Textile Production Techniques: US
According to experts, some of the most cost-effective techniques for textile production are to improve worker efficiency and use less/waste less materials. To improve worker efficiency, manufacturers can implement techniques such as refining their hiring process to only hire skilled workers and launching new skill training for their existing staff. This technique was used by Dixie Specialty Fibers in Georgia, wherein they partnered with Georgia Quick Start and Georgia Northwestern Technical College to develop a training program and a pipeline of skilled labor. To use less/waste less materials, manufacturers can implement techniques such as identifying areas in which excess material is being wasted improving efficiency in these areas, as well as recycling. For example, The Renewal Workshop is a company that partners with brands to recycle their excess inventory in a way that garners the highest value.
Improve Worker Efficiency
About this Technique:
- Improving worker efficiency is noted by experts as a way in which manufacturers can reduce costs and can be accomplished through various methods such as hiring only skilled labor, implementing new skill training for existing staff, and simplifying the production line to minimize time spent performing each task.
- In the textile industry, experts suggest manufacturers should implement human resources strategies that focus on recruiting skilled labor and develop programs that help train employees on how to adapt to new, production-improving technologies.
Example 1 of Technique Adoption:
- Dixie Specialty Fibers entered into a partnership with Georgia Quick Start and Georgia Northwestern Technical College to help staff Dixie Specialty Fiber's new 125,000 sq. ft. facility in Georgia.
- Quick Start's role in the partnership is to create training materials, simulations and training instructors, while Georgia Northwestern Technical College will serve as a "continuous pipeline of qualified workers for the facility".
- To start off, Dixie Specialty Fibers will be providing 100 new jobs in Chattooga County.
Use Less/Waste Less Materials
About this Technique:
- Designing products that require the use of fewer materials is another great way to reduce costs. This can be done by minimizing the amount of material that can be used in a single unit without sacrificing the overall quality of the product, or identifying materials that are not contributing directly to the product and working to eliminate or minimize them (i.e. documentation, packaging, etc), and also looking for ways in which material is being wasted during the production process and improving efficiency in those areas.
- As the cost of raw textile materials has been rising globally, experts note that it's important for textile manufacturers to refine their production processes in a way that focuses on raw material waste reduction.
- In the United States, manufacturers are working to open textile recycling facilities to repurpose textile waste.
Example of Technique Adoption:
- The Renewal Workshop is a company that partners with apparel brands to recycle their excess inventory.
- Excess materials are turned into either new apparel, upcycled materials, or recycling feedstock.
- The system is designed to obtain the "highest amount of value for each product".
- One-third of the recycled products the company has received have been able to be re-sold on their website.
- As of 2017, the company has "diverted 16,000 pounds of apparel from landfills."
To conduct this research, we relied on a number of research paths including analyzing press releases, case studies, company annual reports, articles written by industry experts, and trusted media sources. Overall, information on this specific topic appears to be lacking within the public domain, largely because the vast majority of content available is focused on companies and markets outside of the United States, as that is where the majority of textile production is currently taking place. Despite this, we were able to pull together existing insights that are either directly relevant to the United States or are general insights that can be logically applied to the United States. In doing so, we first began analyzing expert-suggested techniques for ways to reduce costs in manufacturing overall. This served to provide a solid foundation upon which we were able to add expert-supported insights related to textile manufacturing specifically. Lastly, we delved into case studies and press releases to look for examples of textile companies that are implementing these techniques. Overall, while the available information on this topic is mostly high level, it appears that a deeper dive into this topic can be accomplished by researching it from a global perspective.