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Frequently Asked Questions

What is NC Textile Connect?
NC Textile Connect is a website that was created and is maintained at the North Carolina State University College of Textiles with initial funding from the North Carolina Department of Commerce. It is designed to serve as an information warehouse that  “connects” global textile event, product, market, and company information from government, industry, and academic sources to the North Carolina textile complex.  This project builds on a research study completed in Summer 2006 by the College of Textiles entitled, “State of the Union of the Textile Industry in North Carolina: Improving Global Market Competitiveness with Identification and Assistance of Core Competencies.”

Why was NC Textile Connect Created?
The results of the 2006 study indicated that the North Carolina textile complex still consists of over 1,340 establishments that employ over 120,000 people in 90 of North Carolina’s 100 counties. These results may seem quite surprising when the media is constantly producing headlines about another textile manufacturing plant closing. Whereas it cannot be denied that the United States has experienced an unprecedented number of job losses in textile manufacturing over the last decade, what the media has failed to portray is the subsequent growth in management, new product development, design, logistics, research, and manufacturing in emerging niche product markets. Unfortunately many of these opportunities are missed because they are not contained within the traditional ‘manufacturing’ industry codes assigned to represent the textile industries.

To further complicate this matter, the information that does exist on today’s textile complex is increasingly fragmented. Existing information is maintained by individual segments of the value chain, many of which require a membership to access. The textile industries lack a resource that recognizes and supports the entire textile complex.

The goal of NC Textile Connect is to build such a resource by providing vital information in a comprehensive, user-friendly format that will be available to the public free of charge. NC Textile Connect portrays today’s global textile complex through a holistic framework that includes the entire value chain, and not just the traditional manufacturing industries. For more information on this framework, please see the FAQ page on Textile Connect.

What is Textile Connect? www.textileconnect.com
Textile Connect is the gateway website into both the SC and NC Textile Connect websites. Here you can find information on the U.S. textile complex as well as descriptive information on how to use each of the Textile Connect websites.

How was the company information generated on NC Textile Connect?
The initial company information provided on the Textile Connect websites was collected as part of the initial research studies conducted at NC State to identify the existing members of the textile complex. The initial data provided was collected solely from secondary sources available via the Internet.

How is Textile Connect maintained?
Whereas personnel from the College of Textiles will continuously update the website, the future content of Textile Connect is highly dependent on you, the members of the textile complex. The most useful websites are those that are created in collaboration with the users themselves. If you have any information you would like to see added to the website, or suggestions for future website developments, please contact us using the email link.

Who is part of the Textile Complex?
The textile complex includes more than just the traditional textile manufacturing industries composed of yarn, fabric, apparel, and home furnishings producers. It also includes:

  • Pre-production inputs and activities such as raw materials, fibers, research, design, development, and inbound logistics
  • Production of diverse products for markets outside of the apparel and home furnishings markets such as the medical, transportation, industrial, sports, and agriculture markets
  • Post-production activities including distribution, wholesale, packaging, labeling, marketing, retail, and after-sale services
  • Supporting environment consisting of machinery, training institutions, trade associations, and regulatory bodies.

How was the Textile Connect textile value chain created?
The first step taken to develop Textile Connect was a redefinition of the textile industry to encompass the entire textile complex using all of the industries listed above and applying them to the value chain framework. To identify the specific actors that comprise each of these industries, North American Industrial Classification codes (NAICS) were identified and matched to each industry based on empirical research and the compilation of several datasets and resources over the last two years.

One of the unique features of the website is the ability to traverse through the information for each stage of the value chain through the use of a visual depiction. The visualization is designed to give users a better sense of how the textile complex is connected, and to introduce new ideas on where value can be added, new markets can be served, and new resources that are available to assist in this process.

The value chain reference model and the original content of the Textile Connect websites were developed in conjunction with Stacey Frederick’s doctoral dissertation research. If you have additional questions about the model, please contact Stacey at stacey.frederick@gmail.com