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Scavengers in the Textile Industry

Scavengers in the Textile Industry

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The youngest children in the textile factories were usually employed as scavengers and piecers. Scavengers had to pick up the loose cotton from under the machinery. This was extremely dangerous as the children were expected to carry out the task while the machine was still working. David Rowland, worked as a scavenger in Manchester: "The scavenger has to take the brush and sweep under the wheels, and to be under the direction of the spinners and the piecers generally. I frequently had to be under the wheels, and in consequence of the perpetual motion of the machinery, I was liable to accidents constantly. I was very frequently obliged to lie flat, to avoid being run over or caught."

John Brown wrote about this in his book, Robert Blincoe's Memoir (1833): "The task first allocated to Robert Blincoe was to pick up the loose cotton that fell upon the floor. Apparently, nothing could be easier... although he was much terrified by the whirling motion and noise of the machinery. He also disliked the dust and the flue with which he was half suffocated. He soon felt sick, and by constantly stooping, his back ached. Blincoe, therefore, took the liberty to sit down; but this, he soon found, was strictly forbidden in cotton mills. His overlooker, Mr. Smith, told him he must keep on his legs."

Frances Trollope, wrote about this work in her novel, Michael Armstrong: Factory Boy (1840): "A little girl about seven years old, who job as scavenger, was to collect incessantly from the factory floor, the flying fragments of cotton that might impede the work... while the hissing machinery passed over her, and when this is skillfully done, and the head, body, and the outstretched limbs carefully glued to the floor, the steady moving, but threatening mass, may pass and repass over the dizzy head and trembling body without touching it. But accidents frequently occur; and many are the flaxen locks, rudely torn from infant heads, in the process."

Angus Reach, writing in the The Morning Chronicle, commented: "The piecers, either girls or boys, walk along the mule as it advances or recedes, catching up the broken threads and skilfully reuniting them. The scavenger, a little boy or girl, crawls occasionally beneath the mule when it is at rest, and cleans the mechanism from superfluous oil, dust and dirt."

The journalist, Edward Baines, defended the employment of young children as piecers and scavengers: "It is not true to represent the work of piecers and scavengers as continually straining. None of the work in which children and young persons are engaged in mills require constant attention. It is scarcely possible for any employment to be lighter. The position of the body is not injurious: the children walk about, and have the opportunity of frequently sitting if they are so disposed."

The task first allocated to Robert Blincoe was to pick up the loose cotton that fell upon the floor. Smith, told him he must keep on his legs.

A little girl about seven years old, who job as scavenger, was to collect incessantly from the factory floor, the flying fragments of cotton that might impede the work... But accidents frequently occur; and many are the flaxen locks, rudely torn from infant heads, in the process.

Question: At what age did you commence working in a cotton mill?

Answer: Just when I had turned six.

Question: What employment had you in a mill in the first instance?

Answer: That of a scavenger.

Question: Will you explain the nature of the work that a scavenger has to do?

Answer: The scavenger has to take the brush and sweep under the wheels, and to be under the direction of the spinners and the piecers generally. I was very frequently obliged to lie flat, to avoid being run over or caught.

It is not true to represent the work of piecers and scavengers as continually straining. The position of the body is not injurious: the children walk about, and have the opportunity of frequently sitting if they are so disposed.

The scavengers, who have been said (in the Report of the Factory Committee) to be "constantly in a state of grief, always in terror, and every moment they have to spare stretched all their length upon the floor in a state of perspiration." I have seen scavengers idle for four minutes at a time, and certainly could not find that they displayed any of the symptoms of the condition described in the Report of the Factory Committee.

The piecers, either girls or boys, walk along the mule as it advances or recedes, catching up the broken threads and skilfully reuniting them. The scavenger, a little boy or girl, crawls occasionally beneath the mule when it is at rest, and cleans the mechanism from superfluous oil, dust and dirt.

The opinions of two medical gentleman of Manchester, with whom I have conversed upon the subject of factories and health, some to this: that the insalubrity of Manchester and of the Manchester operatives is occasioned not by the labour of the mills, but by the defective domestic arrangements for cleanliness and ventilation.

Working from Home: England’s Domestic Textile Industry

Explore the story of England's domestic textile industry, the buildings that housed them and the people who worked within them.

Working from home is now a fact of life for many of us. It’s also something our ancestors were familiar with.

In the 1950s, the historian J. M. Prest photographed houses used for domestic textile production. This ‘cottage industry’ survived long after the industrial revolution transformed the working lives of most people.

Read on to explore the story of these industries, the buildings that housed them and the people who worked within them – with a focus on Hillfields, a suburb at the heart of Coventry’s ribbon weaving industry.

Textile industry in Indian scenario

The textile industry occupies a unique place in our country. One of the earliest to come into existence in India, it accounts for 14% of the total Industrial production, contributes to nearly 30% of the total exports and is the second largest employment generator after agriculture. Textile Industry is providing one of the most basic needs of people and the holds importance maintaining sustained growth for improving quality of life. It has a unique position as a self-reliant industry, from the production of raw materials to the delivery of finished products, with substantial value-addition at each stage of processing it is a major contribution to the country's economy. Its vast potential for creation of employment opportunities in the agricultural, industrial, organized and decentralized sectors & rural and urban areas, particularly for women and the disadvantaged is noteworthy. Although the development of textile sector was earlier taking place in terms of general policies, in recognition of the importance of this sector.


The textile industry is undergoing a major reorientation towards non-clothing applications of textiles, known as technical textiles, which are growing roughly at twice rate of textiles for clothing applications and now account for more than half of total textile production. The processes involved in producing technical textiles require expensive equipments and skilled workers and are, for the moment, concentrated in developed countries. Technical textiles have many applications including bed sheets filtration and abrasive materials furniture and healthcare upholstery thermal protection and blood-absorbing materials seatbelts adhesive tape, and multiple other specialized products and applications. The Indian Textile industry has been undergoing a rapid transformation and is in the process of integrating with the world textile trade and industry. This change is being driven by the progressive dismantling of the MFA and the imperative of the recently signed General Agreement Trade & Tariff. In this bold, new scenario, India has to move beyond its role of being a mere quota satisfying country.

History of Textile

The history of textile is almost as old as that of human civilization and as time moves on the history of textile has further enriched itself. In the 6th and 7th century BC, the oldest recorded indication of using fiber comes with the invention of flax and wool fabric at the excavation of Swiss lake inhabitants. In India the culture of silk was introduced in 400AD, while spinning of cotton traces back to 3000BC. In China, the discovery and consequent development of sericulture and spin silk methods got initiated at 2640 BC while in Egypt the art of spinning linen and weaving developed in 3400 BC. The discovery of machines and their widespread application in processing natural fibers was a direct outcome of the industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries. The discoveries of various synthetic fibers like nylon created a wider market for textile products and gradually led to the invention of new and improved sources of natural fiber. The development of transportation and communication facilities facilitated the path of transaction of localized skills and textile art among various countries.

Textile History in India

Indian textile enjoys a rich heritage and the origin of textiles in India traces back to the Indus valley Civilization where people used homespun cotton for weaving their clothes. Rigveda, the earliest of the Veda contains the literary information about textiles and it refers to weaving. Ramayana and Mahabharata, the eminent Indian epics depict the existence of wide variety of fabrics in ancient India. These epics refer both to rich and stylized garment worn by the aristocrats and ordinary simple clothes worn by the common people. The contemporary Indian textile not only reflects the splendid past but also cater to the requirements of the modern times.

Influences of changes shaping the industry

We will touch upon some of the more significant changes that have and are shaping the Indian textile industry.

Changes in Emphasis

There has been a distinct and positive shift from quality to quality. Earlier Indian textiles were considered cheap and of low quality. The industry was at that time driven by large volumes, which were of paramount importance. The best quality was produced in Europe and Japan. Since then, India has come a long way, emerging as a manufacturer of high quality yarns and fabrics. The leading mills such as Raymonds, Read & Taylor, Aravind mills etc. Improved their quality standards prevailing into the world.

Implementation of New Equipment

The textile industry has also become a high technology. The textile industry has also become a high technology industry. No body earlier could have concerned that the industry would require top of the line technical skills. Present day textile machinery is fully computerized and needs totally new skills to effectively manage it.

New Marketing Trend

On the marketing side, there has been a total change , with almost all players in the industry extending their reach to international markets. The impact of these trends on the textile industry is profound. Increasingly any company cannot sustain itself only on local market demand or only the exports. One has to look at the global markets in totality.


This compulsion to access and compete in international markets has been perhaps one of the saving grace for the industry. Clearly the ability and necessity of meeting global competition head on, has forced the industry to upgrade its technology, product quality, cost structure and marketing skills. Truly, we have learnt more from the competitions than from ourselves.

Decentralized sectors

Another visible change relates to the scale of operations. Earlier textile mills were generally reasonably large size becomes a non-constraining factor with the advent of power loom sector, which enabled small weavers to make and market their own fabrics in direct competition with large mills.


Another shift in the industry is regarding entrepreneurship. Technocrats have been able to become possible to have small size spinning, weaving and processing mills. All this was earlier the domain, solely of large businesses.

Cost Consciousness

The greater competitive pressure have highlighted the need to control cost of every type of whether it be energy, water or labor all of which were earlier taken for granted now every mill is highly cost conscious and industrial engineers keep detailed trace of every cost parameter including energy consumption including energy consumption, waste control, machine efficiency and productivity. No doubt, this will have to be an ongoing exercise. Since cost have to be ruthlessly and persistently brought down.

Labor intensive industry

The textile industry being labor intensive, is slowly migrating from high cost countries, such as the United states, Europe, Japan, Australia, Taiwan and Korea. All these countries were at one time leading textile manufacturers. But with the high labor cost, capacities in these countries are being diverted elsewhere. This is happening even as the developed economies make large investments in better machinery and automatism.

The New Life During Industrialization

The industrial revolution, despite its many benefits, like setting the path of modern life, was not ideal for factory workers. Business owners and entrepreneurs were the ones who enjoyed prosperity and the industrial life, a way of life, carried out on the bear shoulders of regular workers. The industrial revolution accounted for organized work, discipline, a working schedule, and many other things that we as a society kept until today. But, in the wake of the revolution, workers were not protected by laws, and some would even say, that they basically were the factory owners’ property. Factory workers had to work day and night for miserable pay checks in hazardous conditions with no safety guarantee until the establishment of the first Trade Unions which were also born in the 19th century with the purpose to stop worker abuse.

When it comes to the environment, the industrial revolution was marked by pollution, filthy air, smog, and the towns soon became grey under the heavy clouds of smog. Manchester was especially known for fog, polluted air, and industrial waste, and it was often labelled as the city of greed, constant work, and profit with its large industrial chimneys that seemed to never sleep.

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Essay on Cotton Textile Industry

Read this essay to learn about Cotton Textile Industry. After reading this essay you will learn about: 1. History of Cotton Textile Industry 2. Location of the Cotton Textile Industry 3. Recent Trend in Localization 4. Production and Trade.

Essay # History of Cotton Textile Industry:

Cotton textile industry is the oldest among all manufacturing activities. The history of cotton textile industry can be traced even in the early phase of human civilization. The sign of the existence of cotton textile industry was well established in all the early civilizations like Indus Valley, Egyptian, Vedic, Roman etc. In fact, since inception, textile industry in its varied form was highly diffused in character.

Even today, perhaps this industry is most widespread industry throughout the world. As far as capital involvement and labour participation is concerned, undoubtedly cotton textile industry is unmatched in the industrial world.

Almost every country in the world is now en­gaged in the manufacture of textile products. This traditional industry had undergone a sea- change in its long history, but basic characteristics of the industry remain unaltered.

Cotton textile industry is a labour-intensive agro-based industry. Worldwide textile indus­try provides jobs to millions. Though the requirement of labour is entirely dependent on tech­nological advancement of the country, compared to other industries labour involvement is very high in textile industry.

According to the nature of the products., textile goods may be subdivided into three prin­cipal groups. These goods are produced in different stage of manufacturing.

I. Textile and textile products.

III. Products for other use.

The textile and textile products cover a wide variety of goods. The production process are tier based. At least three tier production process is required for the manufacturing of textile goods, e.g. spinning, weaving and manufacture of piece goods. The apparel production is the extension of textile industry. It produces commodity for direct consumption of the people.

Essay # Location of the Cotton Textile Industry:

Any unplanned industrial concentration, in its advanced stages, has to face several socio­economic disadvantages. A scientific and planned location is only able to maximize profit by minimizing the cost. Cotton textile industry is no exception.

To reduce the total expenditure of production and marketing, and sustainable growth in future, the industry has to find out the least cost location. Like other manufacturing industries, the cost of labour, market and transport plays pivotal role in the selection of industrial location.

According to Weberian terminology, cotton as a raw material is pure in nature. The ratio of raw cotton and finished product, cloth, is same. So, material index of raw material is unity. It has been estimated that weight loss of raw cotton during manufacture is negligible. For example, one tonne raw cotton produces one tonne of yarn.

This amount of yarn also produces one tonne of cloth. As there is no weight loss of raw material in the manufacturing process, according to Weberian hypothesis, raw material cannot exert significant influence on the Locational pattern.

In this case, cotton textile industry may be located either in market, raw material or in any intermediate location. Whatever be the location, transport cost would not change. As transport cost is unable to exert any considerable pull, the other factors like wage rate of labour, market facilities, availability of raw material, climate, power and agglomeration of industries determine the location.

The general trend of the location of textile industry reveals that three types of location are preferred by the entrepreneurs.

1. The textile centres located within market.

2. The textile centres located within raw material source.

3. The textile centres developed between those two regions.

According to least cost location concept, the market location should be most preferred. If power and cheap labours are available within market, the production cost will be minimum. The market situated within cotton producing area will, of course, be most lucrative location. How­ever, this is a rare combination. Bombay, Ahmedabad in India, Shanghai in China, Tashkent in CIS and Atlanta in USA represent this type of location.

Formerly, climate used to play dominant role in the location of cotton textile industry. Most of the industries in last centuries were developed in regions of mild and humid climate. In dry regions, breakage of thread was the major obstacle for both weaving and spinning. The classical example of climate guided locations were in Bombay in India and New England in USA

Textile goods, particularly demand of clothing’s, are always fashion-guided. In most of the cases, textile goods are conspicuous in nature. With the passage of time, fashion of the society and taste of the consumer changes markedly. To keep pace with the changing fashion and to be aware of the modified taste of consumer textile mills, which produce clothing’s, set up their units near the market.

For example, in its early growth, US textile mills were established in New England, i.e., vicinity of the market though the bulk of the cotton were produced in the south­ern states. Since Tsarist period, cotton is largely grown in the Asiatic CIS but textile mills were primarily concentrated in its European counterpart, mostly in the Moscow-Tula and Ukraine market region.

So, regarding the localization of cotton, the factors are complex. The factors of localization varies spatially. Even the social and economic conditions of the region controls the site selection. The reasons are also very dynamic in nature. Unlike other industries, Locational factors are also not static. In fact, from time to time, Locational pattern changes.

For example, the New England State in USA is no longer an ideal location for the growth of the industry. It has lost much of its earlier advantages. The industry has been shifted towards the cotton growing tracts of southern USA.

In Russia, a migratory trend of textile mills towards the Asiatic cotton growing tracts has been visible. In India, for instance, the Bombay-Ahmedabad textile centres are also loosing their previous significance and new centres are being set up around the local markets.

It can be said that, with the disappearance of original advantages, industries are showing a centrifugal tendency from the region. The new centres are taking the place of declining tradi­tional centres. A historical analysis of the Locational pattern reveals that, at its earlier period of growth, textile mills were developed towards raw material source, because at that time transportation system was ill developed. Away from the cotton growing region, availability of raw cotton was also very low.

Naturally, due to higher demand, prices of raw cotton was high at the distant places. But in its second phase of development, rapid progress of transportation system facili­tated easy accessibility within the region.

At that time, price of raw cotton became same both near the raw material source and the market. Naturally, market became favourite for plant location. The importance of raw material gradually lost its previous importance.

The importance of power in the localization of cotton textile industry cannot be under­estimated. At initial period of development, textile industries were mostly located adjacent to water source. But with the introduction of coal, water site was no longer important but the availability of coal continues to play an important role in the determination of location.

Basically, cotton textile industry was a labour intensive industry. The early history of locali­zation in any country shows that development of cotton textile industry was a pre-requisite. The need of clothing’s and requirement of low level of technology enabled the entrepreneurs to set up the industry. A least training was enough for the labourers to be acquainted with the produc­tion system.

At that time, wage rate of the labours was also very low. The wage rate of the labour was an important consideration for the location. A slight hike of the wage rate made a lot of difference between one place and another. For example, New England textile centres in USA shifted towards Piedmont because of prevailing wage rate.

In some cases, specialization in a particular product and the general quality of the product helped a lot to sustain development. In these cases textile industry thrive for export market. The development of Lancashire region in England and Tokyo-Yokohama in Japan depended heav­ily on foreign market.

Essay # Recent Trend in Localization of Cotton Textile Industry:

The recent trends in the development of textile industries are distinctly different in devel­oped countries like USA, Japan, UK, and developing and underdeveloped nations like China, India, Bangladesh etc. But the general observations revealed that the basic trends in location of textile and apparel industry is diffusion.

In highly developed countries of Western Europe, Japan and USA, production of traditional goods is no longer important. These countries now concentrate on the production of quality goods rather than coarse fibre production. The import of primary products from underdevel­oped countries are cheaper to produce it within the countries.

These imported goods are treated as raw materials and used for quality production. The technical know-how of the developed countries is now acting as their capital. These restricted technology creates an advantage to the advanced nations. So, the role of underdeveloped countries are now considered to be a mere raw material supplier.

The automation and high wage rate of the labour forced the countries to adopt a capital intensive manufacturing activity, rather the former labour intensive activity. But, compared to the other manufacturing activities, cotton textile still require compara­tively low amount of capital.

The traditional top-ranking nations in cotton textile industries, like USA and Japan, are now facing steep competition from the emerging countries like Taiwan and South Korea.

Textile and apparel industry is considered as a basic industry. All the developing countries are now trying to develop their indigenous industry, due to increasing competition in the international as well as in the home market from advanced textile producing nations.

To resist the invasion of foreign products, textile industry is becoming more and more knowledge inten­sive. Least cost factor also plays a dominant role. The innovation of synthetic fibres are posing major problems for the growth of textile industry. To face this steep competition, improved variety of looms like shuttle less loom and air-jet looms were introduced for higher production.

The Locational factors of cotton textile industry is so complex that it is very difficult to ascertain the reasons liable for concentration of industries in a particular region. The original factors are no more existing but the new factors are also ever changing.

The factors responsible for location of her cotton textile industry in USA may not be applicable to India. The omnipres­ent market of cotton textile industries throughout the world is, perhaps, responsible for the dispersed or diffused nature of cotton textile industry.

Essay # Production and Trade of Cotton Textile Products:

Though the textile industry is one of the most diffused industry in the world and developed throughout the world, bulk of the production comes from few countries in the world. The traditional producing countries like China, Japan, CIS and India contribute most of the produc­tion but, due to heavy demand within the country, export of these countries are gradually coming down.

In fact, the newly developed countries like Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Brazil and Mexico exports more than half of the total export of manufactured textile goods. The rapid development of synthetic fibres in the developed countries like USA, Japan, South Korea, Germany and CIS largely reduced the production of cotton textile products. The cheap rate of the products from new countries also reduced the export of leading countries.

According to the available figures of 2005-06, six countries comprising China, India, Russia, USA, Japan and Italy produced 70 per cent of the world’s production in 2004. China secured first position in the production of cotton textile clothing’s followed by India, C.I.S., USA and Japan.

The production of different countries are given in the Table. Japan is the leader of the export of cotton textile products. Nowadays Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea also export substantial amount of textile products. India and Germany, after meeting their domestic requirement export some amount of textile products.

Formaldehyde Scavengers Industry Market Growth, Trends, Size, Share, Players, Product Scope, Regional Demand, COVID-19 Impacts and 2026 Forecast

Global Market Monitor released the new market research report- “Formaldehyde Scavengers Industry Market Growth, Trends, Size, Share, Players, Product Scope, Regional Demand, COVID-19 Impacts and 2026 Forecast” – Shed light on the available opportunities and potential challenges that market players are facing along with in Formaldehyde Scavengers market. Furthermore, the report is complemented by market dynamics, region analysis, segment study, a series of historical figures and tables from 2014 to 2020, and forecast to 2026.

Formaldehyde scavengers are used in lowering the emissions in both the manufacturing of medium density fiberboard and particle board and also in finished products. Prolonged formaldehyde emissions can have potential health hazards and hence it becomes imperative to control these emissions. Formaldehyde scavengers have been used to lower formaldehyde emissions in several wood, paper and textile industries.

Due to the increase in applications, the global market is expected to grow significantly, so in the next few years, the shipment of formaldehyde scavengers will show a steady growth trend.

Due to the implementation of strict regulations related to formaldehyde emissions, it will give a strong impetus to the world formaldehyde scavenger market. The formaldehyde scavenger also has the ability to inhibit the production of formaldehyde in the wood board manufacturing process. One of the main factors for the growth of the world's formaldehyde scavenger market may be the increase in demand for artificial wood panels.

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The Major Players Profiled in This Report Include:
Georgia-Pacific Chemicals
Emerald Performance Materials
TAG Chemcials
Key Issues Addressed

The Type and Application Analysis:
On the basis of type, this report displays the sales volume, revenue (Million USD), product price, market share and growth rate of each type, primarily split into:
Neutralization reaction
Catalytic decomposition
Sealing plugging

On the basis of application, this report displays the sales volume, revenue (Million USD), product price, market share and growth rate of each application/end users, primarily divided into:
Wood Panel
Indoor Environmental Protection

To Identify the Key Trends in the Industry, Click on the Link Below:

Full Table of Content

Formaldehyde Scavengers Report Table of Content:
Chapter 1 Report Overview
Chapter 2 Market Trends and Competitive Landscape
Chapter 3 Segmentation of Formaldehyde Scavengers Market by Types
Chapter 4 Segmentation of Formaldehyde Scavengers Market by End-Users
Chapter 5 Market Analysis by Major Regions
Chapter 6 Product Commodity of Formaldehyde Scavengers Market in Major Countries
Chapter 7 North America Formaldehyde Scavengers Landscape Analysis
Chapter 8 Europe Formaldehyde Scavengers Landscape Analysis
Chapter 9 Asia Pacific Formaldehyde Scavengers Landscape Analysis
Chapter 10 Latin America, Middle East & Africa Formaldehyde Scavengers Landscape Analysis
Chapter 11 Major Players Profile
11.1 Georgia-Pacific Chemicals

11.1.1 Georgia-Pacific Chemicals Company Profile and Recent Development

11.1.3 Product and Service Introduction

11.2.1 StarChem Profile and Recent Development

11.2.3 Product and Service Introduction

11.3.1 CHIMAR Company Profile and Recent Development

11.3.3 Product and Service Introduction

Chapter 12 Data Source and Research Methodology
The List of Tables and Figures

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Key Questions Answered by This Report:
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Textile Industry

The textile industry includes establishments that convert synthetic and natural fibres into yarn, cloth, felt, etc, for use in MANUFACTURING clothing, upholstery, household linens, etc. The textile and CLOTHING INDUSTRIES together are among Canada's largest manufacturing-sector employers. Total employment averages about 170,700, broken down as follows: textiles, 60,000 and clothing factories, 110,600. Textile-mill shipments average about $6 billion annually.

History Records show that as long ago as 1671 pioneer settlers were making wool materials for clothing and furnishings. Eventually, there were hundreds of custom carding and cloth-fulling mills scattered in communities throughout Upper and Lower Canada and the Maritimes. The first complete factory system of woollen cloth manufacture started in 1826 when Mahlon Willett established a mill at l'Acadie in Lower Canada. Some evidence exists that a small cotton mill operated at Chambly (or St Athanase), Lower Canada, from 1844 to at least 1846. However, more evidence exists that a cotton mill was built in Sherbrooke, LC, in 1844. It operated until it burned in 1854 and, as it had some knitting machines in use, may have a claim to being the first knitting mill as well. In 1853 a small cotton mill was established at the St-Gabriel lock on the Lachine canal it operated until at least 1871. Other early records include a knitting factory with powered knitting machines established in a mill at Ancaster [Ont] in 1859 and the Lybster Mills, established in Merritton [Ont] in 1860. The first silk-manufacturing concern was established in Montréal by Belding Paul & Co in 1876.

The age of synthetics began in 1925 when Courtaulds (Canada) Ltd built a plant in Cornwall, Ont, to make the then new viscose rayon, often called artificial silk. Courtaulds was quickly followed in 1926 by Celanese Canada, which erected a plant in Drummondville, Qué, to make acetate yarn. In 1942 the first nylon yarn was produced in Canada by DuPont. At the time, the height of WWII, nylon remained a well-kept secret the first production was 45 denier yarn for weaving into parachute cloth. The first product made after the war was nylon hosiery yarn.

Polyester was introduced to Canada in the 1950s by ICI Ltd. Later, DuPont and Celanese became important manufacturers of this synthetic fibre, with the trade name "Dacron" used by DuPont and "Fortrel" by Celanese. Another major producer of nylon fibre in Canada is Badische Canada, of Arnprior, Ont. Its product is used mainly in carpets. Polypropylene, a most versatile synthetic fibre made by Celanese, is widely used for indoor-outdoor carpeting and for types of nonwoven textiles.

There are about 1085 textile-manufacturing plants in Canada, most of them located in Québec and Ontario. The Canadian clothing or apparel industry, with 2465 plants, is the largest single consumer of textiles, using about 40% of the industry's output (fibre-weight equivalent). The ability of the textile industry to supply its home furnishings and industrial customers depends, in large part, on the continued existence of the clothing industry. Without the economies of scale made possible by the total market, almost every subsector of the textile industry would be threatened. Thus, textiles and clothing, while separate industries, are indivisible from the standpoint of industrial survival. They are also only 2 links in a long chain that starts with the consumer, goes back through retailers to apparel manufacturers, dyers and finishers, weavers and knitters, fibre producers, the PETROCHEMICAL INDUSTRY (from which the raw materials for synthetic fibres come), and finally to the oil and gas wells. The disappearance of any link would weaken, perhaps fatally, the rest of the chain.

The employment links are also important. The weighted average employment multiplier for the textile and clothing industries has been estimated to be 1.65 ie, each job in textiles and clothing supports 1.65 jobs elsewhere in the economy. By this measure, the industries' 170,700 jobs support 281,650 additional jobs in other sectors.

Canada remains a relatively open market for textile and clothing imports from developed and developing nations. Canada's consumption of textiles and clothing by volume is about 2% of the world's total, and Canadian mills now supply less than 50% of this amount. The largest proportion of textile imports comes from developed countries (although in recent years this proportion has decreased somewhat as more come from developing countries) the largest proportion of clothing imports from developing countries. Despite substantial import-restraint legislation, Canada accepts 9 times more per capita in textiles from developed countries than the US and 3 times as much as the European Economic Community. Steps by the Canadian government, assuring the textile industry of the continuation of special protection measures, have created a fairly stable climate of confidence and have stimulated investment. The proposed FREE TRADE agreement with the US has caused some uncertainty about the future in the industry however, it would favour free trade with the US if "the adjustment and transition conditions are adequate" to retain this level of confidence.

The Canadian textile industry is internationally competitive with other developed countries in price, quality and product variety. The primary industry is as technologically efficient and productive as any in the world. Major technological advances have been introduced to accompany the shift from natural to synthetic fibres and blends, including the adoption of advanced spinning, weaving, knitting, nonwoven and finishing machinery, electronic and computerized control equipment and methods of reducing energy consumption. Canada was a pioneer in introducing a new open-end type of yarn spinning and is a leader in the use of shuttleless weaving machines. Canada rates with the leaders in the production and technical development of nonwoven fabrics, particularly in their use in geotextiles (eg, ASBESTOS fibres). Computers and microprocessors are widely used in manufacturing operations.

Today the industry consists of the survivors of an extended and rigorous period of rationalization. The remaining firms are efficient, cost conscious and adaptable to the changing marketplace. Dominion Textile Inc, headquartered in Montréal, is by far the largest textile manufacturer in Canada, with annual sales of about $927 million in 1986. The company has 40 manufacturing facilities, 26 located in Canada, 7 in the US, 6 in Europe and one in Hong Kong. Of the Canadian plants, 17 are in Québec, 8 in Ontario and one in NS. Total employment is 10 500. Thirteen percent of the shares are owned by the Caisse de dépôt.

The textile industry continues to spend large sums on new machinery and modernization of facilities. For example, spending on capital equipment and repairs during the 1970s amounted to $1.8 billion, and it will be more than $3.0 billion in the 1980s. The industry has improved its export performance without imposing sacrifices on its domestic customers. To be successful in the export of commodities, such as textiles, a secure domestic base must underpin the higher risks, costs and lower net returns inherent in export marketing. The industry has recently operated in a more confident climate, which has encouraged a strong flow of investment into efficient, highly productive textile processes.

What did your ancestors do for a living?

So, you've researched your ancestors and found out who they were, where they lived and what they did for work. But what was a crofter? What ships were built in Scotland? And what is a domestic servant?

Uncover what life used to be like for your ancestors in Scotland.


  • Before the defeat of Prince Charles Edward Stuart at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, Scotland's clan system employed private armies.
  • After this, Highlanders and Lowlanders fought under the British flag.
  • Scotland had 12 Highland regiments who fought in Europe, North America and India.
  • After defeat in the American War of Independence, disbanded troops were encouraged to settle in Canada and many Scots did.
  • Around 6,000 Scots fought in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, and many others fought in the Crimean and Boer Wars, as well as World War I and II.
  • Over the last 50 years, many regiments have been disbanded or merged, eventually forming a single Royal Regiment of Scotland in 2006.

Visit the National War Museum and the Royal Scots Regimental Museum at Edinburgh Castle, Fort George near Inverness, the Gordon Highlanders Museum in Aberdeen, the Black Watch Castle & Museum in Perth and the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders Museum at Stirling Castle to find out more.

Domestic servant

  • During the 19th century, domestic service was the biggest single employer for women and the second largest employer of all workers.
  • Butlers and grooms tended to be male workers, but cleaners, maids and cooks tended to be women.
  • Most domestic servants lived in their employer's house - although they weren't paid much they did at least have a guaranteed roof over their heads.
  • Most servants did all kinds of work and worked long hours with only the odd Sunday off.

Find out more on any visit to a stately home or castle by checking out the 'downstairs' where domestic servants worked. You can also visit the Georgian House in Edinburgh and Pollok House in Glasgow.


  • Crofts were found in the Highlands and islands, and were normally worked by the tenant of the croft who paid rent to the landlord.
  • Crofting was often hard work, and was only part of the crofter's working life - often they had another job in their communities.
  • Crofting became much more concentrated after the Highland Clearances of the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • There are currently believed to be around 20,000 working crofts in Scotland. Even today, many crofters also have a second job that provides the majority of their income, or they are retired.

There are many museums throughout the Highlands and islands where you can find out more including the Gairloch Heritage Museum in Auchtercairn, the Skye Museum of Island Life in Kilmuir, Seallam! on Harris, Kirbuster Farm Museum in Orkney and Old Haa Museum in Shetland.


  • Before the agricultural revolution, most families kept their own animals and grew enough food to feed themselves.
  • At the end of the 18th century, common grazing was replaced by self-contained farms.
  • Scotland can lay claim to several important developments in farming - including drainage and plough improvements.
  • This increased efficiency led to there being less jobs available, forcing people to move to the industrial towns and even overseas in search of work.
  • Those who stayed on farms lived in 'bothies' if they were single, or basic farm cottages if they were married.

Visit the National Museum of Rural Life in East Kilbride or the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore to find out more.


  • Fishing has been a big industry in Scotland for hundreds of years. Even today, you can head down to the shores and watch the fish being brought in and sent straight off to our award-winning restaurants.
  • The North Sea has a great variety of fish to offer supporting everything from crab fishing to herring and deep-sea fishing.
  • As well as fishing out on the boats, the industry created lots of jobs back on land with the family of fisherfolk working to gut, preserve, bait lines and repair nets.
  • Fishing tended to be seasonal with people relocating to the ports during the fishing season.

Visit the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther to find out more.


  • Originally shipbuilders were known as shipwrights and their skills were in woodworking.
  • Scotland's main contribution to the Industrial Revolution was to build steel-hulled ships.
  • By 1913, around 18 percent of the world's ships were built on the River Clyde, and the term 'Clyde-built' stood for quality and reliability.
  • Many famous ships were built on the Clyde including the Cunard Queen liners, warships and the Royal Yacht Britannia.
  • Workers were low paid and often didn't have permanent jobs, only working when a contract was secured for a particular ship.
  • During World War I, the shipyards were taken over by the Admiralty. Economic depression followed the war, meaning two thirds of the workforce were unemployed.

Visit the Riverside Museum in Glasgow, the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine and the Aberdeen Maritime Museum to find out more.


  • For over 100 years, coalmining played a major part both in providing work and in dominating the landscape of certain areas.
  • Coalmining initially was run by individual landowners, but during the 1800s it changed hands to private companies.
  • It was hard work and dangerous both for the miner, but also for his family - often his wife had to transport the coal that her husband had mined to the surface.

Visit the National Mining Museum Scotland in Newtongrange to find out more.


  • Weavers used the threads created by spinners to make a variety of fabrics and materials.
  • Originally weavers worked from home - women and children worked in their own cottages - until the Industrial Revolution when big weaving sheds were set up with power looms.
  • Weavers produced: quality tweeds in the Borders, cottons in the west, damask in Dunfermline, patterned shawls in Paisley and jute in Dundee.
  • After a famous visit of George IV to Edinburgh in 1822, tartan was produced commercially as it enjoyed a big jump in demand.
  • Spinners and weavers often fell out, as weavers thought they were more superior.


  • Spinning is when fibres are drawn out and twisted together to make a continuous thread for weaving.
  • Spinning was originally the work of unmarried daughters living in poor households. It's what the term 'spinsters' is based on.
  • Originally they worked at home, but eventually big spinning mills were set up throughout the lowlands and staffed by women and young children.
  • Wages were low and they had to work around 60 hours a week.
  • Steam power eventually replaced water power, so mills could be built in bigger areas such as Paisley and Dundee where there was a bigger workforce.

Visit New Lanark World Heritage Site - a revolutionary cotton mill - and Verdant Works in Dundee.

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Untangling the knot: A brief history of the Canadian textile industry

I have always been a wee bit of a history nerd, long before I chose it as my field of study at Carleton University. I could never stop myself from wondering about the past of places, the people who lived there, the events that transpired, and the experiences that shaped the present.

Egged on by my boundless curiosity, I often buried my head in books and encyclopaedias, and whenever an opportunity presented itself, I would visit historical sites and museums. Imagine my excitement when I found out I was accepted to do my practicum at Ingenium – Canada's Museums of Science and Innovation! Now I could see for myself how history is documented and preserved, and work alongside the dedicated people who contribute to the conservation of our past.

Upon my first tour of the vast museum artifact warehouses, I couldn’t help but gawk at the great multitude of fascinating things — trains, antique cars, telephone station switchboards, typewriters… I was enraptured. However, my excitement was subdued as I approached one of the objects of my study — a steel monstrosity painted green. The Crompton and Knowles industrial silk and rayon loom, model S-6 — former property of Kingston’s DuPont textile facility — was massive, menacing and way out of my league. Yet, I was to acquaint myself with the mechanic beast. This was to be my project: the study of the artifacts in the industrial textile collection and the research of relevant material, for the purpose of expanding Ingenium’s catalogue information. Over the weeks that followed, I familiarized myself with this big machine and others like it in the collection. Although I dubbed it the “green monstrosity,” it was actually a very cool loom, considered to be top of the line in the days of its operation. Through this exploration, I began my investigation into the history of the Canadian textile industry.

Historically, textile manufacturing has been an influential Canadian industry, playing an important economic role throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In fact, it was the third-largest employer in industrial manufacturing in the mid-nineteenth century, after iron and steel production. In the hard years of 1930 –1935, textile manufacturing sustained industrial employment. By the 1970s, Canadian textile workers earned the highest pay in the sector across the globe.

Taken from trade literature, this image shows the Model R.T.R. Wildt & Co. knitting machine used in Kingston, Ontario.

Prior to the industrialization of textile manufacturing in Canada, fabric was produced at home or imported. The earliest-known mill that undertook all the steps in textile manufacturing was a woollen mill built in the 1820s. More mills producing wool fabric were soon constructed. By the mid-1800s, the industry had expanded to include some 385 cotton mills across Upper and Lower Canada. By the early 1900s, the industry included knit goods production and a growing number of man-made fabrics using innovative blends, with close to 2,000 factories and mills in operation.

At its height in the twentieth century, the textile industry was so well organized and robust that it not only fulfilled up to 60 percent of domestic market demands, but it also met military requirements during both world wars. By the end of twentieth century, the rise of textiles manufactured in developing countries resulted in a decline in Canadian domestic production. Today, the majority of Canada’s textile needs are filled with imported goods.

My practicum at Ingenium broadened my knowledge of Canadian industry and permitted this educational excursion into Canadian history. I am also quite thrilled that I caught a glimpse of the amazing variety of artifacts housed at the museum — over 80,000 pieces demonstrating our progress and ingenuity. Although we did not become great friends, the loom and I, at least I understand its workings a little better.

Indian Textile Industry: History, Significance and Scope

Indian textile industry is one of the oldest industries in the country dating back several centuries. Even today, textile sector is one of the most significant contributors to India’s exports with approximately 13 percent of the total exports. The industry is also labour intensive employing more than a million people in different fields.

The industry has two broad sectors which are – unorganized sector and the organized sector. The unorganized sector consists of handloom, handicrafts and sericulture operating on a small scale, while the organized sector consists of spinning, garments and apparels which requires modern machinery and techniques. Talking about the market size the industry is currently estimated at around 120 billion US dollars and is expected to reach 230 billion US dollars. The Indian government is also coming up with some export promotion policies. It has allowed 100 percent FDI in the Indian textiles sector under the automatic route.

With all the schemes and policies put into practice, the future of Indian textile industry looks promising, buoyed by both strong domestic consumption as well as export demand. With the rise of consumerism and disposable income, the retail sector has experienced rapid growth in the past decade. Several international players like Marks & Spencer, Guess have raised the bar with their entry into the Indian market. With stable inputs, proper capacity utilization and steady domestic demand, the industry is expected to showcase a kind of revolution in the year 2018.
Let us run you through the history and prospects of this promising industry.

History Of Textile Industry
Indian textile enjoys a rich heritage and traces its history back to the Indus valley civilization where people used homespun cotton for weaving their clothes. One of our Veda’s – the Rigveda also contains the literary information about textiles. The Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata even talk about the wide variety of fabrics in ancient India. These chronicles refer to both stylized garments worn by the aristocrats and ordinary clothes worn by the common man. The modern-day textile not only reflects the splendid past but also caters to the requirements of contemporary times.

Looking into the job of a textile designer
As dull or cliched as it may sound, the job of a textile designer is equally innovative as it is creative. The field allows an individual to put his creative instincts at work on specific places such as demonstration and application of fabric construction, the detailing of design on the fabrics and production of fabric designs used in the apparels, accessories and other furnishings. A textile designer works closely with the clients and design teams to create unique fabrics using a variety of design concepts and media. In other words, a textile designer will have to incorporate both the creative side to the already finished piece keeping in sync the post-production technicalities. Yes, the field of textile designs isn’t only on the creative side but also includes pattern making, while also managing the production process. Nowadays all textile designers use CAD (Computer Aided Software ) to create designs on fabrics and other surfaces. The heat transfer printing is also used and implemented quite well on the covers. Textile designers are highly creative people as that can draw, have a superior eye for the colour, texture and an appreciation for the excellent points of textiles and fashion. They should keep themselves updated with the latest trends in fashion, understand textile techniques and should be useful for the communicators and posses the problem-solving skills keeping in mind the budget and deadlines.

Textile design education
There are some career options and work environments in the field of textile design that need you to be aware of. To become a skilled textile designer, you need professional education in fashion, art or design. Through proper training, prospective textile designers gain knowledge of the entire fabric design process. They learn to analyse and understand the various textile properties, such as weight, material, flammability and durability and how the textile will be used, then base their designs on these factors. More importantly, a textile diploma teaches them how to utilize textures, patterns and colour through experimentation with printing, dying, manipulation and embellishment techniques. There are usually two techniques used in textile design – one is painting, and another is art based techniques. A diploma teaches you to work in both categories. For a textile designer apart from good education, it is also essential to make the right connections. The goal is to establish a beneficial relationship with clients and other people in the industry. As a textile designer, you can use your creative flair and ability to generate ideas and concepts to match a brief to find work in the textile industry or to set up your own business.

Once you have professional training in textile design, doors for a promising career opens. Apart from the field of textile and clothing, you can also foray into other industries of merchandising, marketing production and fashion journalism.

To Conclude
An education in textile designing helps you to be a more skillful designer. Students looking to foray into this field will get exposed to an understanding of Indian fabrics, their surface ornamentations and its role in the global industry. Active collaboration between domestic designers and stakeholders of this segment will ensure a reliable professional knowledge to approach by the end of the course both local and global markets. Know more about the textile courses here.

Watch the video: Deadly Waters. Citarum: Indonesian river keeps textile industrys dirty secrets (May 2022).