Advanced Materials Reviving U.S Textiles Industry


Hello again.

The innovations coming out of today’s textile industry are simply amazing, with U.S. manufacturers developing advanced materials such as conductive fabric with antistatic properties, electronic textiles that monitor heart rate and other vital signs, antimicrobial fibers, life-saving body armor, and fabrics that adapt to the climate to warm or cool the wearer.

Just a look at the top three textile suppliers in the Thomas Network at shows the vast range of products offered by the industry, from burlap and cheesecloth, to industrial woven fabrics, to specialty fabrics for the aerospace manufacturing environment and beyond.

According to the National Council of Textile Organizations, U.S. textile and apparel manufacturers shipped nearly 78 billion dollars of product in 2017, exporting nearly 29 billion dollars of materials to more than 200 countries worldwide.

Specific to sourcing for textiles from North American manufacturers, our data shows some interesting activity recently by industrial buyers on the platform. Over the past 12 weeks, sourcing for Fabrics is up 21 percent over its historical average, sourcing in the category of Industrial Textiles is up 8 percent, and sourcing for Textiles is up 6 percent.

This activity comes at a time when the White House administration is focusing closely on trade, to level the playing field for U.S. manufacturers against unfair trade practices from abroad – something that hit the American textiles industry hard in recent decades. Other factors playing into what many see as a resurgent U.S. textiles industry are low domestic energy costs, advances in automation, and a growing “buy it, make it, ship it” production model made possible by e-commerce. This industry is definitely an interesting sector to keep an eye on, and we’ll do so at Thomas.

Moving on from textiles, here’s a quick look at the top ten categories by sourcing volume over the past four weeks at It’s no surprise to see steel and aluminum on the list, as tariffs on imports of those metals are very much the news of the day. All of these categories indicate a strong and growing industrial market, with significant sourcing happening on our platform.

  1. Steel
  2. Pharmaceuticals
  3. Machinery
  4. Machining
  5. Fasteners
  6. Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)
  7. Metal Stamping
  8. Aluminum
  9. Contract Manufacturing
  10. CNC Machining

If you’re a supplier in any of these categories, there’s demand for what your offer at Now is the time to get your marketing in line to connect with the buyers that are looking for suppliers like you.

Well, that’s what our data shows this week. If you’d like to stay on top of what our Thomas Index shows each week, and also receive useful industry news each morning, sign up for our Thomas Industry Update at

Hey, thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next week.

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