The textile industry is the economic activity dedicated to the manufacture of threads, fibers, fabrics and other materials to obtain derived products such as clothing.
This industry then includes the manufacture of garments, footwear and other pieces that people use to dress.
The textile industry stands out, compared to other sectors, for the large amount of labor it employs throughout the world. In addition, since it requires light machinery, it can be installed anywhere in the world where it can take advantage of the lowest cost per man-hour of work.
The latter is a matter of concern for certain analysts who consider that large textile companies can exploit, paying low wages, workers in developing countries.
Characteristics of the textile industry
The main characteristics of the textile industry are:
- It falls within the light industry category. This, because it does not require large amounts of materials, compared to other sectors such as mining or metallurgy.
- Use both natural inputs, such as cotton or wool, and synthetics, such as polyester or nylon.
- Its products are usually consumed all year round and in a massive way.
- It belongs to the secondary sector of the economy, which transforms raw materials into goods for the final consumer.
- It is a sector closely linked to the fashion industry, from where trends in clothing are proposed. These, in turn, vary by country or region.
- The demand changes according to the time of year, varying the type of garments required. In summer, for example, the sale of jackets falls.
History of the textile industry
The textile activity, although not as an industry as such, has practically existed since the individual began to dress. At first, it was developed in homes and in a very traditional way.
Later, with the First Industrial Revolution, workshops began to be installed to produce constantly. This, with processes that still required a large amount of labor.
However, starting in the 19th century, the textile sector began to modernize with new technologies. Thus, higher volume production was developed without requiring a significant increase in the number of workers.
It should also be noted that from the twentieth century, synthetic fibers such as nylon or polyester began to gain ground. This, compared to natural inputs such as cotton and wool.
Textile industry processes
The processes of the textile industry are mainly:
- Obtaining the fiber, which can be of animal or synthetic origin.
- Spinning mill, which consists of treating the fiber to manufacture threads with which the final product can be made.
- The fabric, which is the procedure by which fabrics are manufactured by interlacing the threads mechanically or by hand.
- The dry cleaner, which is the process by which fabrics are painted.
- The tailoring, which is the final step where the fabrics are cut and sewn, based on a design. In this way, the merchandise that will be brought to market is obtained.