US. textile and apparel shipments totaled $76.8 billion in 2018. Automation continues to assist in the growth of U.S. manufacturing, and this is particularly the case in the textiles, clothing and footwear industries. From the intelligent harvesting of cotton to digital printing processes — a revival in the US textile industry is underway.

The geographical distribution of textiles production has seen a dramatic shift in the past 50 years, with manufacturers moving a proportion of their production facilities from Europe and North America, to Asia and other developing parts of the world. However, things are changing. According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) Executive Summary World Robotics 2019 report, there are five major markets for industrial robots — China, Japan, the United States, the Republic of Korea and Germany — which account for 74 percent of global robot installations.

In recent years, the increase in automation, coupled with the rapidly rising wages in Asia, has seen some manufacturers shun the offshore production business model. Instead, aided by good transportation infrastructure and a workforce that can handle new technologies, home soil offers new production draws. According to the Washington-based National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), the U.S. textile industry invested $22.8 billion in new plants and equipment from 2006 to 2017. It’s clear that textile manufacturers are shifting priorities to increase productivity and boost efficiency. Read More