Troubles of the Textile Industry

May 13, 1953

Report Outline
Revolutionary changes in textile making
Southward Movement of Textile Mills
Federal Policies Affecting Textiles

Revolutionary changes in textile making

Recent Advances in Machines and Materal

Invasion of the textile market by the so-palled “miracle fibers” is bringing changes in the textile industry which have been compared to the revolution set under way by invention of the cotton gin 160 years ago. The steadily growing competition from chemical-origin fibers has worsened a slump in wool manufacturing and has speeded the movement of textile mills from the North to the South. New man-made fibers are reaching the market at a time when the industry is suffering from cutbacks in military purchases, a contracting export market, and continuing effects of last year's decline in consumer purchases.

Recent changes in the textile market have had serious effects in New England, where unemployment and plant shutdowns have created local conditions reminiscent of the 1930s. But in the South thousands of rural people are being brought into modern factory employment for the first time. The regional shift of the industry has created grave problems for the largest labor union in this field, United Textile Workers of America (C.I.O.) and at the same time has opened new opportunities for the formerly moribund United Textile Workers (A.F.L.), which has overtaken the C.I.O. union in certain key plants of the South. However, the South remains largely unorganized, while the collective bargaining position of strongly organized northern textile workers has been greatly weakened.

Technological Advances in Textile Industry

Improvements in machinery have added to the maladjustments brought about by the introduction of new fibers. New multi-filament devices have expanded the adaptability of looms to a wide variety of threads. New automatic features have made it possible for a single worker to handle many more looms than before.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Cotton and Textiles
Oct. 11, 1985  Textiles Push for Protectionism
May 13, 1953  Troubles of the Textile Industry
Sep. 10, 1945  Plight of Cotton
Jul. 09, 1943  Civilian Apparel
Sep. 01, 1939  Cotton Exports and Export Subsidies
Mar. 22, 1937  World Stabilization of the Textile Industry
Oct. 12, 1934  Cotton Exports and Crop Reduction
Jul. 15, 1929  Labor in the South
Oct. 24, 1927  The Cotton Situation in the United States
Manufacturing and Industrial Production