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Textile Industry

What does Textile Industry mean?

The textile industry, known in the UK and Australia as the rag trade, refers to all of the industries involved in the development, manufacturing, design, and distribution of textiles, fabrics, and clothing.

Heddels explains Textile Industry

Up until the Industrial Revolution, fabric and clothing were primarily made in the home for personal use or by individuals for resale on a small scale. It wasn’t until the eighteenth century with inventions such as the flying shuttle in 1733, the spinning jenny in 1764, and the power loom in 1784 that fabric began to be mass-produced and the textile industry was born. James Watt’s improved steam engine in 1775, Eli Whitney’s cotton gin in 1792, and Elias Howe’s sewing machine in 1846 all contributed greatly to the success of the textile industry as well.

Today, the textile industry is an international phenomenon comprised of every business involved in the producing, manufacturing, and distribution of textiles. This includes, among others, farms and producers, yarn and thread mills, natural and synthetic fabric mills, dye companies, wholesalers, and apparel manufacturers. In addition, one must remember all the other industries that rely on textiles for their success, such as companies that sell buttons, zippers, knitting supplies, sewing machines, looms, and drapery hardware.

Additional Resources

Here is a drawing of the textile industry during the industrial revolution:

Heddels Definitions - Textile Industry