The history of American textile manufacturing is the story of an industry that has always been on the move. Born along the rivers of New England, textile factories contributed to a growing industrial economy before moving south for lower business costs. Decades later, many of the factories moved again—this time overseas.
It's not easy to manufacture a product domestically that consumers expect to purchase for low prices. But after years of outsourcing, certain signs are pointing to a revival of American textile manufacturing. This is due to multiple factors, including lower energy costs and concerns about the treatment of foreign workers.
As noted by an article on Manufacturing.net, some companies are choosing to stay and invest in domestic manufacturing. One example is that of clothing company American Giant, which is based in Gaffney, South Carolina. Founder Bayard Winthrop told the New York Times that a domestic factory was, in fact, a cheaper option.
"When I framed the business, I wasn't saying, 'From the cotton in the ground to the finished product, this is going to be all American-made,'" he told the news source. "It wasn't some patriotic quest." Winthrop added that domestic manufacturing allowed for lower transportation costs and faster turnaround, both of which benefited the bottom line.
In fact, evidence suggests that southern states have successfully used a combination of tax breaks and available facilities to entice textile companies to return to domestic shores. Steady growth in this sector of the economy promises more demand for CNC machining services in the coming years.