrics to automotive fabrics. New York-based private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management purchased the company for approximately $98 million in 2004. Guilford Mills had 2,600 employees and annual sales of about $446 million in the mid-2000s.

Some companies that had been industry leaders in the late twentieth century had gone under by the end of the first decade of the twenty-first. For example, Dyersburg Corp., the nation's largest circular knitting company in the late 1990s, filed for bankruptcy and liquidated its operations in 2001. Collins & Aikman Textile Group, a 116-year-old company, filed for bankruptcy in 2005 and was bought out by International Automotive Components in 2007. Others struggled but stayed afloat. PolarTec LLC (formerly Malden Mills Industries) of Lawrence, Massachusetts, filed for bankruptcy protection twice between 2002 and 2007 but by 2008 had annual sales of $200 million with 1,000 employees. Companies that were more diversified seemed to survive the hard times of the early twenty-first century better. Textile giant Milliken & Company, with annual sales of almost $2.3 billion and 10,000 employees in 2008, continued to operate 55 plants worldwide and owned one of the largest textile research centers in the world.

As of 2008, 80 establishments, 31 percent of which were located in North Carolina, employed approximately 4,325 people in the weft knit fabric mills industry. North Carolina also had the greatest number of employees, with 2,157, and accounted for 55 percent of the $213.8 million in total sales. California was a distant second in terms of employment, with 871 workers in the industry, and Massachusetts was third with 280. Tennessee registered $28.8 million in revenues and California had $26.7 million.

In the mid- to late 2000s, the rise of a global economy--with China leading the way--took a bite out of the textile industry as a whole, with imports of Chinese weft knit fabric reaching $912 million in 2005, up significantly from a total of $394 million in 2004. As textile imports from China flooded the U.S. market, the apparel and textile industry closed plants and cut thousands of jobs. The United States and China reached a three-year agreement in 2005 that stipulated Chinese textile imports could increase only 10 to 15 percent in 2006, 12.5 to 16 percent in 2007, and 15 to 17 percent in 2008. In 2008, when the agreement ended, the National Committee of Textile Organizations and other industry organizations lobbied Congress for a new import-monitoring program on Chinese products. The respective governments held meetings on the issue in mid-2009, but no agreement was reached. However, some industry experts in the United States expressed optimism based on July 2009 figures that showed textile imports from China were down 12 percent (to $16.4 billion) compared to July 2008.

Employment in the textile manufacturing industry overall declined steadily in the first decade of the twenty-first century due to technological advances and imports of apparel and textiles 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.

© COPYRIGHT 2018 The Gale Group, Inc. This material is published under license from the publisher through the Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan. All inquiries regarding rights should be directed to the Gale Group. For permission to reuse this article, contact the Copyright Clearance Center.

News and information about Weft Knit Fabric Mills

Research and Markets Adds Report: Weft Knit Fabric Mills Industry in the U.S. and its International Trade [2010 Edition].
Health & Beauty Close-Up; September 6, 2010; 700+ words
...Relations US's Updated report "Weft Knit Fabric Mills Industry in the U.S. and...include: The newly published Weft Knit Fabric Mills Industry report provides the...equivalent codes are: 2257 - Weft Knit Fabric Mills (except finishing ...
Resampling of industries.
PPI Detailed Report; July 1, 2008; 700+ words
...spinning mills 313112 Yarn texturizing and twisting mills 313113 Thread mills 313230 Nonwoven fabric mills 313241 Weft knit fabric mills 313249 Other knit fabric and lace mills 323112 Commercial flexographic printing 325132 Synthetic organic dye and...
Table 5. Producer price indexes for the net output of selected industries and their products, not seasonally adjusted.(Part 2)(Statistical table)
PPI Detailed Report; May 1, 2008; 700+ words
...products, not seasonally adjusted Industry Product Industry and product (1) code code Knit fabric mills 31324 Weft knit fabric mills 313241 Primary products 313241-P Weft (circular) knit fabrics greige 313241-1 goods (except hosiery) Finished...
Research and Markets Adds Report: Weft Knit Fabric Mills Industry in the U.S. and its International Trade [2010 Edition].
Health & Beauty Close-Up; September 6, 2010; 700+ words
...Relations US's Updated report "Weft Knit Fabric Mills Industry in the U.S. and its International...include: The newly published Weft Knit Fabric Mills Industry report provides...Establishments in this industry may knit only; knit and finish; or ...
Table 5. Producer price indexes for the net output of selected industries and their products, not seasonally adjusted.(Part 2)(Statistical table)
PPI Detailed Report; May 1, 2008; 700+ words
...Product Industry and product (1) code code Knit fabric mills 31324 Weft knit fabric mills 313241 Primary products 313241-P Weft (circular) knit fabrics greige 313241-1 goods (except hosiery) Finished...
Resampling of industries.
PPI Detailed Report; July 1, 2008; 700+ words
...miscellaneous food manufacturing 313111 Yarn spinning mills 313112 Yarn texturizing and twisting mills 313113 Thread mills 313230 Nonwoven fabric mills 313241 Weft knit fabric mills 313249 Other knit fabric and lace mills 323112 Commercial ...
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT - THERMAL FABRIC GETS WARMER WITH WASHING
Medical Textiles; January 1, 1990; 700+ words
...fragmentary view of a weft-knit thermal fabric of...floor 23. The base fabric here is a 1 x 1 rib...method of knitting the fabric. The vertical columns...respectively indicate tuck, knit and welt. One complete...unsatisfactory for underwear fabrics because of its ...
Textured Jersey Wins "Firm of the Year" Title
The Daily Mirror (Colombo, Sri Lanka); June 10, 2015; 700+ words
...becoming the Best Mill in this region...achievement by a local fabric manufacturing company...Lanka's leader in Weft knit Fabric manufacturing were...Innovative high quality fabrics."TJL who is top of the class for their fabric innovations and reputed...

Search all articles about Weft Knit Fabric Mills