Category Archives: U.S. manufacturing

Textile Industry Growth, Opportunities and Issues

Earlier this year we discussed the continued growth of the technical textile industry. Technological advances in areas such as nano textiles and carbon fibers are two such examples of how technology can open opportunities and advance the expansion of the industry as a whole.

The National Council of Textile Organization (NCTO) Chairman Jeff Price recently discussed some of the issues that will be explored in 2015. This includes pending international trade agreements  such as the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The group will also be working on industry expansion, new markets, and new products. The feeling is that as the industry continues to expand through the application of US developed and manufactured fibers and textiles we will have a stronger voice to help mold these agreements in a positive fashion.

At Jason Mills we’re optimistic that we’ll continue to see growth throughout the year. Like the NTCO we take a keen awareness in seeing that our interests are voiced as various hot button issues move forward.

As far as product development goes, we’ve been focusing particularly on researching new and innovative textiles such as aluminized composites. Standard nonwovens are traditionally used in industries such as housing construction as they are lightweight and inexpensive. However, adjust the product so that a standard non woven becomes a water impermeable composite (yet retaining its vapor permeability), then you have a potential for a game changing result. We are also researching inherently antimicrobial yarns and possible non-traditional applications for these textiles.

To learn more about Jason Mills and all the technical textiles we offer, visit our website. We also post more textile industry news on our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Textile Manufacturing Returning to the US

A recent Textile World article finds that the US textile and apparel industries are expecting improvement and growth in 2015. This economic improvement is due to several factors, including reshoring efforts, a rising cost of doing business overseas, mills having more capital spending, and rising profits. Innovation also plays a large factor and the article mentions that the textile industry is continually working on creating better performing products. Technical textiles are now being applied to many new niche areas, (we’ve even touched on some of the medical textile innovations in a past blog post).

Innovation should play an even larger role as the US government recently announced its textile innovation competition. The program, led by the Department of Defense, will use $500 million in public-private investment to help strengthen US manufacturing by investing in new technologies for textiles. The Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute will serve as a hub for companies, universities, and other academic and training institutions to conduct research and development on new manufacturing technologies.

At Jason Mills we manufacture an array of technical textiles for use in everything from the medical sector to the outdoor retailing trade. To learn more about all our textiles, visit our website. We are also active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Global Cotton Usage and the Synthetic Market

Jason Mills, LLC is a manufacturer of knit textile products. Although our fabrics are derived exclusively from synthetic fibers, the global usage of cotton can still play a large role in our costs as many factors are inter-related. Chief amongst them is supply vs. demand. Cotton being a natural fiber is prone to huge shifts in costs as global climate change can wreck havoc on the crop. This of course can create a spike in cotton prices as was seen in 2011. Manufacturers that normally used 100% cotton began using synthetic blends to reduce expenses. Consequently this lead to higher demand for synthetic fibers, and thus costs were driven upward.

This can especially be seen in America now. The US has recently seen an increase in demand for synthetic fabrics as the price for cotton remains unstable. Additionally, companies discovered that buyers didn’t necessarily have a preference for cotton or synthetic fibers. Even though cotton prices have once again dropped, the demand for synthetics is still high. Hanes (a huge global user of cotton) Brand T-shirts recently announced that it would shift away from 100% cotton to a blend synthetic fiber.

To learn more about Jason Mills and our selection of industrial textiles, visit our website. And follow us on Twitter to stay up-to-date on the textile industry.

The Fundamentals of Global Textile Trade and the TPP

The textile industry has seen extensive news coverage recently for a number of reasons, especially as it relates to the ongoing negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on international trade policy between some 12 countries, and several more key interested observers.  The effects of these negotiations for textile trade between these countries are significant.  For the purposes of this blog, we’ll only examine an overview of the issues, and perhaps expound upon our findings in a follow up blog as the negotiations develop, so our readers can come to appreciate some the subtlety and the stakes of these talks.

Foremost among the concerns for the textiles industry in the TPP is the reaffirmation of a version of the “yarn-forward” rule, which has been present in most U.S. Trade agreements since NAFTA.  The yarn forward rule outlines rules of origin for textiles manufacturers, and specifies that in every stage “from the yarn forward” of the manufacturing process, the materials and processes must be sourced from a member of the partnership agreement.  This “puts the spotlight” on Vietnam, which, if the negotiations move forward without the yarn forward rule, could act as a conduit for duty-free Chinese access to the U.S. Textile market.

This opens the door to another, highly contentious debate about global trade policy: fair trade vs. free trade.  To avoid the risk of becoming too much of an economics lecture, we’ll note that generally, Jason Mills falls on the side of fair trade, which we see as taking advantage of the ideal that is a robust and healthy global trade network, and seeking to account for the fundamental imbalance in working conditions, wage scale, and economic and environmental responsibility of participating nations.  Having said that, global trade is an increasingly complex machine, and we think that attitudes and positions need to be accordingly complex.

As policy discussions like the TPP and similar initiatives from the WTO and other organizations emerge, we think it’s a part of our job here at Jason Mills to be informed and aware of the implications of pending discussions not just for our business, but for our industry as a whole.  We’ll be sure to continue to give our readers a window into the textile manufacturing world, and provide our perspectives here on our blog, so make sure to stop back soon!

TECHTEXTIL: Exploring Technical Textiles in Spring 2013

While technical textiles may not be a topic that’s top of mind for all right now, with spring breaks approaching for many, the topic is integral in the measures taken to ensure traveler safety. From our vehicles’ airbags; to the fire-resistant mesh seat pockets for safety literature we find on planes; to the hotel drapes, those polyester and nylon knit textiles are carefully selected to meet federal motor vehicle and aviation requirements and industry specifications. Although these are details that we at Jason Mills are invested in year-round, we’re particularly interested now with this year’s North America edition of TECHTEXTIL coming up next week.

We’ll actually be welcoming in the spring season at this unique event from March 19-21, held in Anaheim, CA for the first time. TECHTEXTIL shows bring together all aspects of the global technical textile and nonwovens industry, including R&D, raw materials, production processes, and even recycling. As a U.S. manufacturer of technical mesh for a range of end uses, this is a promising opportunity for us to learn about new technologies and products from fellow exhibitors, presentations, and Q&A sessions. Our materials continue to make their way into the finished work of major aerospace manufacturers, top automakers, and leaders in the healthcare industry, so we take every effort to stay at the cutting-edge of the textile industry.

We understand and fully meet fire resistant codes and technical regulations, including FAR 25.853 and FMV SS302, but we also are eager to stay connected with the industries we serve to ensure our quality standards are unmatched; we’ll be at Booth #412 (and can always be contacted via our website) to discuss specialty, safety knits and mesh for your commercial or institutional application.

Made Smart in America

For years, companies, especially companies in the textile industry and those that rely on textiles, fled the U.S. for cheaper labor and sweetheart deals- first to Latin America and then to Asia. It appeared that this trend would only end when the U.S. had been drained of every last high-paid manufacturing job. Then a funny thing happened, the exodus not only slowed, but also started to move in reverse.

Over the past few years, the concept of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., referred to as reshoring, has become a hot button topic. For a long time, Americans were just happy to access cheap clothing and TVs, but the novelty wore off when these same consumers lost their jobs.  Even the undisputed champion of low-cost, outsourced retail, Wal-Mart, recently pledged to buy an additional $50 billion in U.S. made goods over the next decade.

Amidst this great news, we must understand that this positive movement is not a result of protectionist policies but a combination of economic cycles plus a bit of economic nationalism. It’s too soon to tell if the recently passed U.S.-Panama TPA can eliminate obstacles to trade and boost our own manufacturing base.

At Jason Mills, we firmly believe that there is a strong future for the American textile industry. We will continue to proudly manufacture cost-effective, environmentally compliant and technically superior nylon and polyester mesh textiles in the US, all the while attempting to push into markets across the globe.  We are living proof that it is possible to not only survive but prosper as an American-based textile company.