In 2021, the global textile market size was valued at USD 993.6 billion. This is anticipated to grow further at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.0% from 2022 to 2030. This highlights how important the textile manufacturing industry is for all countries globally.
Textile manufacturing is a major industry. It is largely based on the conversion of fiber into yarn, then yarn into fabric. The fabric is then dyed or printed and fabricated into cloth which is then converted into useful goods like household items, clothing, upholstery, and various industrial products.
The ever-expanding nature of this industry has brought with it the need to implement systems that will make textile manufacturing a more productive and profitable business. But, to better understand why you need such a system and how it can help you, let us first understand textile manufacturing.
This article will cover the following topics:
- What is Textile Manufacturing?
- Historical and Modern Textile Manufacturing
- What is the Process of Textile Manufacturing?
- Different Types of Textile Production
- Tips for Crushing Textile Manufacturing
- Smart Manufacturing Software for Textile Manufacturing
- How can Deskera Help You with Textile Manufacturing?
- Key Takeaways
- Related Articles
What is Textile Manufacturing?
Textile manufacturing is an old but massively important industry. It is a huge and diverse industry that is basically involved with the conversion of fiber into yarn and then yarn into fabric. These fabrics are then printed, dyed, or fabricated into clothes, household products, upholstery, and various industrial products.
Whether it is the clothes we wear, the art we appreciate, or the carpets we walk on, all of these stem from the same manufacturing processes. They can either provide comfort or are essential for survival. In fact, textiles are an important staple to culture all around the world and to existence in general.
In textile manufacturing, different types of fibers are used to produce yarn, but cotton is the most important natural fiber among them all. What needs to be noted here is that textiles are classified according to their component fibers into:
They can also be classified according to their component synthetic fibers like:
There are also some inorganic fibers, based on which your textiles can be classified. These are:
- Cloth of gold
- Glass fiber
- Asbestos cloth
Additionally, your textiles are classified further based on their:
- Structure or weave
- The manner in which weft and warp cross each other in the loom
The factors that will determine the value and quality of your textiles are:
- Quality of raw materials used.
- The character of the yarn spun from the fibers like clean, fine, smooth, and coarse. It also includes whether they are soft, hard, or medium twisted.
- Density of weave
- Finishing processes
One of the modified forms of plain cloth weaving is a tapestry, which is sometimes classed as embroidery. In fact, the weaving of rugs and carpets is a special branch of the textile industry.
Other specially prepared fabrics that are not woven are felt and bark (or tapa) cloth. These are beaten or matted together. However, in some cases, like in crochet and netting work and various laces, a single thread is looped or plaited.
Nowadays, most textiles are produced in factories with the use of highly specialized power looms. There are, however, certain exceptions to this, like many of the finest brocades, velvets, and table linens that are still made by hand.
Thus, textile production is a long and complex process that produces tons of different finished products. These textile production processes can be, but are not limited to:
While the term textile comes from the Latin word “textilis” and the french “exere,” which translates to “to weave,” it was used to refer to only woven fabrics. But today, as the methods and processes have evolved over time, textiles have come to include many different fabrics and materials.
Historical and Modern Textile Manufacturing
The earliest textile manufacturing process was undertaken using a piece of thread (regardless of material), from which loops were created in a repeated movement to design basketry and nets. The oldest known evidence of people using this method of textile manufacturing is during the Neolithic period.
The Silk Road (207 BCE - 220 CE) was an ancient trade network. This network saw goods like ivory, iron, pottery, horses, and the most coveted of all silk pass through. In fact, silk is one of the most influential commodities ever produced. This is because it led to the first steps of globalization.
Jumping forward to the industrial revolution and the periods beyond it, large-scale textile manufacturing processes were being implemented. These used machines, equipment, and software that automated the process, including the designing and production of fabrics. With the help of automation, these processes were completed in an incredibly short amount of time, improving a company’s cash flow, and increasing its gross profit.
Today, the companies in this industry are struggling to stay profitable, increase their productivity, and create products that are not only different from others but also of better quality. It is because of these reasons that implementing an MRP system like Deskera MRP has become vital.
Such a system will help you find and manage your competitive edge while ensuring that your customers are satisfied, you are creating positive brand awareness, and your revenue and net profit ratios are increasing.
What is the Process of Textile Manufacturing?
Understanding the whole process of textile manufacturing is the key to understanding as well as optimizing your business. This section of the article will take you through the textile manufacturing process. This process is as follows:
The process of textile manufacturing begins with the cultivation of natural textile fibers. This means that the first step in the production of textiles is harvesting raw fiber and sourcing it.
Fibers are extracted from:
- Plant or
- Animal or
- Mineral sources
They are then processed into a continuous strand known as yarn.
There are many types of fibers like:
And so on. Additionally, today, man-made or synthetic fibers are also used in textile manufacturing. These include but are not limited to the following:
Spinning or Yarn Manufacturing
Yarn manufacturing is the textile process of turning raw materials into yarn. To create the final yarn of thread, raw materials are sorted, cleaned, and then mixed together. This is used in weaving, knitting, or crocheting. Yarn can also be called a thread when it is used for sewing purposes.
Yarn manufacturing is known as the mother of the textile manufacturing process. Mainly, yarn is done by spinning together fibers such as cotton fiber, wool, or synthetic fibers. While originally, the yarn used to be made from animal hair, today, the same is not the case.
In fact, the market has many different types of yarn today. This is because textile manufacturers have found ways to make them out of other things like hemp, basalt, or bamboo. Yarn can also be made from recycled materials like plastic and polyethylene. In the case of synthetic yarn production, it is turned into petroleum-based products like rayon and polyesters.
While yarn manufacturing is a complex textile manufacturing process that takes place in different factories based on the type of yarn being created, the main theme of textile processing will always stay similar.
The first step in yarn manufacturing is raw material preparation. For this, raw materials must be sorted, cleaned, and mixed together to create the final textile product.
For example, if the raw material is wool or cotton, then you will have to ensure that any debris that might contaminate a batch is removed. If, however, your raw material is bamboo, then you will need to strip away its outer layer before spinning it into sewing thread for knitting projects.
After the raw materials are prepared, they are spun into yarn through a process called spinning. Spinning is done using machines with steel bobbins that have been wound with fiber or spinning material, known as roving. This can come from natural sources such as wool or cotton.
The machine winds the roving around a bobbin and then pulls it between two rollers that turn at different speeds to create the yarn. Here, some machines can also “twist” in order to add strength and elasticity to the final product.
Fabric Manufacturing Process
Also known as weaving, the fabric manufacturing process is the next step in textile production. Here, yarn is taken from one machine and transferred to another machine in order to create a length of fabric.
This process is completed using machines that turn yarn into lengths, which are then fed onto a loom with different types of colors or threads on specific sections called harnesses.
The warp (lengths) must be fitted precisely between the two sides of the heddles before the loom is turned on and the weaving process begins. Once a length of textile fabric has been created, it is removed from the looms and then sewn together to create a finished product.
There are four types of fabrics that are produced in the garments industry. These are:
- Woven fabric
- Knit fabric
- Nonwoven fabric
- Braided fabric
Fabric Wet Processing
This is a process used to dye and finish textiles. The dyeing process involves the application of colorants to fabric in order for it to become colored. The wet preparatory processes are:
- Fabric inspection
Textile finishing may involve adding additional properties such as soil release, anti-pill, or flame retardant treatments with different textile auxiliaries. This is applied chemically before packaging and shipping. What needs to be noted here is that there are several types of textile finishing that can be done by hand or machine.
Textile printing includes the use of inkjet printing on fabrics like sweatshirts, aprons, children’s clothes, t-shirts, etc. It also includes screen printing on various types of clothing, including hats, shirts, etc. Some of the types of textile printing are:
- Digital textile printing uses computers/plotters to print onto fabric
- Flexography which prints onto plastic film
- Gravure printing which prints with engraved cylinders onto paper
- Dye sublimation printing, where heat-activated chemicals are transferred onto a carrier medium from an inkjet printer
Garment Manufacturing Process
Garment manufacturing is the heart of yarn manufacturing. The steps involved in the garment manufacturing process are:
- Garments design- This could be provided by the buyer, or you will need textile design in the designing section. When garments are received from the buyer, their design starts with a technical sheet. This step can either be done manually, or it can be automated.
- Pattern making- Based on the garments' design, technical sheet, and artwork, the pattern master makes the pattern for all garments. Today, however, this can be done with an automated machine. Patterns are drawn, keeping in mind the different components of apparel by standard body measurements. They are often known as basic blocks or block patterns.
- Sample making- After the perfect pattern has been made, a complete apparel sample is made to ensure that it meets the requirements of your buyers. Once this sample is approved by the buyer as per their required specifications, it is known as an approved sample.
This will help in ensuring that the pattern adheres to the instructions issued for complete apparel production. This will help in saving your expenses while also keeping your customers satisfied.
- Production pattern making- The approved sample is followed by the counter sample, which is made for bulk production. Here, an additional extra measurement with exact or actual measurement is taken. This is known as an allowance, which is crucial for bulk production. Allowance can either be added manually or using the computer and is often known as a working pattern.
- Grading- Grading is the stepwise decrease or increase of the block or master pattern to produce different patterns and sizes. In bulk garments, production grading is important to maintain the production's size ratio. It is graded according to the buyer’s instructions.
- Marker making- A marker is a thin paper containing every apparel part. Marker-making helps to produce the cutting process smoothly. This step can be done manually as well as by using automation.
- Fabric spreading- This is one of the crucial parts of the garment production process. This is also known as fabric lying. This process is undertaken after a process named fabric relaxing is undertaken.
The main objective of fabric relaxation is to relax and contract the fabrics. This makes the fabric ready for the garment production process.
The benefit of this process is that it not only helps in preventing fabric strain at several stages but also helps in reducing fabric shrinkage. Post this, the fabric is spread on a long table so that it can be cut properly.
Currently, fabric spreading is done using automation. However, it still requires skilled manpower to spread the fabric properly. Thus, it is during the fabric spreading process that any fabric fault from the production line is detected.
- Fabric cutting- The fabrics need to be cut according to the marker. To do so, the process starts with fabric lying, marking, and then cutting. This is one of the most essential steps, as once the fabric is cut, there is no going back.
Hence, this can negatively affect your sewing process if not undertaken properly. This process can be done manually with a straight and sharp knife or through a computerized cutting system.
- Cutting parts sorting and bundling- After the errorless cutting, all the parts are sorted out according to the bundle tag. The bundle tag represents the fabric component bundle to identify the component. It is required to maximize production and maintain it. However, this step is not required in cases of single-garment production.
- Sewing- Here, all the cutting components of fabric are sewn together to make the garment or part of the garment as required. This is done manually and depends on the skills of the workers.
- Garments inspection- Final garment inspection is an important part of quality control. Higher the quality of your garment, the better your factory is represented. This step is undertaken manually.
Often, garment factories set a commodity standard to measure production output. Quality control is the most complicated section where the quality of your garments will be defined based on the inspection.
- Spot removing, ironing, and finishing- This step happens after the production defects are identified in the quality control, and marked with a sticker. The garments are now taken to the spot cleaning area. Here, your apparels will be cleaned with the help of hot water, steam, or chemical stain remover. Then it goes for manual ironing and finishing.
- Final inspection- A final quality control check is done to ensure that your buyer’s requirements are met. Sometimes this is also done by the agents of your buyer. This step is always carried out manually.
- Garments packing- Once all the above-mentioned steps are completed, your garments will be packed. The packing is carried out by using the buyer’s instructed poly bag. This step can be done either manually or it can be automated.
- Cartooning and shipment- Once your garments are packed, they are cartooned to reduce the damage of the garments. This is done in accordance with the buyer’s instructions. Post cartooning, shipment starts.
Different Types of Textile Production
Textile production is the process of interweaving fibers to form a more complex pattern or object. Currently, there are at least six forms of textile production. These include:
- Spread tow
In these crafts, hundreds of separate materials are used. These are categorized into the following four main groups:
- Anima; textiles
- Plant textiles
- Mineral textiles
- Synthetic textiles
This is a textile manufacturing method that interlaces long strands of cloth in both horizontal and vertical patterns. For this textile production, a device called a loom is incorporated. With the loom, hundreds of different patterns are made possible.
The several examples of woven items range from bed sheets to bulletproof vests and thousands of creations in between.
Traditionally, knitting is a type of textile production that is completed by hand with a needle or a crochet hook. Today though, industries have incorporated large knitting machines.
Crocheting is another type of textile manufacturing that would fall under this category. In fact, there are several types of clothing that are produced from knitting, using a variety of materials.
This is a form of textile production in which two similar fabrics are taken and then twisted into knots by using a predefined pattern.
Normally, a braided material has a much greater overall strength if made correctly. This is why numerous types of ropes are created this way.
Knotting is a similar process that falls under the same category of textile manufacturing. In knotting, though, the shapes that are created are often not uniform.
This is a type of textile production that varies vastly from other processes discussed above. In this method, nothing is being interlaced together physically.
Instead, various components are forced together under large amounts of pressure. They are then twisted together so that they become entangled.
To prevent them from tearing or breaking during the process, these fibers are normally treated with some type of lubricant, like a detergent.
This is a term that is almost exclusively applicable to synthetic materials like polyester or nylon. It is that type of textile production where these synthetic components are connected by means of pressure, heat, or adhesive.
This method of textile production is similar to weaving. This is because, in this method, small, lightweight components are made into a tape and then woven together with similar pieces.
Tips for Crushing Textile Manufacturing
Textile manufacturing is an industry with high competition, risk of increasing operational costs and manufacturing overheads, easy duplication of products and their quality, and loss of customer loyalty and USPs of businesses.
Thus, to establish your business amongst the other textile manufacturing companies more, or to become more competitive, you should implement some strategies. Some of the tips and strategies that will help you in crushing textile manufacturing are:
Sell Original Artwork
The tricky part of textile manufacturing companies is deciding how to advertise and sell your work. Some of the ways for the same are:
- Get art gallery representation
- Attend open studios, trade and craft fairs, art exhibitions
- Look at art marketing sites
- Build your own website
- Online marketplaces such as Etsy
- Sell across social media channels
And so on.
It is, however, recommended that you opt for a multi-channel selling strategy so that you are able to mitigate your challenges while maximizing your opportunities.
Checking out textile manufacturing forums might help you in choosing the best approach for you. You should even research the market in your area to see which approaches your competitors choose and what is trending right now.
Art licensing is a contract between manufacturers or retailers and artists that allows sellers to use their artwork to sell their products. Essentially, this means that you are allowing another business to use your copyrighted products.
For example, VIDA is a manufacturer that teams up with artists to secure the rights to use their designs and sells them on the artists’ behalf.
This method is thus a great collaboration opportunity for someone who wants to get into textile manufacturing but lacks the resources or tools to do so.
A similar but slightly different approach to the same is one where you team up with a contract manufacturer to get your foot in the door of large-scale textile manufacturing.
Become an Industry Leader
One of the best ways to succeed in this industry is by becoming an industry leader. This means that you are the go-to person for anyone who is looking for tips and tricks when it comes to textile manufacturing. You can do this through blogs, podcasts, vlogs, newspaper publications, magazine publications, etc.
While this is a long-term strategy that will require a lot of work to be put in, in order to be successful, the benefits that you will gain from the same will be worth all the efforts.
This will become your boots-on-the-ground approach to monetizing your efforts in textile manufacturing. When you are organizing and running workshops, you will be able to establish yourself as an industry expert, at least locally.
If you are taking your workshops online or traveling far for them, you will be able to establish yourself as an industry expert in larger areas. This thus becomes one of the most effective ways of undertaking brand marketing that will result in a positive brand image and encourage returning customers.
The various formats of workshops that you can choose from are:
- In-person groups
- One-on-one coaching sessions
- Teaching online courses
Remember, if you decide to hold workshops at a location that requires you to travel, it is essential for you to have a system in place that will allow for easy raw material inventory management.
This is because your own material will be in transit, and if all of your material is not used, it will head back to your warehouse.
Thus, without an inventory management system in place, it will become very easy for materials to become lost or for you to order more/fewer materials than are needed.
Sell Patterns and Kits
Considering that textile manufacturing is a popular hobby, you could design blueprints of your designs and create a starter pack for other aspiring artists through kitting. You could sell kits as:
- Personalized products
- Subscription boxes
- Seasonal promotions
In fact, you can even choose to do a promotional giveaway, which will become a quick and easy way to generate buzz around your textile manufacturing brand, and in the long run, increase the ratio of operating income to operating expenses.
Commissions are where you will be reaching out to corporations, individuals, and public and state organizations to make products through bespoke manufacturing (i.e., customized manufacturing).
Irrespective of the fact that customized products have longer manufacturing lead time, they will interest your customers more and result in increasing your revenue.
This is because, nowadays, customers tend to prefer products that tell a story and are ethically sourced. This thus is an amazing opportunity for you to succeed in the textile manufacturing industry.
Like art licensing, designing and selling designs via a 3rd party printer will allow you to sell your prints via these textile manufacturers. For example, Spoonflower will take your designs and sell them as wallpaper, fabrics, and home décor.
Smart Manufacturing Software for Textile Manufacturing
Implementing smart manufacturing software for textile manufacturing will support your business and automate several of its processes.
This software will be useful to all the businesses in the textile manufacturing industry, whether it is a small workshop scaling their embroidery business or an industrial factory that produces the fabric, and every scale textile manufacturing business in between.
This software will support your businesses by giving you a birds-eye view of your entire business and the tools to help achieve efficiency in them. These tools include but are not limited to:
- Workflow management
- Inventory management
- Order fulfillment management
Thus, adopting smart manufacturing software into your business will help in relieving pressure by scraping your inefficient excel spreadsheets and other software that you might have implemented to automate your processes. This will be replaced by an MRP system that comes with easy-to-read visual dashboards and predictive analytics functionality.
Other functionalities that such a system should come with are:
An Unparalleled Auto-Booking System
An auto-booking system will help you in removing all the hassle of manual inventory management. It will make it very easy for you to track your finished goods and raw materials inventory.
Now, if your customer purchases something or you create a manufacturing order, the software automatically takes available material and allocates it to those open orders.
This will therefore enable you to not only know your stock levels and order deadlines in real time but also help you with just-in-time inventory management methods if that is what you have opted for. Thus, you would have total order fulfillment control at the tip of your fingertips.
Such a system will also automatically calculate your manufacturing costs, giving you a chance to prepare for your expenses.
Production Management Tools
Regardless of whether you are following the make-to-order or make-to-stock business model, this software will allow you to track your production progress on the factory floor or at a team member level. This information and insights will help you with resource capacity planning and shop floor scheduling.
In fact, while these systems and their predictive analytics feature will prioritize orders based on their due dates and complexities, they will also have the option where they will let you reprioritize your workflow.
For example, you get an emergency VIP order with a close due date but easier complexities, but you need to complete it first. This feature will let you automatically redistribute your allocated raw materials to complete the new workflow.
Only if the system you choose integrates with other software will you be able to export information from them to this software. Additionally, it will also make it possible to integrate with your favorite eCommerce platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce, as well as with your bank.
This functionality will help your company to create synergy from sales to manufacturing to financing. It also ensures that your entire business is centralized onto one dashboard and that once you have integrated your other accounts, you can synchronize and streamline all of your data. This means that any changes to inventory, customers, sales, and finances will update live across all accounts.
How can Deskera Help You with Textile Manufacturing?
As a business owner, it is crucial that you stay on top of your manufacturing processes and resource management.
You must manage production cycles, resource allocations, and much more to achieve this.
Deskera MRP is the one tool that lets you do all of the above. With Deskera, you can:
- Track raw materials and finished goods inventory
- Manage production plans and routings
- Maintain bill of materials
- Optimize resource allocations
- Generate detailed reports
- Create custom dashboards
And a lot more.
It is also possible to export information and data on Deskera MRP from other systems. Additionally, Deskera MRP will give you analytics and insights to help you make decisions.
So go ahead and book a demo for Deskera MRP today!
Textile manufacturing is a series of processes that are involved in the conversion of fiber into yarn and then yarn into fabric. The fabrics are then printed or dyed, or fabricated into cloth which is converted into useful goods like household items, cloths, upholstery, armor, and various industrial products.
The textile manufacturing industry is facing challenges in terms of increasing competition and duplication, rising costs of raw materials, increasing demands, and constantly changing preferences of consumers. Being able to have a productive, profitable, and successful business has thus become a challenge.
Considering these challenges and how the current advancement in technology can solve them, as well as save resources by automating several processes involved in textile manufacturing, implementing smart textile manufacturing systems has become crucial.
This implementation will help in workflow management, inventory management, and order fulfillment management. Deskera MRP is one of the best systems for the same.