Gradually improving economics, in terms of input costs and changing consumer interests, have prompted a trio of textile manufacturers to announce plains to expand yarn spinning capacity in the US.
Parkdale Mills, the nation’s largest yarn producer, announced earlier this month plans to invest US$85 million in an expansion that will create 210 jobs. The Gastonia, North Carolina-based company is converting a 750,000-square-foot Georgia plant to produce a polyester-cotton blended yarn for high quality active wear sold in sports stores. The facility currently produces 100 percent cotton T-shirts.
Canadian and Indian yarn spinners also have announced plans to boost production capacity in the southern US.
Indian textile company Shrivallabh Pittie Group is planning to build its first US yarn manufacturing facility in Georgia. The 115-year-old company headquartered in Mumbai, India, will invest US$70 million to build the spinning mill, which will employ 250 new workers. The plant will manufacture a range of different counts of carded cotton yarn and will be designed to be able to shift production in order to meet market demand.
“We are very excited about this project, which is the biggest single investment in US cotton yarn sector in decades,” said the chairman of Shrivallabh Pittie Group, Vinod Pittie, in a statement. “We believe there is a significant market opportunity for yarn manufacturing in Georgia due to a skilled local workforce, proximity to high-quality cotton fiber, the economical supply and reliability of power and world-class infrastructure to international markets.”
Meantime, Gildan Activewear Inc. of Montreal, Canada, has announced it is currently evaluating potential sites in the southern US for the construction of two additional yarn-spinning facilities, “to support its projected sales growth and further reinforce its position as a global low-cost manufacturer,” the company said in a statement. The textile manufacturer already operates open-end yarn spinning facilities in North Carolina and Georgia.
The company said it expects to invest more than US$200 million during fiscal 2014 and 2015 for the construction and opening of the new facilities. The latest investment is in addition to plans announced almost a year ago for a new ring-spun yarn manufacturing facility also in North Carolina. The company’s total investment in US yarn-spinning capability should add more than 700 jobs to the workforce.
Although the US began losing it world share of yarn production in the mid-1990s to lower cost manufactures in Asia and the the Indian subcontinent, a synopsis of a study reported by Textile World suggests that during the first decade of the millennium US manufacturers have slowly become more cost competitive in ring and rotor spinning. Moreover, the study indicated that US yarn spinners are now in a position to benefit from increases in international fiber prices.
“This would seem to open up the opportunity for the United States to reclaim some of its lost manufacturing capacity in the spinning area because the cost of producing yarns in the United States is lower than for most competitors,” the Textile World report said. “This advantage would also carry with it the benefits of higher quality, shorter time to market and potential for collaborative arrangements with fabric producers.”
American companies already have certain location advantages, and any cost advantage gives US customers even less reason to import textile products, said the article. Opportunity is coming to the United States because worldwide costs are rising at a faster rate.
Textile World said the study broke down the cost of spinning in nine major countries into the cost components of raw material, interest, depreciation, auxiliary material, power, labor and waste.
The study was conducted by Dr. Brian John Hamilton, product developer - Domestic Lifestyle at New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc., Boston, Massachusetts; and Dr. William Oxenham, Associate Dean, and Dr. Kristin Thoney, Associate Professor, at North Carolina State University's College of Textiles in Raleigh, North Carolina.