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in t h e



1 9 7 0 ’s

in the
of the 1970’s


No. 1578



A r t h u r M. R o s s , C o m m i s s i o n e r

f o r sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 20402 -

Price 60 cents



This bulletin describes changes in technology in the textile industry, one of the major
industries of the economy, projects their impact on productivity, employment, occupational
requirements, and discusses methods of adjustment. It is one of a series of reports de­
signed to help meet the requirement of the Manpower Development and Training Act that
the Secretary of Labor “evaluate the impact of and benefits and problems created by
automation, technological progress and other changes in the structure of production and
demand on the use of the Nation’ s human resources; establish techniques and methods of
detecting in advance the potential impact of such developments;...... *
The study was based on information obtained from Bureau and other government
sources, trade and technical publications, discussions with company, union, and govern­
ment officials, and textile equipment manufacturers, and attendance at conferences and
exhibits. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is deeply grateful to many individuals who fur­
nished valuable information and reviewed and commented on the draft of this report.
Special acknowledgement for photographs is due Saco-Lowell Shops, Draper Corporation,
M. Lowenstein & Sons, Leesona Corporation, and the American Textile Machinery
The bulletin was prepared by Rose N. Zeisel in the Bureau’ s Office of Productivity,
Technology and Economic Growth, under the supervision of Edgar Weinberg, Deputy
Assistant Commissioner. The study is part of the Bureau’ s research program on prod­
uctivity, technology, and economic growth under the general supervision of Jerome A.
Mark, Assistant Commissioner.





Summary and H ighlights.................. . . .......................... . ...........................................................


Chapter I.
Introduction: The textile industry’ s place in the economy......................
Definition of the industry.......................................................... ...............................................
Relationship to other industries..................................................................................
Changing competitive p o sitio n ....................................................................................................



Chapter II.
Background of technological change......................
Stages of development......................................................................................................................
Barriers to technological ch ange......................................................................
New d irection s.........................................................................................................
Trend toward larger business u n i t s .............................................................................
Improved financial position.............................................................................................
Increasing expenditures for modernization. ...................................................................
Growth of interest in research and development..........................................................
Chapter III.
Technological prospects in the 1970’ s .............................................................
Changes in broadwoven production............................................................................. . . .
Opening and blending'...............................................................................................................
Winding and w arping..............................................................................................................
W eaving...................................................................................
New methods of production.........................................................................................................
Chapter IV.
Assessing the rate of technological change...................................................
Indicators of output per m a n -h o u r ..........................................................................................
Interplant differences in efficiency..........................................................................................
Output per man-hour in hypothetical model p lan ts.............................................
Fixed capital and capital-output ratios...................................................................
Growth in electric energy consumption......................................................................
Horsepower of power equipment................................................................................................


Chapter V.
Production trends and prospects........................................................................
Trends in production.....................................................................................................................
Changing composition of fiber consumption...........................................................................
Outlook for manmade fiber consumption. ..............................................................................


Chapter VI.
Employment trends and outlook........................................................................
Employment tr e n d s .....................................................................................
Employment outlook........................................................................................................................





C ontents - - Continued

Trend in industry sectors . . . ...............................................................................................
Production worker em ploym ent...................................................................................
Trend in unem ploym ent...........................................................................................................
Regional distribution of j o b s .....................................................
Changing age composition.................
Employment outlook for women . . . . ' .................................................................................
Employment of N e g r o e s ...........................................................................................................


Chapter VII.
Occupational changes and prospects............................................................
Job content and Training................... ..................................................... ................................
Machine tenders or operatives................................. ................. ................. ...
Future job co n ten t...............................................................................................................
Effect on the worker . . ........................ .............................................................................
Technical w o r k e r s ..............................................................................................................
Supervisory and management s ta ff.................................................................................
Industry occupation p rojection s.............................................................................................


Chapter VIII.
Working conditions and adjustments to technological change . . . .
Working c o n d i t i o n s ..............................................................................................................
Earnings and compensation......................................................................................................
Adjustments to technological change....................................................................................
Advance n otice.......................................................................................................................
Workload adjustments . ......................................................................................................
Transfer rights and retraining . . ........................................................................ .. . .
Layoff and recall.............................................................................
Income maintenance..............................................................................................................
Outlook .......................................................................................................................


Appendix tables:
A - l . Corporate Internal Funds and Total Expenditures for Plant and
Equipment, 1947-66 ................................
A - 2. Age of Equipment of Large Companies, Manufacturing and Textile
Mill Products, 1962 and 1966 ..............................................................................
A -3 . Employment in Textile Mill Products Industry, 1947-66.................................
A -4 . Regional Distribution of Textile Employment, 1947, 1954,
and 1 9 6 3 . . . . ................................................................................... . . . . . . . .


Textile Fiber End Use Consumption, 1949-52, 1957, and 1965 .....................
Imports of Semimanufactured and Manufactured Products of Cotton,
Wool and Manmade Fibers Relative to Domestic Consumption,
Selected Years.................................................................
Corporate Sales and Profit Rates, Manufacturing and Textile Mill
Products, 1947 and 1957-66 ..........................................................................





Contents - -Continued
Value of Shipments Accounted for by the Largest Textile
Companies, 1954 and 1963...................................................................................
Expenditures for Plant and Equipment, Manufacturing and Textile
Mill Products, 1947 and 1957-66 ...........................................................................
Percent Distribution of Establishments and Expenditures by
Type of Company, 1963 .............................................................................................
Operating Rate and Capacity Expansion, Textile Mill
Products, 1958-66 ......................................................................................................
Research and Development Funds, Textile and Apparel
Industries, 1957-66......................................................................................................
Research and Development Funds, Textile and Apparel
Companies, by EmploymentSize, 1958 and 1961-65 .........................................
Hosiery Industry, Output Per Man-Hour and Related Data,
Selected Years...............................................................................................................
The Ratios of “More Efficient” to “Less Efficient” Plants and
to Average Plants, 1958........................................................................................
Output Per Man-Hour in Model Cotton Print Cloth Mills . ...........................
Changes in Unit Man-Hour Requirements, by Operation, in Model
Cotton Print Cloth Mills, Selected Years
Stock of Fixed Capital and Capacity, Textile Mill Products,
1948 and 1963 ...............................................................................................................
Cotton and Manmade Fiber Broadwoven Production, Looms and
Loom Hours, 1948 and 1965 ....................................................................................
Electric Energy Consumed, Textile Mill Products and Selected
Industries, 1947 and 1965..........................................................................................
Horsepower of Power Equipment Per Production Worker,
Manufacturing and Textile Mill Products, 1939, 1954, and 1962............
Indexes of Production for Manufacturing and Textile Mill
Products, Selected Years..........................................................................................
Percent Distribution of Mill Fiber Consumption, Actual Pounds and
Cotton Equivalents, 1947, 1957, and 1966 .....................................................
All Employees and Production Workers, Textile Mill Products,
Selected Years...............................................................................................................
All Employees and Production Workers in Textile Mill Products
Industry, 1959, 1963 and1966 ...................................................................................
Production Workers as Percent of Total Employment....................................
Unemployment Rates in Manufacturing and Textile Mill
Products, 1958-66 ......................................................................................................
Employed Persons, by Sex and Age Group, Textile Mill
Products, 1940, 1950, andI960 ................................................................................
Women Employees in Textile Mill Products Industry,
1959 and 1966 ...............................................................................................................
Negro Employment in Textile Mill Products Industry,
1940, 1950j and I960 ...................................................................................................
Textile Mill Employment by Region, Color and Sex, 1950 and I960 . . . .
Total and Negro Employment in Textile Mills in South Carolina,
Selected Years...............................................................................................................


C ontent s - - C ontinued
Table s - -Continued

29. 30.



Employment Changes in Textile Industry of South Carolina, by
Sex and Color, 1940-65 ........................................ . . . . . .................... ... . . .
Percent Distribution of Textile Employment by Occupational
Group, I960 and 1975 .............................. .. .............. ................................ ..
Hours and Earnings of Production Workers in Manufacturing and
Textile Mill Products, 1947 and 1957-66, . . . .......................................... ..
Hourly Earnings of Workers on Cotton Carded Yarn or Fabric,
Selected Occupations, New England and Southeast Regions,
1954 and 1965 ...........................................................................................................
Compensation of Employees in Manufacturing and Textile Mill Products
Industry, 1947 and1957-66......................................................................................
Employer Expenditures for Selected Supplementary Practices for
Production and Related Workers in Manufacturing and Textile
Mill Industries, 1959 and 1962 ..........................................................................





Corporate Internal Funds and Total Expenditures for Plant and
Equipment, 1947-66 ............................................................................. ...
Age of Equipment of Large Textile Companies, 1962, 1966
Major Processes in an Integrated Cotton Broadwoven M ill........................
Employment in Textile Mill Products Industry, 1947-66 ...........................
Regional Distribution of Textile Employment, 1947, 1954 and



Summary and Highlights

Technological and economic developments in the textile industry.have far-reaching
implications for the utilization and adjustment of manpower. This bulletin surveys these
changes, analyzes their impact on employment, manpower utilization, skill and occupa­
tional requirements in the 1970’ s, and discusses provisions for manpower adjustments.
Trend Toward Modernization
Interest in modernization of machinery, managment, and marketing is being stim­
ulated by domestic and foreign competition and sustained by the relatively high profit rates
of the past few years and the emergence of large vertically-integrated companies. Sub­
stantial investment in new plant and equipment is reducing technical obsolescence, and this
trend is expected to continue. The leaders in these changes, however, are the larger,
financially-able companies; thousands of small companies are only moderately involved in
modernization. High cost mills will remain sensitive to increasing competition from more
efficient producers.
Technology in the 1970’ s
Technological changes in the next decade will include wide-scale adoption of important
modifications to conventional machinery, in some instances, the first advances in 50 years.
Basically these changes comprise faster, larger capacity and more automatic machinery,
and improvements in auxiliary equipment, such as automatic machine cleaning and
materials -handling equipment. More radical changes, such as the combination or elimina­
tion of certain operations, computer process control in finishing, and new types of fabric
formation will also affect textile production in the next decade, but their adoption is likely
to be more gradual and, in some instances, limited.
Shift to Manmades
Manmade fibers, the result of intensive research by the chemical industry, influence
every facet of the textile industry. Manmades, primarily synthetic noncellulosic fiber
(nylon, polyester, etc.), accounted for more than half of all mill fiber consumption in 1 966
(cotton equivalent basis). Advantages to the processor can include lower unit labor require­
ments and shorter processing time for some fibers, relatively stable prices, and less
waste. By 1975, manmade fibers may constitute two-thirds of mill fiber consumption (cotton
equivalent basis) in spite of stepped-up R&D for natural fibers.
Potential for Technological Advance
Quantitative indicators of various facets of technological change, such as output per
man-hour and electric power and horsepower per worker, suggest a relatively high rate
of advance in the postwar period. After World War II, wide-scale closing of marginal mills
tended to raise the average level of technology in the industry; in recent years industry
growth and high investment were major factors. Potential for a continued high rate of tech­
nological advance is sugge sted by the wide gap in “efficiency” between the “more efficient”
mill or model mill and the average mill.


Production Prospects

Production increased slowly through most of the postwar period but moved up sharply
in the 1960’ s, reflecting stronger demand for civilian and defense purposes. Wide variations
exist among sectors. Wool textile output declined substantially in the postwar period; man­
made fabrics, knit goods and carpets had rapid growth. A high growth rate is expected
in the 1970*8, but below the 1961-66 rate.
Imports Increase
The volume of imports, a strategic and uncertain factor in the outlook, has been in­
creasing. The ratio of imports of cotton, wool and manmade fiber products (semi manufac­
tured and manufactured) to domestic fiber consumption (measured in pounds of fiber) rose
sharply in 1966, after several years of relative stability. The import ration in 1966 was
four times as large as in 1954. The multilateral Long Term Arrangement to provide for the
orderly growth of cotton textile imports, in effect from 1962 to 1967, has been extended
for a 3-year period. Wool and manmade textile imports are unregulated.
Employment and Unemployment Outlook
Although employment increased in the mid-1960*s, projections for 1975 forsee a
continuation of the long-term decline but at a much slower rate. Unemployment rates have
fallen substantially in recent years, but rates in some areas, particularly New England,
continue to be high. Some of the decline in employment may take place through the retire­
ment of older workers and the transfer of worker s to other industries. But the work-force
will remain vulnerable to high unemployment rates as marginal plants with obsolete
equipment are shutdown during short-term periods of slackening demand.
Women in Textile Mills
Almost half of all textile workers are women, and the proportion has been increasing
slowly since 1940. Several technological innovations primarily affect women* s occupations
(in winding, drawing, and packaging), and will probably reduce job opportunities in these
operations. On the other hand, as mechanization continues, new jobs may open to women
which previously were considered physically too arduous for them. In general, women’ s
job opportunities are closely related to the available male labor supply; women’ s largest
employment gains occur during wartime or in periods of full employment.
Outlook for Negro Employment
Negro employment in the textile industry increased in the postwar period, in spite of
substantial decreases in overall textile employment. In some Southern textile centers,
however, the ratio of Negro employment remained fairly stable until the mid-1960*s, when
white male and female workers moved into generally higher paying jobs and Negroes were
hired to meet demand created by turnover and expansion. Greater opportunities in other
industries for white workers, the declining influence of isolated, socially-cohesive mill
towns which tend to restrict Negro employment, and expanded efforts of the Equal Em ­
ployment Opportunity Commission may continue to increase Negro gains. On the other
hand, technological changes reducing unit labor requirements for unskilled workers may,
in the long run, adversely affect opportunities for Negro workers.


More Patrolling and Monitoring

Further mechanization will continue to reduce the time allotted to traditional manual
functions of loading, unloading, repairing, and machine-cleaning and to materials-handling
functions of lifting, pushing andhauling. The textile operative of the 1970’ s will spend more
time patrolling and monitoring a greater number of machines. Greater responsibility which
is required for higher-speed and more fully integrated machinery may result in greater
stress on the workers, although this may be off set by transfer of certain manual functions
to the machine.
Occupational Trends Continue
Projections of the industry’ s occupational structure for 1975 expect that the bulk of
textile employment, the semiskilled operative group (weavers, spinners, knitters, etc.) will
continue to decline as a proportion of total employment. White-collar occupations will in­
crease relative to the total by 1975, with professional and technical workers showing the
greatest gains0 Skilled worker requirements are also expected to increase relatively, while
the proportion of laborers probably will decline significantly.
Implications for Education and Training
Technological advances do not require, in general, a long period of training or re­
training except for a few skilled worker s , such as loom fixers. Greater emphasis, however,
is being placed on more formal training rather than on traditional on-the-job learning, and
on slightly higher educational requirements for more skilled and supervisory jobs. Textile
skills are not easily transferable to other industries, and in the event of layoff, retraining
for new skills may be necessary.
Adjustments to Technological Change
Formal provisions for adjustment to technological change cover only a small propor­
tion of the workers in the industry and are found primarily in plants with union agreements.
Only about a fourth of all textile workers are in mills covered by collective bargaining
agreements. Some contracts contain provisions which require advance notice, or union
consultation, or a trial period for a proposed technological change. Contract provisions to
financially assist the worker who is laid off are very limited. In the event of plant closings
in some localities or sectors of the industry, government institutions for unemployment
insurance, placement, and retraining can play an important role in assisting the textile


Chapter I. Introduction: The Textile Industry's Place in the Economy

The textile mill products industry, one of America's oldest industries, employs
over 900,000 workers or about 1 out of 20 manufacturing employees. One of the first
to adopt power machinery, the industry has gone through various phases of rapid growth,
stability, decline, and revival. This report deals primarily with postwar changes in the
industry and the outlook for the 197D*s>
At the end of World War II, the industry faced critical readjustment problems that
brought about a severe contraction of employment lasting until 1963. Having been geared
to peak wartime output and large postwar markets, the industry found itself in the 1950's
with declining markets, excess capacity, obsolete equipment, and high unit costs. Many
hundreds of high-cost mills, unable to compete in the smaller postwar market, closed,
or merged with, or were acquired by financially stronger companies. Rising imports,
low levels of production, prices, profits, and investment in plant and equipment, and
sharply declining employment characterized the decade of the 19 50 ’ s.
In the 1960*s, the Federal government instituted several measures to assist the
industry, including the 1962 Long Term Arrangement with leading textile nations to
provide for the orderly growth of cotton textile imports over a 5-year period; more
liberal depreciation allowances to encourage investment; elimination of the two-price
cotton system \J which handicapped textile manufacturers; and an expanded program of
government sponsored research. These provisions and subsequent favorable economic
conditions of the 1960*3 created a climate for change in the industry which will be dis­
cussed in the following chapters.
This chapter briefly defines the industry, describes its relationship to other indus­
tries, and indicates its relative position in the domestic and international economy. It
provides the background for subsequent chapters on technological prospects and their
manpower implications.
Definition of the Industry
The industry comprises about 7,000 establishments engaged in the conversion of
raw materials such as cotton, wool, and manmade fibers into yarn, thread, broad and
narrow fabrics, knit goods, carpets and other miscellaneous products., Using the Standard
Industrial Classification system, nine industry groups are distinguished. Of these, five
relate to spinning and/or weaving m ills: Cotton broadwoven fabric mills (SIC 221); man-

_ j Under the government* s program (originated to lower CCC holdings), raw cotton
could be exported at 8 -1 /2 cents per pound below the domestic price. Foreign textile
manufacturers could buy raw cotton at the lower price and sell the finished cloth in the
United States.


made fiber and silk broadwoven fabric mills (SIC 222); wool broadwoven fabric and fin­
ishing mills (SIC 223); mills making narrow fabrics and other smallwares (SIC 224); and
yarn and thread mills (SIC 228). These industries comprise about 2,200 establishments
and more than half of the employees. A sixth group (SIC 225) comprises knitting mills (in­
cluding hosiery and knit underwear, outerwear and fabric), totaling more than 2,800 e s ­
tablishments and one-quarter of all textile employees. Other groups include mills for
dyeing and finishing textiles other than wool fabrics and knit goods (SIC 226); establish­
ments producing woven or tufted floor coverings (SIC 227); and miscellaneous textile
goods (SIC 229), including such items as felt goods, tire cord and fabric, and nonwovens,
Relationship to Other Industries
The textile mill products industry is affected by and, in turn, influences changes in
industries from which it purchases materials and supplies, and to which it sells its out­
put. The value of shipments in 1966 totalled $19.6 billion and total cost of materials
$11.7 billion. Because of the large amount of purchases, even small proportions of the
industry’ s total outlay can be significant to a supplier industry.
The bulk of the industry’ s purchases, about 45 percent in 1965 (latest data available),
came from other sectors of the textile industry, a result of the vertical fragmentation of
production. Purchases of raw cotton and wool made up about 11 percent of total purchases.
Synthetic fiber constituted about 18 percent of total purchases made by the yarn and broadwoven sector, and about 34 percent of the purchases made by the carpet and miscellan­
eous textile sector. Purchases of chemical products usedfor processing fiber and fabric
accounted for about 3 percent, and rubber and related products about 1 percent.
The increasing interdependence of the textile industry and the synthetic fiber indus try is one of the most important and far-reaching developments. Large outlays for R & D
and promotion have contributed to the rapid growth of synthetic fiber utilization. The tex­
tile industry purchases more than 35 percent of the output of the plastics and synthetics

As a producer, the industry is heavily dependent on sales to the apparel and other
consumer goods industries, and therefore, is affected by changes in disposable personal
income. Over 80 percent of all fiber used in textile pr oduction in 1965 went for consumer
uses (excluding tires): 41 percent for clothing; 29 percent for house furnishings; and 10
percent for other consumer type products, such as apparel linings. Industrial products,
such as t i r e s , sewing thread, rope, twine, and cordage took 17 percent of all fiber con­
sumed in mills in 1965, a considerable decline from 24 percent for the years 1949-52.
About 3 percent of fiber consumed in mills was exported in semi-fabricated or fabricated
form, compared with 6 percent for the years 1949-52. (See table 1.)
Changing Competitive Position
The textile industry’ s relative domestic and international economic position de­
clined markedly during the postwar period. National income originating in the industry in
1965 constituted 3.5 percent of income originating in all manufacturing as compared with
7.9 percent in 1947. In terms of employment, textile mills employed 5.0 percent of all
manufacturing workers in 1966 compared with 8.4 percent in 1947.


Table 1.

Textile Fiber End Use Consumption, 1949-52, 1957, and 1965

Type of end use




Millions of pounds

T o ta l-------------------------------------------------

5, 837

6 ,23 8

8 ,4 8 6

C lo th in g ----------------------------------------------------Other consumer u s e s ------------------------------Home furnishings--------------------------------------Industrial uses------------------------------------------- -Exports---------------------------------------------------------

2, 328
1, 163

2 ,55 9
1,21 0

3, 484
2, 433
1, 440

Percent of total

T o ta l-------------------------------------------------

100 .0


1 0 0 .0

C lo th in g ----------------------------------------------------Other consumer u s e s --------------------------------Home furnishings--------------------------------------Industrial uses--------------------------------------------Exports-------------------------------------------------- ------

3 9 .9
1 0 .0
1 9 .9
6. 1

4 1 .0
2 3.5
1 9.4
5 .6

41. 1
1 0 .3
2 8 .7
1 7 .0
3 .0

NOTE: Because of rounding,

sums of individual items may not equal totals,,

SOURCE: Textile Economics Bureau.

Textiles have been confronted with increasing competition from paper and plastic
materials, particularly for industrial uses. For example, the automobile industry, the
largest industrial consumer for textiles, has been increasingly substituting plastic and
foam rubber in place of textile fibers, reducing fiber poundage for
car upholstery and
slip covers about 20 percent from 1957 to 1965. Also, new types of paper are replacing
fabric for bags and bagging, and for institutional use.
Relative to world textile production, the U.S. share of production declined signifi­
cantly in the postwar period as capacity in war-torn and developing countries expanded.
Recent studies indicate that the United States accounted for about 25 percent of total
world production of textiles in 1953 compared with about 21 percent in 1966 which re­
flects some recovery in recent years. In 1950, U. S, cotton mill consumption constituted
31 percent of world mill consumption, in 1953, 23 percent and by 1965, it had declined
to 19 percent. The growth of the synthetic fiber industry in other countries provides the
basis for expansion of textile production. From 1955 to 1966, the U.S. share of noncellulosic fiber output declined from 65 percent to 38 percent of world production.

The recovery in world production ushered in a period of rising textile imports. (See
table 2.) From 1954, when imports of semimanufactured and manufactured products con­
stituted 2 percent of domestic consumption (cotton, wool and manmade fiber, measured in
pounds), the import ratio rose almost steadily to 6.7 percent in 1962. The cotton import
ratio was 1.2 percent in 1954, 7.2 percent in 1962; wool, 13.9 percent and 25.6 percent;
manmade, 0.4 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. These overall ratios reflect sub­
stantial variation among smaller sectors of the industry. For several sectors including
ginghams, worsted fabrics, sweaters, gloves, velveteens and others, the import penetration
was substantially and significantly greater.


T able 2,

Imports of Semimanufactured and Manufactured Products of Cotton, Wool, and
Manmade Fibers, Relative to Domestic Consumption, Selected Years

A ll fibers 1
I Imports 2
consumption 2


Million of pounds


- — .............—


- ... ........ . ... ............................. ........... ..


— — — — — — — — — -------—
—— ————————

4 ,7 2 6 ,9
5, 668. 1
5, 742. 0
7 ,2 0 6 .4
7 ,9 3 8 .0
8 ,7 5 9 .2
9 ,4 0 7 .7

64. 1
4 1 .4
114 .4
4 8 6 .0
4 9 1 .4
7 5 6 .4

consumption 2 j

as percent
of domestic

Million of pounds

3 ,8 2 2 .6
4, 248.7
3, 8 85 .6
4, 277 .5
4, 3 31 .4
4, 664.3
4 ,9 3 8 .8

1 .4
2 .0
6 .7
6. 2
6 .8
8 .0

..... — —
— ............... —
---------- ----- ------- ................... ........................................... —
— ——
— —

416. 9
6 04 .6
439. 5
570. 3
490. 8
527. 5
5 00 .5

20. 2
15. 5
6 1 .0
141. 1
156, 1
142. 9

1. 2
7. 2
6. 9
7 .7
1 0.0


W ool4


4 3 .2
2 5 .2
4 8 .5
3 09 .8
300. 2
3 60 .6
4 9 5 .9

as percent
of domestic

4 .8
2 .6
1 3 .9
25. 6
28. 8
2 9.6
2 8 .6


4 8 7 .4
1, 4 16 .9
2, 3 58 .6
3, 115.8
3, 5 67 .4
3, 9 68 .4

0 .8
4 .9
30. 6
5 0 .0
7 9 .0

0 .2
1. 3
1. 6
2 .2
3 .0

1 Cotton, wool, and manmade,
2 Domestic consumption equals mill consumption plus imports minus exports of semimanufactured and manufactured
3 Raw fiber equivalent.
4 Apparel and carpet wool.
SOURCE; Department of Agriculture; Department of Commerce; and Textile Organon.

In 1962, fo llo w in g ex ten sive congressional hearings on the industry’ s problems, the
Ixvag T e r m A r r a n g e m e n t (L T A ) was negotiated with leading textile nations to regulate
cotton textile i m p o r t s f o r five years. Imports of wool and manmade fiber textiles were not
regulated. A fter a r e la t iv e ly stable period from 1 962 to 1964, cotton imports rose sharply
in 1965 and 1966. Wool imports fluctuated only slightly in those years and in 1966 was at
the 1962 im p o r t level. Manmade imports which account for about 16 percent of the total,
r ose steadily from 1 962 to 1966 and most sharply in 1965 and 1966.
In total, im p o r t s of the three fibers remained fairly stable from 1962 to 1964 and
then r o s e sh arply in 1965 and 1966. Since domestic consumption increased from 1962 to
1/64, the import ratio declined f r o m 6.7 to 6.2 percent. In 1965 and 1966, however, imports
r o s e substantially m o r e than domestic consumption and the import ratio increased to 6.8
and 8.0 percent respectively. The cotton import ratio stood at 10 percent, wool at 28.6

percent and manmade fiber at 3 percent in 1966.
The changing pattern of textile imports and exports has resulted in a negative
balance of trade in the three major fiber manufactures of about $600 million in 1966.
F o r the first time, i m p o r ts of manmade fiber manufactures exceeded exports (dollar
value), and cotton imports were almost double our exports. The U.S. balance of trade for

manufactures of all fibers in 1966 was a deficit of approximately $900 million.
In addition to increasing competition from other materials and from imports, inter­
fib e r competition, which will be discussed later in this study, further complicated the indus try’ s problems.


Chapter II. Background of Technological Change

In order to understand technological and manpower developments in the industry, it
is necessary to review some historical factors affecting the industry’ s efforts to moder­
nize and to analyze current changes in organization, finances, investment, and research
which will influence future trends.
Stages of Development
Technological innovation in the textile industry proceeded rapidly in the United
States in the first half of the 19th century, after having been restricted by British em­
bargoes on the export of textile machinery and skilled labor. The first modern textile
factory in America incorporating all processes in one mill under one management was
opened in Waltham, Massachusetts, in 1814. One of the most important technical develop­
ments of this period was Thorp’ s ring spinning system in 1828 which reduced greatly
unit labor requirements for skilled labor. The textile industry was one of the major growth
industries of the expanding American economy during the early 19th century.
A second phase of significant technical innovation and economic change occurred at
the turn of the 20th century. Northrop* s loom, the fir st major change since the power loom of
1785, ejected the empty bobbin and inserted a fresh bobbin automatically, greatly increas­
ing productivity. One weaver could supervise as many as 16 looms instead of 2 looms and
stops were reduced from 200 to 6 a day.
The Northrop loom appeared on the market when cotton textile mills were moving
from the North to the South, and the new mills of the South adopted the loom fairly read­
ily which resulted in strengthening their long-run competitive position. The Northern
m ills, however, did not modernize as rapidly. By 1914, over 40 percent of the Southern
looms were automatic compared with 26 percent in the North. By 1929, the proportions
had risen to 80 percent in the South but were only 59 percent in the North.
Innovations in the first half of the 20th century were limited, for the most part, to
evolutionary modifications of existing textile machinery. The impact of any one technical
change during those years tended to be small, although taken in the aggregate, they r e ­
sulted in greater productivity. The changes in machinery, products and materials which
occurred in the late 1950*s and 1960*s will be discussed in the next chapter.
Barriers to Technological Change
Textile producers have generally been conservative about major technological
changes, tending to retain traditional methods of production. The pattern was to main­
tain machinery for the depreciation life of the machine, usually 30 years, although it
was often outmoded in considerably less time. Although this conservative attitude do­
minated the industry in the past, the economic and structural factors underlying it
appear to be changing.
One explanation of the industry’ s lack of innovation has been the high degree of ver­
tical “fragmentation” of the business structure. Crucial steps in the industrial process
of making textile products are divided among companies which are independent of one


another. Thus, most textile mills are single unit, highly specialized operations, such as
yarn mills, traditionally oriented to production of an intermediate product. Only about
40 percent of all cotton and synthetic broadwovenmills were integrated in 1958 (the latest
data availab le)--i.e., they purchased raw material and processed it through weaving.
Moreover, very few cotton and synthetic fiber broadwoven mills do their own finishing.
Goods may be marketed by commission houses or independent selling agents. Most of the
large mills are integrated, however. Although the independent mill manufacturing an in­
termediate product may have some advantages of flexibility, he may be handicapped by
his lack of direct contact with and knowledge of the market for finished goods. This
would tend to discourage change.

Relatively low profits of most mills in the postwar years have also been an impor­
tant factor discouraging innovation. (See table 3.) Average textile corporate profits (after
taxes) per dollar of sales and per dollar of stockholders’ equity in the 1950’ s averaged
about 50 percent of the rate for all manufacturing corporations. Moreover, textile prod­
ucers tended to limit capital spending, on average, to internal funds (undistributed profits
and depreciation allowances) which were not large enough in this period to permit expen­
ditures much over the amount needed for maintenance of installed machinery and equipment.

Table 3.

Corporate Sales and Profit Rates, Manufacturing’ and Textile M ill Products, 1947 and 1957-66
Percent of profits after taxes

1947 ---------- -------- -

sales, textile
mill products

On sales1

On stockholders’ equity 1






$ 9 ,0 2 7

6 .8

8 .2

1 5 .6

19. 5

1957 — — --------------------------------------------------1958 - - — - — -------------------------------------------1 9 5 9 -----------------------------------------------------------

1 3,056
11, 970

4 .8
4. 1
4 .8

1 .9
1 .6
3 .0

1 1 .0
8 .6
1 0 .4

4 .2
3 .5
7 .6

I 9 6 0 ---------------------------------------------------------1 9 6 1 ---------------- ----------------------------------------1 9 6 2 ---------------------1963 ----------------------------------------------------------1 9 6 4 -----------------------------------------------------------

13, 254

4 .4
4 .3
4. 6
4 .7
5 .2

2 .5
2. 1
2 .5
2 .3
3. 1

9. 2
8 .8
9 .8
10. 2
1 1.6

5 .8
5 .0
6 .2
6 .0
8 .4

1 96 5 ----------------------------------------------------------1 9 6 6 -----------------------------------------------------------


5 .6
5 .6

3 .8
3 .6

1 3 .0
1 3 .4

1 0.8
1 0.0

1 Annual rate,

average of quarterly profit rates.

SOURCE: Federal Trade Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission.

Finally, until recently, little attention was paid to developing new products and mar­
kets, and little market research or advertising was carried on. This reliance on existing
managerial and entrepreneurial methods was reinforced in some companies by family
ownership and management which tended to be conservative in instituting major changes.


New Directions

An improved financial position, competitive pressure to reduce unit costs, l a r g e r ,
more integrated units, and a favorable economic outlook set the stage in the 196Q’ s for
unprecedented interest in modernization. This is reflected in increased expenditures for
plant and equipment and for research.
Trend toward larger business units. One of the most significant d ev elop m en ts in the in­
dustry is the trend toward larger business organizations. Between 1955 and 1966, about
365 textile companies, according to the Federal Trade Commission, were acquired by
other companies through mergers and acquisitions. Most of the acquiring companies
were also in the textile industry. In some cases, the objective was diversification, such
as one company’ s acquisition of hosiery and carpet m ills; in others, the objective was
greater vertical integration through acquisition of spinning mills and retail clothing
Mergers among textile companies also occurred in large n u m b er s in the 1920’ s
and 1930’ s, when small mills merged in an effort to offset the financial power and m er­
chandising experience of the commission or selling house. In the 1940’ s , wartime pres­
sure to expand facilities, coupled with material and machine shortages, agai$ favored
integration. Between 1940 and 1 946, half the industry’ s spindle facilities were sold in
vertical acquisitions.
The best available measure of the trend toward larger business organizations is
the increasing proportion of the textile industry’ s output accounted for by the largest
textile firm s, although relative to many other industries, these ratios are still low. In
the cotton broadwoven sector, the value of shipments by the four largest companies rose
from 18 percent of this sector’ s total in 1954 to 30 percent in 1963. (See table 4.) In the
synthetic broadwoven sector, the four largest companies increased their share of ex­
panding total shipments from 30 percent in 1954 to 39 percent in 1963, In the knit under­
wear sector, the ratio rose from 26 percent to 33 percent (Census data).
There is , however, wide variation in concentration among the various textile sectors.
Shipments of the four largest wool weaving firms accounted for over 50 percent of ship­
ments in 1963; in the yarn sector, 17 percent; and in knit outerwear, only 11 percent.
Improved financial position. The industry’ s profit position improved in m id -1960 r e l a ­
tive to the 1950’ s, although it is still considerably below the levels for all-manufacturing
industries. In 1964-66, corporate profits (after taxes), as a percent of sales, averaged
3.5 percent compared with 2.6percent in the 1950-59 period, and 2.4 percent in the 1960-63
period. Stockholders’ equity as a percent of sales averaged 9*7 percent in 1964-66 com­
pared with 5.8 percent in 1960-63, Preliminary estimates for 1967, however, indicate some
cutback from recent high levels.
Profit ratios of the leading textile corporations have been, on the average, consider­
ably higher than those of all corporate producers of textile mill products. In 1966, the
average profit-sales ratio of the 4 leading (publicly owned) corporations (based on data
from Textile Industries) was 39 percent higher, and of the 15 leading corporations was
about a quarter higher, than the average profit ratio of all textile corporations. The ratio
ranged widely for the 15 companies, from 2.1 percent to 7.2 percent.


T a b le 4,

V alu e o f Shipments A ccou n ted for by the Largest T e x tile C om pan ies, 1954 and 1963
(Percent of total shipments)

Selected industry sectors,
and year 1
Weaving mills, cotton:
1954 —--------------- ------- ------- ----- ------------1963 - - - - - - — ---------- ----------- ____ _ _
Weaving mills, synthetics:
1954 ----------------------------------------- - - - - 1963 -------------- ---------- ------------------Weaving, finishing mills, wool:
1963 - -------- ---------------- ------------ - - - Narrow fabric mills:
1954 — ------ ---------- ----------------------------1963 ------------------------------ Women's hosiery, except socks:
1963 ------------------------------------Hosiery, not elsewhere classified:
1963 — — —
— —— —
Knit outerwear mills:
1954 — — — — — — — — — —
1963 — — — — —
Knit underwear:
1954 —
-------- --------------------1963 ---------- --------- — — — — —
Knit fabric ‘'mills:
1954 ---------------------- --------- ---------- — —
1963 — -------- -------------- — — — —
Finishing plants, cotton:
1963 — — — ------------ —
„ ——
Finishing plants, synthetic:
1963 — — —
— — ---------Woven carpets and rugs:
1963 ------ --------- ------- — — — — — —
Tufted carpets and rugs:
1963 — ------------ -------- —
— ----------Yarn mills, except wool:
1963 -------- — — — — — — ------------Thread mills:
1954 ---------- ----------------------------------------1963 ---------------------------------------------------


4 largest
... ........

I— ‘— ------ ------“
1 50 largest

8 largest

20 largest
















( 2)






(2 )
(2 )






















(2 )
























( 2)


1 Comparable data for some years are not available due to significant changes in the Standard
Industrial C1assification,
2 Not available.
SOURCE: Bureau of the Census.

The increased availability of internal funds for investment is of major significance in
the industry’ s efforts to modernize. Corporate internal funds, i .e ., undistributed cor­
porate profits and capital consumption allowances (depreciation charges and accidental da-*
mage to fixed capital) rose from an annual average of $420 million in 1950-59, to $695
million in 1960-66, a 65 percent rise. As shown in Chart 1, the rise in expenditures for
new plant and equipment (corporate and noncorporate), in recent years, closely paralleled
the increase in corporate internal funds. In 1965 and 1966, expen ditu res for plant and
equipment exceeded the large internal funds, a reflection of the im p or ta n c e of m o d e r n i ­
zation to the industry and the investors’ confidence in the future.
Federal measures have contributed to creation of conditions favorable to large scale
investment in new plant and equipment. The depreciation schedule of 1961 reduced the
average depreciable life of textile machinery from 15-40 years to 12-15 years. Also, the
textile industry, along with other industries, benefited from an investment tax credit on


expenditures for new equipment which went into effect in 1962. After several months’
suspension in the fall of 1966, it was reinstated in the spring of 1967.
Increasing expenditures for modernization. A sharp increase in expenditures for new plant
and equipment in the past 5 years, following more than a decade of low investment, has
provided opportunities for introduction of new technology. Expenditures for plant and
equipment between 1962 and 1966 inclusive, totaled $ 4.1 billion, or an average of $ 820
million a year (OBE-SEC data) compared with an average annual of $430 million over
the 1957-61 period. In 1966, total expenditures on new plant and equipment amounted to
$ 1.13 billion (table 5).
Table 5.

Expenditures for Plant and Equipment, Manufacturing and
Textile Mill Products, 1947 and 1957-66
(Billions of dollars)


Textile m ill products

1947 -----------------------------------

$8. 70

$0. 51

1957 ----------------------------------1958 ----------------------------------1959 -----------------------------------

15. 96
12. 07

.4 1
.2 9
.4 1

I960 ----------------------------- —
---------------------1 9 6 1 ------1962 ----------------------------------1963 ----------------------------------1964 -----------------------------------

14. 48
14. 68
15. 69
18.5 8

. 53
. 50
.6 1
.6 4
. 76

1965 -------------- -------------------1966 -----------------------------------

22. 45
26. 99

. 98
1. 13

Average annual percent change
1947-57 -----------------------------1957-66 -----------------------------



-2 . 2
11. 9

6 .3
6 .0







It is important to recognize that the bulk of these expenditures were made by the
larger textile companies. Establishments inmultiplant companies, which constituted about
one-fourth of all establishments in the industry in 1963, spent about three-fourths of total
capital expenditures, according to Census data. 2 / (See table 6.)
The bulk of capital expenditures was for modernization and replacement, but since
I960, an increasing proportion has been spent for plant expansion. A considerably larger
proportion is also being spent on “automated” machinery and equipment, 21 percent in

2 / The Census Bureau estimates of capital expenditures differ from the joint Office
of Business Economics-Securities and Exchange Commission data. In addition to sampling
variations, Census data relate only to manufacturing establishments while OBE-SEC
includes all establishments, manufacturing and nonmanufacturing of manufacturing


Table 6.

Percent Distribution of Establishments and Expenditures
by Type of Company, 1963
A ll


Total number of establishments-----------------Capital expenditures------------------------------------

1 00 .0

Single unit

2 5 .7
7 7 .1

7 4 .3
2 2 .9

SOURCE: Bureau of the Census.

i966 (above the ratio for all manufacturing) compared with 14 percent in 1963. The
capitalization ratio (investment per job) for mills built in 1966 has been estimated at
approximately 20 percent greater than 5 years earlier and 40 percent greater than in
These expenditures increased capacity by 23 percent from 1962 to 1966 (see table 7)
and updated the industry’ s facilities. According to a McGraw-Hill survey, the proportion of
pre-1950 facilities declined from 49 percent in 1962 to 29 percent in 1966. The ratio of
new capacity to total showed improvement. (See chart 2.) Plant and equipment, 5 years old
or less, accounted for 38 percent of textile capacity in 1966 compared with 27 percent
in 1962. The proportion of textile facilities of that age, in 1966, was slightly larger than the
proportion of facilities of that age in all manufacturing.
Table 7.

Operating Rate and Capacity Expansion, Textile
Mill Productsr^£958-66

Actual operating rate,
December (percent)


Index of capacity
December 1950=100

1958 -----------------------------------1959 -----------------------------------



I960 ----------------------------------1 9 6 1 ----------------------------------1962 ----------------------------------1963 ----------------------------------1964 ------------------------------------



1965 ----------------------------------1966 ------------------------------------



1 Represents primarily large companies.

McGraw-Hill Publications, Economics Department.

The industry’ s facilities, however, continue to be the second oldest among manufac­
turing industries, just as they had been in 1962. Moreover, this survey covers only larger
companies and the proportion of obsolete equipment still maintained by smaller companies
is probably considerably greater, although a substantial proportion of old machinery has
been rebuilt. Small and medium-sized companies may not have replaced their obsolete
equipment as much as did large companies because of lack of financial resources and
access to financial markets, or because of cost factors.
Expenditures for investment are expected to continue to be substantial in the next
several years, but reductions from the 1966 peak are anticipated. Estimates for 1967
are about $880 million. Several factors are responsible, including the sizable capacity


growth, the recent cutback from peak levels of production, and lower profit rates. The
operating rate fell from 99 percent in December 1965 to 94 percent in 1966, as shown in
table 7.
Growth of interest in research and development. Another important aspect of the tex­
tile industry’ s modernization movement is the increasing interest, especially on the part
of large companies, in research and development of new products and processes. Accord­
ing to the National Science Foundation (table8),R & D funds for textile and apparel firms
totaled $38 million in 1965, about 0.5 percent of sales of companies engaged in R & D com­
pared with $15 million in 1957. Outlays in 1966 are estimated at over $40 million. The pa­
per and allied industry, by comparison, spent $76 million in 1965 which was about 0.7 per­
cent of net sales of companies engaged in R & D. In all manufacturing, the percent of sales
of companies engaged in R & D in 1965 was 4.3 percent.

C h a r t l . C o r p o r a t e In te rn a l F u n d s
a nd T o t a l E x p e n d i t u r e s f o r P la n t
a nd E q u ip m e n t 1 9 4 7 -6 6

C h a r t 2. A g e o f E q u ip m e n t o f Large
T e x t i l e C o m p a n i e s 1 9 6 2 ,1 9 6 6
Percent of
all equipment

| Spring 1962
December 1966

40 - ................












1 / Undistributed corporate profits and corporate capital consumption allow­
ances (depreciation charges and accidental damage to fixed capital).
2/ Corporate and noncorporate.
3/ Preliminary.

5 years old
or less

Note: See Appendix Table A -l for data.

6-1 0
years old

years old

Over 16
years old

Note: See Appendix Table A-2 for data.

The major proportion of R&D funds are expended by relatively few large companies.
Only l 7 companies with employment of 5,000 or over accounted for 68 percent of all tex­
tile ai.d apparel R&D funds in 1965. Thirty-four with 1,000-4,999 employees accounted
for 23 percent of textile R&D funds. Although no data are available on the number of small
companies (less than 1,000 employees) engaged in R&D, they accounted for only 9 percent
of total textile R&D funds (table 9)*
Viewed another way, the proportion of large companies doing R&D is greater than
that for smaller companies, as would be expected. In 1963, 42 percent of textile and


Table 8.

Research and Development Funds, Textile and
Apparel Industries, 1957-66


1957 ---------------------------1958 ----------------------------------1959 ----------------------------------I960

---------- -----------------------— ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------


Total funds for
RED (millions)




Percent of net sales
of companies per­
forming RED
0 .3
( X)

* Not available.

Table 9.

National Science Foundation.

Research and Development Funds, Textile and Apparel Companies,
by Employment Size, 1958 and 1961-65

SOURCE: National Science Foundation.

apparel companies with 5,000 or more employees had R&D programs, compared with
24 percent of companies with 1,000-5,000 employees. Only a very small proportion of
the many t h o u s a n d s of small companies, having less than 1,000 employees, spent
funds for R&D.
The textile industry, however, draws heavily on researchperformed by its suppliers.
The invention of nylon by a chemical firm in the 1930*3 exerted a profound influence on
the textile industry and on the continuing involvement of the chemical industry in textile
research. Outlays by the chemical industry for synthetic fiber research and development
were estimated at $135 million in 1965, almost four times total textile and apparel funds
for that year. Also, textile machinery manufacturers have been spending more heavily in
recentyears on basic and applied research. This has occurred in response to demand and
to counteract imports of foreign machinery.
The Federal Government also carries on extensive researchprograms primarily to
improve the marketability of natural fibers. However, relatively little Federal support is


given to company R&D programs. Although Federal funds for R&D for the textile and ap­
parel industry doubled from $1 million in 1957 to $2 million in 1964, they accounted for
only 6 percent of total textile and apparel funds in 1964, compared with 16 percent for in­
dustrial chemicals (including synthetic fibers).
The rate of spending for R&D may increase significantly in the next several years,
assuming the level of textile activity remains high. The growing number of large diversi­
fied corporations which have adequate financial resources to undertake long range re­
search and development projects will continue to provide the major proportion of funds.


Chapter III. Technological Prospects in the 1970's

Technological changes taking place in the textile industry fall into 3 general types.
One involves improvements of conventional machines (e.g. in speed, capacity, and automaticity), and installation of auxiliary equipment (e.g. for machine-cleaning and materialshandling) to increase productivity and improve product quality. Many of these have been
adopted by larger modernized mills and are rapidly being adopted by smaller mills.
Another line of development includes more radical changes, such as integration of two or
more processes, advanced instrumentation, use of computers for data processing and
finishing, and new methods of production which may require costly equipment, and in some
cases, the building of a new mill. The third development is the increasing use of manmade
The changes discussed here are those now clearly seen as having significant impact
in the next decade. Machinery and processes which are still in the developmental stage
and may not have a substantial impact over the next ten years are mentioned, but are not
discussed in detail.
Changes in Broadwoven Production
The technological developments described in detail below cover the major steps in
cotton yarn and fabric manufacture. These operations are almost identical for manmade
spun yarn and fabric manufacture, and roughly comparable with the woolen and worsted
system of manufacture.
Production in a cotton cloth mill involves along series of many discrete mechanical
operations. Chart 3 indicates the flow of operations. Specialized machines at each stage
reduce raw cotton to thread or yarn for weaving or knitting. After several successive
operations, the yarn is woven into cloth. Finally the cloth is dyed and finished. These proc­
esses take place in specialized yarn, cloth, and finishing m ills, or in fully integrated mills
which include all processes from bale to finished cloth.
One of the major recent changes is the layout and design of the plant itself. Many of
the 7,000 plants in the industry, built more than 25 years ago, are outdated multistory
mills, poorly adapted to modern continuous flow methods. In the typical older mill, the
work passes through several rooms located on different floors. Trucking and hauling
materials from one operation to the next may comprise 5-15 percent of production costs.
Lint-laden air is common in several rooms, and other plant conditions, such as lighting,
may be inadequate in these older mills.
New mills usually have only one floor with few rooms, and machines are located
close to each other in a line operation so that handling is minimized. Powered and pneu­
matic conveyors, hoists, and monorails also reduce materials handling in modernized
mills, and lighten the workload of the mill operative. Air conditioning, cleaning and refri­
geration, automatic machine-cleaning devices, and better lighting are becoming more
widespread. Automatic waste systems collect waste from several operations and transport
it to a central collection point which greatly reduces manual waste removal.


Chart 3.
Major Processes in an Integrated Cotton Broaflwoven Mill

Conventional Mills

Modernized Mills


S e v e r a l b a le s a r e m a n u a lly p lu c k e d and fe d in to op e n in g m a c h in e s
w h ich l o o s e n and p a r t ia lly c le a n the f ib e r . Th en the f ib e r m o v e s
th ro u g h b len d in g m a c h in e s to a s s u r e t h o r o u g h m ix in g .

F i b e r is m e c h a n i c a l l y
m a c h in e s .

fe d in to a u to m a tic o p e n in g -b le n d in g

P i c k e r m a c h in e s r e m o v e h ea vy im p u r it ie s , p a r a l l e li z e the f ib e r ,
fo r m it in to s h e e ts and r o l l the s h e e ts in to 6 0 -9 0 pound p a c k a g e s
c a l le d la p s . The la p s a r e m a n u a lly r e m o v e d and tr u c k e d to c a r d in g .

L a ps a r e a u t o m a t ic a lly r e m o v e d and p o s it io n e d at c a r d in g . In a fe w
a u to m a tic s y s t e m s ; the p ic k in g o p e r a t io n is in t e g r a t e d w ith o th e r
p r o c e s s e s , e lim in a tin g p ic k e r m a c h in e s and lap fo r m a t io n . The
f ib e r is c h u t e -fe d to c a r d in g .

C a rd in g m a c h in e s ro ta te the lap o v e r a s u r fa c e o f bent w ir e s to
c le a n , s tr a ig h te n , and p a r a l l e li z e the f ib e r in to thin, r o p e - li k e
s tr a n d s c a lle d c a r d s l iv e r . The s l iv e r is d e p o s it e d in to c a n s and
m a n u a lly tr u c k e d to d ra w in g . M a c h in e s a r e c le a n e d m a n u a lly .

M a ch in e s o p e r a te at fo u r tim e s the s p e e d o f ten y e a r s a g o , h ave
a u to m a tic c le a n in g d e v i c e s , m o r e in s tru m e n ta tio n , and g r e a t ly
r e d u c e d m a in te n a n c e r e q u ir e m e n t s . In a u to m a tic s y s t e m s , the
s liv e r is m o v e d on a c o n v e y o r b e lt to d r a w in g a s p a r t o f a c o n t in ­
uous s y s t e m .

D raw ing f r a m e s c o m b in e 6 -8 f ib e r s tr a n d s , d ra w o r d ra ft the f ib e r
to in c r e a s e p a r a l l e li s m and u n ifo r m it y u n til the f ib e r is r e d u c e d
to the s iz e o f a s in g le stra n d in tw o p r o c e s s e s o f d ra w in g . The s l iv e r
is d e p o s it e d in c a n s , and tr u c k e d to r o v in g . M a ch in e s a r e c le a n e d
and lu b r ic a t e d m a n u a lly .

M a ch in e s o p e r a te at s ix tim e s the s p e e d o f t e n y e a r s a g o , have m o r e
in s tru m e n ta tio n , a u to m a tic c le a n in g d e v i c e s and c o n s id e r a b ly l e s s
m a in te n a n ce .

R o v in g m a c h in e s r e d u c e the
s tr a n d s , in s e r t s lig h t tw is t and
ro v in g b ob b in s a r e m a n u a lly
s p in n in g . M a c h in e s a r e c le a n e d

d ra w in g s tr a n d s to m u ch s m a lle r
w ind the s tra n d s onto b o b b in s . The
r e m o v e d (d o ffe d ), and tr u c k e d to
m a n u a lly .

M a ch in e s o p e r a te at c o n s id e r a b ly h ig h e r s p e e d s , in c lu d e m o r e in ­
s tru m e n ta tio n and a u to m a tic c le a n in g . In one o r tw o e x p e r im e n t a l
m il l s , fu ll b o b b in s a r e a u t o m a t ic a llly d o ffe d in to spin n in g c r e e l s
and m o v e d to sp in n in g f r a m e s . In s o m e y a r n m il l s , the r o v in g
p r o c e s s is e lim in a t e d , but th is is not a n ew d e v e lo p m e n t.

R o v in g b o b b in s a r e m a n u a lly lo a d e d ( c r e e l e d ) on spinning f r a m e s
■which d ra w out the s tr a n d s o f f i b e r , tw is t th em into y a r n , and w ind
the y a r n in to s m a ll b o b b in s . The b o b b in s a r e m a n u a lly d o ffe d and
t r u c k e d to n ext p r o c e s s . M a c h in e s a r e c le a n e d and lu b r ic a t e d
m a n u a lly.

N ew spin n in g f r a m e s a r e f a s t e r , m ak e g r e a t e r u s e o f in s t r u m e n ta ­
tion and h ave a u to m a tic m a c h in e -c le a n in g and m a in te n a n ce d e v i c e s .
In a fe w o f the m o s t a d v a n ce d m il l s , fu ll b o b b in s a r e d o ffe d a u t o ­
m a t ic a lly . In s o m e e x p e r im e n t a l m i l l s , the spin n in g f r a m e s a r e
c r e e le d a u to m a t ic a lly .


W inding and w a rp in g m a c h in e s t r a n s f e r f illin g and w arp y a r n f r o m
s m a ll spin n in g b o b b in s in to l a r g e r p a c k a g e s f o r u se on l o o m s ,
k n ittin g m a c h in e s , e t c . M a c h in e s a r e m a n u a lly lo a d e d .

F illin g w in d in g f o r u s e in sh u ttle s is e lim in a te d a s a s e p a r a t e
p r o c e s s in s o m e m il l s and i n c o r p o r a t e d as an a u to m a tic a tta ch m e n t
to the lo o m . O th e r w in d in g m a c h in e s a r e m e c h a n ic a lly lo a d e d and
in clu d e g r e a t e r u s e o f in s tru m e n ta tio n .

L o o m s in t e r la c e c r o s s w i s e fillin g y a r n (fr o m b o b b in in s h u ttle ), and
le n g th w is e w a rp y a r n (fr o m b e a m ) to f o r m c lo t h c a lle d g r e y g o o d s .
A lm o s t h a lf o f a ll m ill w o r k e r s a r e e m p lo y e d in the w e a v e r o o m .

L o o m s p e e d s _ a r e 2 5 -5 0 p e r c e n t f a s t e r than n ew l o o m s o f 1 5 y e a r s
a go. C e n tr a liz e d lu b r ic a t io n , a u to m a tic c le a n in g s y s t e m s , and m o n i ­
to r in g d e v ic e s w h ich r e c o r d lo o m p e r f o r m a n c e a r e in c o r p o r a t e d in
m o d e r n w e a v e r o o m s . S u ttle le s s l o o m s m a in ta in e d in s o m e m il l s ,
o p e r a te at g r e a t e r s p e e d s , a llo w f o r a h ig h e r d e g r e e o f a u to m a tic it y , and m a y in v o lv e f e w e r p r e p a r a t o r y p r o c e s s e s .

F in is h in g in v o lv e s a lo n g s e r ie s o f d i s c r e t e o p e r a tio n s w h ic h m a y
in c lu d e s in g e in g , d e s iz in g , b le a c h in g , m e r c e r i z in g , t e n te r in g ,
fr e q u e n t d r y in g , d y e in g , p r in tin g , p r e s h r in k in g , c a le n d e r in g , and
s p e c ia l fin is h in g p r o c e s s e s .

C on tinuou s s y s t e m s and c e n t r a l c o n t r o ls a r e utilize*d in the m o s t
m o d e r n m il l s . At le a s t one fin is h in g m ill has c o m p u t e r c o n t r o l o f
.the d y e in g p r o c e s s .


layer by

and blending. In older systems, still used in many m ills, a laborer lifts the cotton
layer from several bales, and feeds it into opening machines which loosen and
clean the fiber. Then the cotton moves through blending machines to assure
mixing of the fibers.

Less than 5 percent of mill workers are employed in these operations. The work
involves heavy lifting and handling of dirty materials; the workforce is unskilled.
Changes in the opening operation include faster and larger opening and blending sys­
tems, and mechanized materials-handling equipment which can reduce labor requirements
per unit of output by about one-third. Heavy physical work is almost entirely eliminated
with the use of these machines and auxiliary equipment, and the quality of the yarn
improved through more efficient blending and cleaning.
Picking. Mechanical conveyors then move the cotton to picker machines which further
remove heavv impurities, parallelize the fibers, form them into sheets, and roll the sheets
into laps or large rolls. The picker machine operator (picker tender) removes (doffs) the
roll from the picker machine, weighs it, and places it on a hand truck. A trucker moves it
to the next machine. Men only are employed to operate the machines and to handle these
heavy laps.
Picker operations have undergone significant changes in recent years, which reduce
unit labor requirements. In many modernized m ills, mechanized machine and floorcleaning devices, including auxiliary suction tubes and lint shields, free the operator from
time-consuming cleaning duties for more productive work. Also, the use of conveyors to
move the lap roll to the next process eliminates the job of the unskilled trucker. In some
m ills, highly automatic conveyor systems pick up the roll, weigh it (reject it if it does not
meet production requirements), move it, and position it at carding which is the next
process. The machine operator intervenes only to start and stop the conveyors and to
monitor for problems.
The most advanced continuous yarn system, first installed in Japan, integrates the
picking process with the other prcesses, and eliminates conventional picker machines and
the formation of the lap roll. The fiber, after cleaning and blending in specialized, highly
automatic machines, is blown through pneumatic ducts directly to the carding machine for
the next p r o c e s s . So far these sy stem s have been installed in only two or three m ills in the
United States and are still in the experimental stage. Widespread adoption will be limited
by the high cost; also, some of these machines cannot be easily integrated with generally
used equipment.
Carding. Following opening and picking, the tangled bulky roll of fiber is moved to the
carding operation where machines (cards) rotate it over a surface of bent wires to clean,
straighten and parallelize the fiber into a thin rope-like strand (card sliver). The strand
is precisely coiled into cans and manually trucked to the next operation.
A few semiskilled machine operators (card tenders) tend a long line of carding
machines. In the newer m ills, one man may tend as many as 88 cards. The card tender
moves constantly from machine to machine, feeding heavy lap rolls of fiber, into the
machine, doffing (removing) the full cans of sliver, piecing broken ends of fiber, and clean­
ing lint and waste from the cards. In addition, skilled maintenance workers (card fixers
and card grinders) keep the mechanism in working order.


In most yarn m ills, the fiber moves through opening, blending and
picking operations, is wound into lap rolls and trucked to carding.

In this modern mill, mechanical trans­
fer of lap rolls and automatic feed to card­
ing machines replace manual handling.
Then the fiber comes off each card into
tall cans which are subsequently moved
to the next process.

In this type of system, lap rolls may be
eliminated. The fiber may be fed auto­
matically into carding machines which are
linked together and operate as a unit.
Although less versatile, this system elim­
inates several steps, and requires less
unit labor and less floor space.


Recent carding innovations greatly reduce the number of card tenders required per
unit of output, and make obsolete the carding room of the 1950’ s. Modernized carding
machines operate at more than four times the speed of only 10 years ago. They are
equipped with stop-motion devices and larger doffing receptacles and can produce 40-50
pounds of fiber strand per hour compared with older card output of 10-15 pounds an hour.
In addition, automatic suction devices on the carding machine at the points of discharge
greatly reduce the tender s’ cleaning tasks. Many mills are installing these devices because
cards producing more thantwice the output per hour of previous cards create considerably
more lint and fly. In the newest m ills, automatic overhead traveling vacuum cleaners are
utilized in the card room. One new mill estimated that the tender’ s cleaning duties occupy
10-15 percent of his time instead of the 65 percent spent in older mills.
Maintenance downtime, i.e. the time the machine is not operating, and maintenance
man-hours on carding machines are also being reduced significantly. Modernized carding
machines eliminate an 8-hour card grinding proces s. Sealed bearings reduce oiling and
card maintenance by the fixer. Also, automatic vacuum stripping (developed in 1957 but
only now being widely adopted) permits the card tender or card stripper to oversee 3-4
times as many cards as was previously possible.
Although long-range forecasts predict the ultimate displacement of the carding
operation by a radically new electro-static system, such developments are still in the
research stage. New carding machines and auxiliary equipment described above are only
beginning to gain industry acceptance, and will continue to be of major importance in mill
modernization in the next decade.
Drawing. The next step in the textile plant is the drawing operation, where the fibers are
further processed. Drawing frames combine 6 or 8 fiber strands, draw or draft the fibers
to increase parallelism and uniformity until the fibers are reduced to the size of a single
strand and are coiled into cans.
The drawing frame tender, a semiskilled operator, tends many rows of drawing
frames. He repairs broken ends of sliver, replaces fiber receptacles, cleans the machine,
and patrols the line of machines to detect malfunctioning. About one-fourth of all drawing
frame tenders are women.
Faster machine speeds, automatic stop motions, automatic cleaning and conveying
devices, and other drawing improvements can reduce unit man-hours by as much as 75
percent. The speed of new drawing frames, for example, is six times that of machines
installed 10 years ago, and considerably fewer machines are needed for the same output.
In the newest m ills, only one drawing operator is required where 4-5 are necessary in
an average mill for the same output. In addition, fewer maintenance men are required on
modernized machines with antifriction bearings central lubrication. Roller bearings on
new drawing frames require oiling once every 3 years during overhaul, compared with
once a week on older models.

Roving. The roving machine reduces the drawing strand to a much smaller strand of fiber,
inserts a slight twist, and winds the strands (roving) onto a bobbin. Bobbins are manually
doffed and trucked to the next operation.


The ratio of workers on this operation is about 5 percent of mill employment. The
semiskilled roving operator moves along the long line of roving machines, repairs or ties
ends, doffs the bobbins, and cleans the machines. Tending roving machines has become
primarily a man's job as larger and heavier packages of fiber must be loaded on and taken
off the machine. Only about 10 percent of the tenders are women.
The newest models of the roving machine, with auxiliary stop-motion devices and
cleaning systems, have significantly reduced downtime. Unit man-hours can be reduced by
more than 75 percent. Moreover, the most advanced system includes automatic doffing. The
roving bobbins are doffed into a spinning creel which is mechanically transferred to the
spinning frame.
In some systems of yarn manufacture, primarily for use with coarse yarn, the roving
process is omitted. This so-called sliver to yarn spinning is possibly the oldest solution to
process elimination, and may be perfected for greater use at some future time.
Spinning. Spinning machinery for the final proces s in the manufacture of yarn draws out the
strands of fiber, twists them into yarn, and winds the yarn onto small bobbins. When the
bobbins are full; the frames stop automatically, and the bobbins are manually doffed
(removed) and replaced by empty ones.
Workers in the average spinning room constitute about 20 percent of all mill opera­
tors. Spinners are semiskilled operators, almost exclusively women, who are responsible
for many rows of spinning frames containing thousands of spindles (as many as 5,500
spindles in the more efficient mill). The spinner's job consists of manually loading the
machines with roving bobbins, twisting the ends of roving yarn from the spent bobbin to
full bobbin, repairing breaks, cleaning the machines, and patrolling the long lines of
machines carefully watching for broken strands or nearly-exhausted bobbins. Another
operator (the doffer), almost always male, removes the full bobbins from the spindle and
replaces them with empty bobbins.
Spindle speeds have increased greatly over the last 15 years,advancing from 10,000
rpm in 1950 to 13,500 today, and 20,000 rpm are now feasible. Consequently, fewer new
machines are required in new or modernized spinning rooms for a given level of output
than with older equipment. Also, the use of instrumentation to improve quality and shorten
downtime is increasing. In addition, automatic maintenance and cleaning auxiliary equip­
ment is now basic to spinning room modernization. Overall, fewer, faster machines and
auxiliary laborsaving equipment are reducing the number of operators required in the
modern spinning room by as much as a third.
The most radical innovation in the spinning room is the automatic doffing machine
which eliminates the task of manually removing full bobbins, one the most time-consuming
operations in the mill. The doffer-operator simply starts the doffing machine and patrols
the row of spindles to check for malfunctions. Commercially available only for the past
two years, the automatic doffing machine reduces unit requirements for doffers by twothirds. It may eliminate the job of doffer by transferring the duty of operating the doffer
machine to the spinner. Althoughthe doffing machine was initially feasible only in new mills
with wide space between rows of spindles, smaller units are expected to be commercially
available in 1968.


A revolutionary technique, still in the developmental stage, is open-end spinning which
eliminates the ring, traveler and spindle. Some industry men believe that this innovation
will lead to significantly greater mill automation, because conventional ring spinning is a
relatively discontinuous operation. One model of an open-end machine is said to utilize
high-pressure forced air to combine into one simplified process the three conventional
functions of roving, spinning and winding, significantly reducing unit labor requirements.
Winding and warping. In the winding and warping operations, yarn is transferred from the
relatively small spinning frame bobbins into larger packages for use on the loom or for
other uses, such as knitting. Inspection of yarn to correct weak or torn parts is another
important function of the process.
Workers involved in winding and warping account for about 10 percent of total em­
ployment in the mill. Women make up the majority of workers, and most jobs are relatively
low skilled.
Winding, one of the most expensive processes in the textile mill, has become highly
automatic. On some of the newest machines, the bobbins are creeled by means of highly
mechanized bobbin-conveying systems, replacing manual creeling, and automatic knotting
devices operate at every spindle. One of the most important laborsaving aspects of the
newest winders is the automatic tying-in of the yarn ends on full bobbins. Such new
machine models require only two operators in place of five on conventional machines.
Probably the most important development in winding is an automatic winding attach­
ment to the loom which replaces quilling (filling winding) as a separate process, thereby
eliminating many steps in conventional manufacture. This is another example of the com­
bination or integration of processes. Savings in floor space provide room for more prod­
uctive equipment, and unit man-hours on winding can be reduced by as much as 60 percent.
Such loom-winding attachments are being widely adopted by mills which can use this
Weaving. Weaving consists of the interlacing of crosswise or filling threads with length­
wise or warp threads on a loom to form fabric, known as grey cloth. The weaving room,
containing hundreds or thousands of looms, is the largest and the noisiest work area in
the mill.
Almost half of all operatives in an integrated mill are employed in the weaving room,
Weavers (half of them are women) are among the highest paid workers in the mill. One
weaver may supervise as many as 200 looms in a new mill (depending on fabric construc­
tion), compared with one-rfifth less in the typical mill. Loom fixers, almost exclusively
men, do the maintenance and repair work and are usually the most skilled and highest
paid workers in the mill.

Loom speeds have been increased by 25-50 percent in the past 15 years (depending
on fabric construction). New looms operate at about twice the speed of most looms in the
average mill. Manual lubrication is being replaced in s ome of the most technically advanced
mills by centralized lubrication systems, which consist of a circuit of injectors that
deliver the proper quantity of oil to several points on each machine at 30-minute intervals.
This technique eliminates downtime required for machine maintenance.


Advances in spinning, winding and weaving reduce unit labor costs.

The mechanical doffer moves along the
spinning frame, removes full bobbins and
places empty bobbins on the spindles.
Manual doffing is one of the most costly
operations in the mill.

In most mills, filling yarn (yarn woven
crosswise into the fabric) is wound or
quilled in a separate area. In this weaveroom, the yarn is wound directly on the
loom, eliminating several costly handling

Increased speed, reduced maintenance,
less noise, fewer preparatory processes
are some of the advantages of the shuttleless loom shown on the right.


A major innovation in weaving is the shuttleless loom which operates without shuttle,
bobbin, or bobbin-feeding mechanism. Increased speed, reduced maintenance, a higher
degree of automaticity, less noise, and fewer preparatory processes are some of the
advantages of the shuttleles s loom over the conventional loom. However, until very recently,
shuttleless looms were capable of producing cloth with only one selvage edge (instead of
two), and buyer i resistence to this limited industry acceptance. Also the relatively high
cost of this loom and advances in conventional looms have been deterrents to greater
adoption. Although shuttleless looms account for only a small fraction of all looms, indus­
try interest is widespread. Many mills have installed shuttleless looms, in addition to
conventional looms, to evaluate their performance.
The water-jet loom, made in Japan and Czechoslovakia, is the newest innovation in
weaving and several U.S. mills reportedly have pilot installations. These are said to have
advantages over conventional looms, but at present can be used only to weave continuous filament manmade fibers.
Finishing. Chemical and mechanical finishing techniques and cloth inspection complete the
processes of textile cloth manufacture in a fully integrated mill. Many discrete operations
such as singeing, desizing, bleaching, dyeing, printing, preshrinking, calendering, and
others may be included in finishing. New finishing treatments aim at improving “wash and
wear” properties of cloth and its resistance to creasing, staining, etc.

Manpower required in these operations are generally unskilled or semiskilled, except
for the cloth grader and the technical per sonnel. Men hold most of the jobs in the finishing
department, but women are usuallly employed as cloth inspectors.
Continuous finishing systems are replacing some of the older, discontinuous tech­
niques, significantly reducing time and labor requirments and upgrading quality of output.
For example, a new continuous open bleaching system, which is found in only a few m ills,
takes only 7 minutes compared with 9 hours required 10 years ago. Newly developed
bleaching agents and auxiliary chemicals make possible this combination of processes.
These systems usually include advanced instrumentation and central consoles.
Combinations of machinery for other than wet-processing are also reducing unit man­
hours in a few modernized mills. For example, one machine sews the cloth together,
scrapes, brushes, shears, and then rerolls it. This results in considerable laborsavings
per unit.
One of the most important advances in finishing, the use of the computer for process
control, is discussed below.
At different stages of production, various types of auxiliary equipment for measure­
ment and control are being introduced which reduce downtime and permit more efficient
quality control.
Stop-motion devices that cut off the machine’ s operation to prevent yarn damage, and
electronic devices that activate machine adjustments when required, are being increas­


ingly installed on new equipment. For example, in the drawing process, yarn thickness is
controlled by a photoelectric cell which detects differences in light passing through the
yarn and adjusts the drawing frame automatically.
Mechanical and electronic recording instruments, which replace visual scanning and
other slower methods of inspection and recording, are being adopted increasingly. An
electronic monitoring system in the weaveroom, for example, provides a visual and printed
record of the performance of every loom on a central console. However, these systems
are being installed primarily in newer m ills, and their application may be limited because
of cost.
The use of radioisotopes in textile manufacture for measurement and control of
plastic and rubber coatings is an interesting example of the application of electronic
instrumentation for quality control. Radioisotopes give off radiation which pass through
solid material, the intensity of the radiation varying with the thickness and density of the
material. Measurements can be recorded continuously, and feedback controls permit
automatic adjustment of the coating. The results are greater product uniformity, reduced
downtime, and unit man-hour savings.
Instrumentation is most advanced in the wet finishing proces ses. In more modernized
mills, almost every detail of pressure, speed, temperature, and flow of several machines
is controlled from a central console which one man can monitor. Latest models of finishing
equipment are more extensively instrumented, and output per man-hour is higher.
Computers are used by some large companies for data processing and are being ex­
tended to control finishing processes. According to a 1965 McGraw-Hill survey of large
companies, 56 percent of the large textile companies responding reported computer instal­
lations. Major uses included accounting, inventory control, sales analyses and orders,
and long-range production planning. Although the application of computer technology is still
very limited, recent developments indicate potential growth. For example, several large
textile firms opened central electronic data-processing offices in the last few years, co­
ordinating information from 40 mills or more. Several hundred management specialists,
computer technicians, and clerical workers w illprocess, analyze, and store mill informa­
tion, and then feed back appropriate reports to mill managers. Plans are being made for
advanced computer equipment which may make possible daily mill control.

Computer applications for process control are only in the beginning stages. The
first computer-directed control system was installed in a large finishing plant to control a
complex dyeing procedure. It operates valves automatically, sequencing the filling, heating,
cooling, pressurizing, emptying, and recording data on these procedures. This system is
said to result in greater productivity and in a consistently high-quality product. It is
expected, moreover, that computer control will be expanded to include other major finish­
ing processes.
New Methods of Production
New methods of fiber and fabric manufacture are broadening textile markets. Nonwoven fabric (bonded web of fibers), needle-punched fabric, foam laminates, coated
fabrics and texturized and stretch yarns are some of the new products now being fabri--


Cleaning and materials handling are greatly reduced in modernized
m ills.

In this mill, machines are cleaned auto­
matically by overhead cleaner s and under­
floor return-air tunnels.

Here, the heavy beam of fabric is moved
mechanically along overhead rails.


cated. Most of these, such as the so-called nonwoven fabric, require fe we r%
per unit of output than conventional fabrics; others, such as stretch fabric, may require
additional machinery and labor.
The nonwoven fabrics are neither spun, woven, nor knitted and basically involve a
web-formation process in which modified textile or papermaking machinery is used. In
1965, about 128 million pounds of bonded fiber fabrics were produced, compared with
negligible quantities in the late 1950’ s. Nonwoven materials are used for interlining,
padding, and facing for apparel; they also are used for bagging and wrapping materials and
other industrial uses.
Tufting, one of the most successful textile manufacturing innovations, has revolution­
ized carpet manufacture in a little over a decade. Tufted carpet production is now 10 to 20
times faster than loom-woven production, and in 1966, changes in the process were intro­
duced, which it is claimed, could further increase speed and cut costs. In 1965, tufted car­
pets and rugs accounted for about 80 percent of all soft floor covering mill shipments.
Before 1950, practically no tufted carpets were manufactured.
The needle-felting process, used in blanket manufacture, is replacing conventional
spinning and weaving processes. It produces 40 or 50 yards of cloth per hour compared
with 3-4 yards on conventional looms. This process is being utilized by at least one
manufacturer, and consumer acceptance among other factors will determine its diffusion
in the coming years.
One new type of cloth production which is gaining industry interest, is the Mali
process developed in East Germany. New fabric-forming machines are said to stitch
together fiber layers at 10 to 50 times the output of conventional looms with significant
unit labor savings. This process has only recently been made commercially available in
the United States.


Chapter IV. A ssessing the Rate of Technological Change

Several quantitative measurements are presented in this section covering different
facets of the industry’ s technological progress. These include indicators of output per
man-hour for selected sectors of the textile industry, for plants within one sector,
and for model plants; capital per unit of output; and horsepower and electric energy per
Indicators of Output Per Man-Hour
Relating output to man-hours (i.e. productivity) constitutes a useful although partial
indicator of the pace of technological change. The ratio reflects the impact on production
processes of changes in the quantity and quality of plant and equipment, in the layout and
flow of materials, in the simplification and standardization of products, and in many other
management measures for improving efficiency. It is also affected by changes in the skill,
training, education, morale, and health of the entire work force. Furthermore the relation­
ship may reflect economic shifts within industries, such as the shift of production from
low productivity to high productivity plants.
Measurement of productivity in the textile industry is faced with the usual problems
of determining the best measure of output for individual products, allowing for quality and
product mix changes; calculating appropriate weights; and insuring reasonable comparabi­
lity between input and output measures. These problems are all complicated by the fact
that textile establishments vary significantly in the degree of integration of their produc­
tion facilities. Since an establishment only reports the value of its final products or ship­
ments, changes in integration may lead to misleading estimates of production changes.

Although definitive measurements of productivity for the industry are not yet avail­
able, substantial overall improvement from 1947 to 1965 is suggested by the rise in
output-- indicators range from about 60 to 75 percent--and the sharp decline in man-hours
of 24 percent. From I960 to 1965, rough measure s of textile output indicate an increase of
30-35 percent, while man-hours rose only 4 percent. The improvement in manpower
utilization in the overall industry reflects several different factors over the years.
Although expenditures for plant and equipment were very low in the 1950’ s, wide-scale
closing of marginal mills with obsolete equipment tended to raise the level of technology
and efficiency of the industry. In the 1960’ s, industry growth and high investment were the
major factors. The changes for the textile industry as a whole reflect substantial varia­
tion among individual sectors of the industry. This variation can be illustrated by data
for the broadwoven sectors. Comparable data on output and man-hours for each of the
three fiber broadwoven sectors, reported by Census, suggest improvements in manpower
utilization. Although increasing utilization of blends and mixtures makes distinctions by
fiber less sharp, nevertheless, it is useful to examine trends in some of the individual
fiber sectors.
The improvements result from different movements in output and man-hours. In cot­
ton broadwoven, for example, output (in square yards) rose 5.8 percent from 1947 to 1965,
while man-hours declined sharply, 33.8 percent. In woolen and worsted broadwovens, how­
ever, output declined to almost half (45.2 percent) over this period, but man-hours de­


creased considerably more (67.1 percent). On the other hand, more efficient manpower
utilization in the synthetic fiber broadwoven sector resulted from more than a doubling
in output (118 percent) coupled with only a negligible decline in man-hours (0.5 percent).
The hosiery index of productivity is an official BLS series and was constructed with
appropriate weights and allowance for product mix changes. Employment in the hosiery
industry accounted for about 10% of total employment in 1966. Output per man-hour for
all employees in the hosiery industry rose at an average rate of 6.6 percent annually from
1957 to 1965, compared with a 2.9 percent annual increase from 1947 to 1957. From I960
to 1965, the rate of increase was 6.8 percent.
The sharp increase in productivity after 1957 is associated with the relatively more
rapid rise in output (see table 10) and a major change from full fashioned to seamless
hosiery. In 1957, less than a third of all women’ s hosiery was seamless; in 1965, 95
percent was seamless.
Table 10.

Hosiery Industry, Output per Man-Hour and Related Data, Selected Years
(1 9 5 7 -5 9 = 100)


A ll employee

8 7 .3
9 5 .9
1 36 .0

1 06 .9
9 6 .5
9 0 .6

1 9 4 7 ---------------------------------------------------------1 9 5 7 -------------------- --------------- ---------------------I 9 6 0 ---------------------------------------------------------1 9 6 5 ----------------------------------------------------------

Output per
all employee
6 7 .3
8 9 .7
108. 1

Average annual percent change

0 .9
4. 5
5 .5
2 .5

1 9 4 7 -5 7 ----------------------------------------------------1 9 5 7 -6 5 ----------------------------------------------------1 9 6 0 -6 5 ----------------------------------------------------1 9 4 7 -6 5 -----------------------------------------------------

- 2 .0
-2 . 1
- 1 .3
- 2 .0

2 .9
6 .6
6 .8
4 .6

SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The outlook over the next few years is for a continued high rate of productivity in­
crease in the hosiery industry, assuming demand remains strong. Major cost-saving tech­
niques may become more important, such as the one-process finishing technique which
combines scouring, dyeing, and finishing; automatic turning attachments, and toe closing
Interplant Differences in Efficiency
Levels of output per man-hour differ widely among textile mills within an industry
sector because of differences in age of equipment, managerial and employee skill, type
of organization, size of mill, and many other factors related to efficiency. Table 11 pre­
sents comparative data for 1958 on value added per production worker--an approximate
measure of productivity--for the “more efficient,” “less efficient,” and average textile
mill in ten industry sectors. Scattered data for 1963 suggest that the 1958 differentials
have persisted.


Table 11.

The Ratios of "More Efficient" to "Less Efficient" Plants1 and to Average Plants, 1958

Industry sector

Weaving mills, c o tto n ------------------------------Weaving mills, synthetics-------------- ----------Weaving, finishing mills, w o o l-----------------Narrow fabric m ills ------------------------------------Hosiery mills------------------------------------------------Knit outerwear m il l s ----------------------------------Knit fabric m i l l s ----------------------------------------Finishing plants, c o tto n ----------------------------Tufted carpets and rugs---------- --------------------Yarn mills, excluding w o o l------------------------

Value added per production
worker man-hour
"More efficient"
"More efficient"
to "less efficient"
to average plants
2 .4
2 .9
2 .7
2. 2
3 .0
4 .4
3 .4
2 .4
3. 1
2. 5

Capital expenditures per employee
"More efficient"
to "less efficient"

1. 5
1 .7
1 .6
1 .4
1 .6
2 .4
1 .8
1 .7
1 .6

1 .4
1 .5
1. 5
1. 8
2 .6
1. 5
2. 1
3 .4
1 .3
1. 1

"More efficient"
to average plants
1. 1
1 .4
1 .4
1 .2
1 .2
1 .3

1 Plants in each industry sector were ranked by the ratio of payrolls to value added.
The plants in the lowest
quartile of this ranking were considered the "more efficient, " those in the highest quartile, the "less efficient. " Value
added is used as the measure of output or the net contribution of the manufacturing process in the industry. No adjust­
ments are made for product mix, degree of integration, or other variations among plants.
SOURCE: Department of Commerce, Business and Defense Services Administration.

The “more efficient” mills are defined as those in the first quartile of establishments
ranked in ascending order of the ratio of payrolls to value added. According to this effi­
ciency concept developed by the U.S. Commerce Department, the plant with the lowest
ratio of payrolls to value added would be the most efficient mill. The measurements are
approximate, and do not take differences in product mix into account, but they provide
some indication of the variance in efficiency among textile mills.
The difference in average value added per production worker man-hour between the
“more efficient” group of mills and the average group of mills ranged from about 40 per­
cent in the narrow fabric industry to about 140 percent in the knit outerwear industry. In
the cotton and synthetic weaving m ills, value added per production worker man-hour in the
“more efficient” mills was approximately 50 and 70 percent greater, respectively, than
in the average mill. The differences between the “more efficient” and the “less efficient”
group were considerably greater, as would be expected. Value added per production worker
man-hour in the “more efficient” mills of the knit outerwear industry was four and a half
times as large as in the “less efficient” mills. That was the greatest difference, but the
smallest difference (in the narrow fabric industry) was still considerable; it was more than
One of the factors closely tied to efficiency is the volume of capital expenditures. As
shown in table 11, capital expenditures per employee in 1958 were substantially larger in
the “more efficient” mills than in the “less efficient” mills of most textile sector s. For
example, the “more efficient” cotton finishing plants reported capital expenditures per em­
ployee that were three times as much as did the “less efficient” plants. Differentials in
weaving mills (more labor intensive than finishing) were not as great •
Output Per Man-hour in Hypothetical Model Plants
The rate of technological change may also be assessed on the basis of the trend of
output per man-hour in hypothetical plants designed by engineers with the best available


technology of a given year. Compari sons of such model mills over time trace the progress
made by engineers in developing technological improvements without reference to the
extent of their actual application in industry. These studies provide a useful indicator of
the potential for productivity increase.
Engineering studies of model cotton print cloth mills producing identical products
are available for four periods over the past 56 years. Since cotton print cloth is arj; im ­
portant broadwoven product (accounting for about a fourth of all broadwoven), for which
mill operations are generally similar to those for other broadwovens, the figures provide
a rough indicator of changes in the manpower utilization of this textile sector based on
the newest textile technology. These data do not, however, represent other sectors of
the industry or the industry as a whole.
A 1936 study by an engineering consultant for the Bureau of Labor Statistics pre­
sented estimates of unit labor requirements in 1910 and 1935 for cotton print cloth mills
(producing cloth, 80x80, 39 inches wide, 80 threads and 4 yards per pound) “containing the
most efficient equipment (in that year) which could be recommended by an engineer if he
were designing a mill to be built.” In 1956 and 1961, the Whitin Machine Works, a leading
manufacturer of textile machinery, published similar “engineering” da‘ta for those years
which were adjusted for comparability with the earlier study. Comparable data for 1966
were published by the American Textile Machinery Association.
According to these studies, output per man-hour in a model cotton print cloth mill of
1910 was 3.1 pounds; in 1935, 4.6 pounds. By 1956 it had risen to 10.5 pounds and by 1966
to 14.6 pounds an hour. (See table 12.) The average annual increase in output per man­
hour was 1.6 percent from 1910 to 1935, 4.1 percent from 1935 to 1956, and 3.4 percent
from 1956 to 1966.
Table 12.

Output per Man-Hour in Model Cotton Print Cloth Mills


Pounds per man-hour

1910--------------------------------------------------1935--------------------------------------------------1956--------------------------------------------------1966---------------------- ---------------------------

3. 1
4 .6
10. 5
1 4 .6
Average annual increase

1910-35--------------------------------------------1935-56-------------- ----------------------------1956-66---------------------------------------------

1 .6
4. 1
3 .4

SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Whitin Machine Works; Amer­
ican Textile Machinery Association.

The annual rate of technological progress, (using this engineering concept) was
slightly greater in the 21-year span from 1935 to 1956 than in the 10-year period from
1956 to 1966. Technological change, however, varied greatly among different mill opera­


tions in each of the three periods. As shown in table 13, the sharpest average annual reduc­
tions in unit labor requirements in the 1956-61 period (no detailed data are available for
1966) occurred in the opening through spinning operations which represent 30 percent of the
mill’ s man-hours. Spooling, warping and weaving departments also reduced unit man-hour
requirements; other operations in the mill during this period showed no significant change.
In the 1935-56 period, on the other hand, every mill department registered unit man-hour
declines, and the largest occurred in the opening through roving operations. From 1910 to
1935, average annual unit man-hour reductions for the plant as a whole were relatively
low, but in the spooling and warping operations, reductions were greater than in the other
two periods.
Table 13. Changes in Unit Man-Hour Requirements, by Operation,
in Model Cotton Print Cloth Mills, Selected Years


as percent
of total

Average annual percent change



T o ta l-----------------------------------------------

100 .0

- 1 .7

- 3 .8

- 3 .4

Opening-roving----------------------------------------Spinning -------------------------------------------------Spooling and w arp in g----------------------------Slashing and draw ing-in-------------------------W e a v in g --------------------------------------------------Cloth r o o m ----------------------------------------------Miscellaneous-------------------------------------------

9 .4
2 0 .0
6 .5
2 .9
4 4 .4
9. 1
7 .6

- 2 .6
- 1 .3
- 3 .8
-2 .1
- 1 .4
+. 4

-6 .1
- 4 .0
- 2 .9
- 4 .3
- 2 .4
- 2 .8
- 4 .7

- 7 .2
- 7 .8
- 2 .3
-1 .7

NOTE: Because of rounding, sums of individual items may not equal totals.
SOURCE: Based on studies by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Whitin Machine Works.

This study of model print cloth plants, using the best available technical methods, can
be used in estimating roughly the potential rate of growth in output per man-hour over the
next decade. Compared with the estimate of 14.6 pounds per man-hour for a model print
cloth mill shown above, the actual level in 1966 in such mills is estimated by industry ex­
perts to average about 10 pounds per man-hour (the level of the model plant of 1956). The
46 percent gap between the average and the model plant of 1966 may be taken to represent
the approximate potential growth in output per man-hour that might occur if all obsolete
machinery were replaced by the most modern plant and equipment.
More realistically, should it take the average mill 10 years to attain the level of the
model mill, the average annual rate of increase in the print cloth industry would be 4 per­
cent from 1966 to 1976. Should the catching-up period be less than 10 years because of a
continuation of today’ s high investment or extensive closing of older m ills, the rate would
exceed 4 percent a year.
Fixed Capital and Capital-Output Ratios
Declining capital requirements in the textile industry relative to capacity or output
is another partial indicator of technological advance, reflecting improvement in machinery
and more intensive utilization.


Estimates of the stock of fixed capital provide an approximate indicator of the aggre­
gate amount of physical equipment in place. Data covering postwar trends in the textile
industry, estimated by the National Industrial Conference Board, indicate that real fixed
capital has been steadily decreasing, reflecting the retirement of obsolete equipment and
the low rate of investment. In 1963, fixed capital (in constant prices) totalled $2.8 billion,
a decline of 39 percent or an average decline of 3.3 percent annually from 1948. Textile
mill capacity lj (in constant prices) increased 12.5 percent between 1948 and 1963. The
ratio of fixed capital to capacity, therefore, declined sharply over this period--by more
than 46 percent. (See table 14.) Or stated differently, the textile industry’ s capacity in
1963 was about 13 percent greater than in 1948 with only about 60 percent of the physical
equipment of 1948.
Table 14. Stock of Fixed Capital and Capacity,
Textile Mill products, 1948 and 1963


Fixed capital
in 1954 prices
($ million)

1 9 4 8 ----------------------------------------------------------1963 ----------------------------------------------------------

4, 698
2, 849

Capacity 1
in 1954 prices
($ million)

Fixed capitalcapacity ratios

1 5,076
16, 954

.3 1 2
. 168

Percent change
-3 9 .4

1948-63 -----------------------------------------------------

12. 5

-4 6 .2

* Estimated by applying the minimum capital-output ratio (in constant prices) achieved
in a recent period, current or prior to the given year, to the stock of capital (in constant
prices) of the given year.
SOURCE: Based on data from the National Industrial Conference Board.

Data for selected types of machinery tend to confirm the declining trend of fixed
capital-capacity ratios, or increasing ratios of capacity per unit of capital. For example,
the number of looms in mills producing cotton and manmade fiber broadwoven fabrics
decreased 22 percent from 1948 to 1965. Production of these fabrics (in square yards),
however, was about 25 percent greater in 1965 than in 1948. Therefore, as shown in table
15, output per loom increased 6l percent over this period.
The increase in productivity of real fixed capital or decrease in real fixed capital
per unit of output since 1948 reflects, largely, improvements in the average quality of
textile machinery and more intensive machine utilization. As idle obsolete machinery
was scrapped and marginal plants closed, remaining machinery and subsequent moder­
nized equipment operated at greater speeds, had greater capacity, and were generally
more productive than the machinery replaced. At the same time, mills went on three shifts

l / The National Industrial Conference Board estimates capacity by applying the
minimum capital-output ratio (in constant prices) achieved in a recent period, current or
prior to the given year, to the stock of capital (in constant prices) of the given year.


a day. As shown in table 15, loom hours declined only 2 percent from 1948 to 1965,
although looms declined 22 percent over those years. Cotton and manmade fiber broadwoven production per loom hour increased 27 percent in those 17 years.
Also, rising productivity of real fixed capital may reflect the general reduction in the
number of production processes and the greater use of filament synthetics which require
ewer processes. For all these reasons, considerably fewer machines are required for
a given level of output than was necessary 10 to 15 years earlier, and less plant is re­
quired to house them.
Capital-output ratios will probably continue to decline through the 1960’ s, as new
plant and equipment replaces less productive equipment, and as management learns to
utilize new machinery more efficiently. Future trends in the capital-output ratio are
indicated by data for model print cloth mills described earlier. The 1966 mill was de­
signed to produce slightly greater output than the 1956 mill with one-third fewer looms
and 15 percent fewer spindles. On a constant dollar basis, covering all machinery and
equipment (excluding refrigeration), the cost for this 1966 model mill was about 11 percent
less than for the 1956 mill.
Table 15.

Cotton and Manmade Fiber Broadwoven Production,
Looms and Loom Hours, 1948 and 1965

Broadwoven production-----------------Looms in place1 ----------------------------Loom hours1 -----------------------------------

(Million square yards)

Production per loom in p la ce --------Production per loom h ou r--------------

(Thousand square yards)
(Square yards)




13, 371
2,61 3

2 ,5 4 9

2 4 .8
-2 2 . 2
- 2 .4

2 6.7
5. 1

42. 9
6. 5

6 0 .7
2 7 .4

1 Looms in place and loom hours in cotton and manmade fiber broadwoven mills, December 31.
The data for cotton and manmade fiber looms and loom hours in woolen and worsted broadwoven mills
are not disclosed by the Bureau of the Census, but are negligible.
SOURCE: Based on data from the Bureau of the Census.

Growth in Electric Energy Consumption
The trend in the amount of electric energy consumed per unit of capital or per worker
represents another measure of technological advance. In spite of a large decline in capital
stock, electric energy used rose almost 80 percent from 1947 to 1965. Consumption of
electric energy per production worker increased two and one-half times from 1947 to 1965,
at the average annual rate of 5.3 percent.
Slightly larger increases in consumption per production worker occurred in the early
postwar period, 1947 to 1958, as employment declined sharply, and less electrified,
obsolete plants closed. In recent years, the increase in electric energy consumption per
production worker resulted from the installation of larger, faster machinery, electric
equipment, electronic controls, and new lighting and air conditioning equipment.
Although considerable variation exists among different sector s , electrification of the
textile industry, as a whole, remains relatively low. Electric energy consumption per pro­
duction worker in textiles in 1965 was about two-thirds of the average for all manufac­
turing, a less favorable ratio than in 1947. Paper and allied products in 1965 consumed


about four times as much electric energy per production worker as did textiles, a more
favorable ratio than in 1947. The apparel industry, however, is considerably less electri­
fied (as shown in table 16), although the increase since 1947 in electric energy per
production worker in apparel was greater than in textiles.
Table 16.

Electric Energy Consumed, Textile Mill Products and
Selected Industries, 1947 and 1965
(Kilowatt hours per production worker)

Manufacturing---------------- ------------------------Textile mill products ----------------------------Apparel and related products-----------------Paper and allied products------------------------



8 ,76 0
39, 279


35,0 1 9
2 2,295
2 ,61 7


SOURCE: Bureau of the Census.

Another indicator of changing textile technology is the shift in power generation from
the older method of on-site production to the purchase of energy from central generating
systems. As mills are modernized and older plants are shutdown, the relative importance
of self-generated electricity is reduced. Hence, less than 5 percent of electric power used
by textile mills in 1965 was generated by the mill, compared with 7 percent in 1958 and 18
percent in 1947.
Electric energy consumed per production worker will probably continue at or above
the growth rate of the last few years, as modernization continues at a rapid pace. Instal­
lation of air conditioning will be a major factor in the growth of electric power use. A 1961
Textile World survey of 89 of the largest textile mills revealed that only 11 percent of
these mills had completely air conditioned their manufacturing areas and 44 percent only
parts of the manufacturing areas.
Horsepower of Power Equipment
Horsepower of power equipment per production worker also indicates the level of
mechanization because it is a measure of the mechanical power available in the industry.
This ratio for the textile industry almost doubled from 1939 to 1962, the latest data avail­
able. The annual rate of growth from 1954 to 1962 was 3.7 percent, more than 50 percent
above the 1939-54 rate.
Relative to all manufacturing, however, the textile industry remains considerably
less mechanized. Horsepower per production worker in textiles in 1962 was about 50 per­
cent of the ratio for all manufacturing, almost unchanged from the 1939 or 1954 relative
level. (See table 17.) The outlook in the next decade is for increased horsepcwer of power
equipment as the industry continues to modernize.
Table 17.
Horsepower of Power Equipment per Production Worker,
Manufacturing and Textile M ill Products, 1939, 1954, and 1962



6, 5
9 .6
1 2.5

1 93 9 ---------------------------------------------------------1 9 5 4 ---------------------------------------------------------1 96 2 ----------------------------------------------------------

SOURCE: Bureau of the Census.


Textile mill
3 .4
4 .8
6 .4

Textiles as
percent of
5 1.7
5 0 .2
5 1 .5

Chapter V. Production Trends and Prospects

To assess the impact of technological change on manpower, it is essential to review
and project the trend in the industry’ s output. This chapter covers postwar production
trends, changes in the composition of output, and the outlook for textile demand.
Trends in Production
Textile production has not kept pace with all manufacturing output in the postwar
period. Various measures of textile output indicate that it rose an average of about 2.7-3.2
percent annually from 1947 to 1966, compared with the significantly higher rate of 4.7 per­
cent for all manufacturing.
The recent textile growth rate has been much higher than in the earlier postwar 194757 period, reflecting increased demand for both civilian and defense purposes. According to
the published Federal Reserve Board (FRB) index J/ , textile output increased only 1.3
percent a year from 1947 to 1957, compared with 4.3 percent per year for total manufac­
turing. (See table 18.) Between 1957 and 1961, the average rate of increase of textile output
doubled to 2.6 percent annually. The recent period, 1961-66, was one of sharp recovery
Table 18.

Indexes of Production for Manufacturing and Textile M ill Products, Selected Years
Indexes of production (1957-59 = 100)

Average annual percent change

Industry sector





Total manufacturing-------------------------------D u ra b le ----------------------------------------------Nondurable-----------------------------------------

6 6 .4
6 4 .3
6 7 .2

104 .0
9 6 .7



4 .3
4 .9
3 .7

4 .0

7 .7
9. 1
5 .9

4 .7
5. 1
4 .3

Textile mill products 1 ------------------ --------Yarns and fa b r ic s------------------------------Cotton and man-made f a b r ic s ----Cotton yarns and fabrics---------Man-made fabrics-------------------Wool te xtiles--------------------------------Wool fa b rics----------------------------

8 5 .0
88. 1
79. 2
8 6 .0
5 8 .8

9 6 .5
9 7 .5
9 6 .9
9 7 .6
9 8 .0
100 .9

107. 1
105. 8
104 .9
98. 1
9 7.7

220 .2
9 7 .4
9 3 .7

1 .3
2 .0
1 .3
5. 2
- 2 .6
-2 . 6

2 .6
1 .8
2 .2
1 .8
2 .7

5 .9
6. 2
7. 1
3 .7
15. 1
-. 1



2 .7
2 .5
3 .4
2 .0
7 .2
-2 .1
- 2 .3

Knit good s------------------------------------------H osiery------------------------------------------Knit garm ents--------------------------------

7 5 .0
9 4 .8
6 1 .4

9 3 .6
9 7 .4
9 1 .0

116 .9
111. 5


2 .2
4 .0

5 .7
3 .4
7 .3

5 .9
6 .4
5 .7

3 .9
2 .5
5 .1

* Includes floor covering mill products,
mill products included in SIC 22.

although not presented separately.






Does not include "Miscellaneous" textile

SOURCE: Federal Reserve Board.

JJ The FRB index of production is frequently used as a measure of the output of
the textile industry and its components, butthedata have certain limitations. The indexes
k)r recent years are being revised for consistency with benchmarks based on 1958 and
1963 Census of Manufactures. Preliminary unpublished estimates, for the textile industry
as a whole, show indexes of output of 3 and 7 percent, respectively, above the currently
published unadjusted figures.


with an average annual growth rate of 5.9 percent, but this was still considerably below
the 7.7 percent rate for manufacturing. Although the textile growth rate lagged substantially
behind the rate for durable goods manufacturing, it was similar to the rate for nondurables
in this later period.

Substantial variation exists in the growth rates of individual industries in the textile
mill products industry group. The fastest growing sector was the manmade fabric industry
in which output increased at an average annual rate of 5.2 percent between 1947 and 1957,
only 2.7 percent annually between 1957 and 1961, and then rose to an average rate of 15
percent a year between 1961 and 1966. In contrast, cotton yarns and fabrics, the largest
sector of the industry, grew more slowly: 1.3 percent annually between 1947 and 1957,
1.8 percent annuallly between 1957 and 1961, and 3.7 percent annually from 1961 to 1966.
The knit goods sector has undergone substantial and sustained growth, resulting
from fashion changes favoring knit garments, and substantial military demand. Output of
knit garments, one of the major subdivisions, rose 4.0 percent annually from 1947 to 1957,
7.3 percent from 1957 to 1961, and 5.7 percent in the 1961-66 period. The hosiery sector
of knit goods was virtually at a standstill from 1947 to 1957, but maintained output growth
at an average of 3.4 percent annually from 1957 to 1961, and 6.4 percent in the 5 years
from 1961 to 1966.
Wool textile production has been in decline throughout the postwar period but in recent
years has been stabilizing. Between 1947 and 1957, output declined at the average rate of
2.6 percent a year. Between 1957 and 1961, the industry decline slowed down to less than 1
percent annually. From 1961 to 1966, there was almost no change in output due partly to
greater demand for defense purposes.
Floor covering mill products, not listed separately in table 18, has been one of the
fastest growing sectors of the textile industry. According to Census data, the quantity of
shipments of woven, tufted and knitted floor covering products in 1966 was more than two
and a half times greater than in 1958, an average annual growth rate of almost 13 percent.
Tufted carpets and rugs, which accounted for about 90 percent of the total, increased at the
average annual rate of more than 17 percent in those eight years.
Long range estimates for the textile industry as a whole, by industry experts, indicate
a high rate of growth in the 1970*8, above the rate for the 1947-66 period, but below the
rate of 1961-66. A greater proportion of teenagers and members of new family formation
age groups--the major textile consumers--and increasing income are expected to sustain
high consumer demand. Textile products may also compete more successfully in industrial
markets as new products are developed. On the other hand, reduced defense expenditures
and increasing imports may dampen the growth rate.

Changing Composition of Fiber Consumption
Changes in the volume and composition of mill fiber consumption are indicators of
the changing markets and technology of the industry. In 1966, a total of 9.0 billion pounds
of fiber were consumed in m ills, 45 percent more than in 1957 (or an average 4.2 percent
annual gain). From 1947 to 1957, fiber mill consumption had declined slightly.


Today’ s textile industry is a multifiber industry, with machinery that facilitates pro­
duction shifts from one fiber to another. Almost without exception, new mills are being
built today equipped with versatile machinery that could process cotton, practically all
known types of synthetics, and synthetic-cotton blends without changing the machinery
layout. Blends and mixtures have been taking an increasing share of production account­
ing for almost a fifth of all broadwoven yardage in 1965. Many factors including fashion,
technology, and price changes determine the relative use of the various fibers.
Cotton*s dominant position was seriously weakened after World War II by the advent
of noncellulosics. From 1947 to 1957, cotton mill consumption declined 13.0 percent (1.4
percent annually ), compared with a two-thirds increase (5.4 percent annually) in total manmades. Although cotton consumption increased after 1957, by 1966 it was approximately at
the 1947 level. Only in 1964, 1965 and 1966 did cotton use increase significantly, due to
lower cotton prices competitive with world market prices (“one-price” cotton 1 /), and
greater military demand. As pointed out earlier, the import penetration ratio of cotton
(imports of semi manufactured and manufactured products as a percent of domestic con­
sumption, measured in pounds of fiber) rose almost steadily since the mid 1950*s, except
in 1962-64, and reached 10 percent in 1966. In 1966, cotton accounted for 42 percent
of total fiber consumed in the mill (cotton equivalent basis), 2 / considerably below the
1957 level of 58 percent. (See table 19.)
To meet the competition of manmade fibers, natural fiber processors have under­
taken research programs and promotion campaigns, but on a relatively small scale. The
National Cotton Council estimates that in 1965 the cost of research for cotton, by private
and government agencies, totaled $26.5 million compared with $135 million for manmade
fibers. Promotional expenditures were also a small fraction of the amount reported by
their competitors.
The outlook is for a further decline in cotton*s share of the fiber market. On a cotton
equivalent basis, cotton may only constitute a third of all fiber consumed by 1975, compared
with 42 percent in 1966.
The successful development and marketing of a variety of manmade fibers is one of
the most significant trends of the postwar period. In 1947, rayon and nylon were the only

1/ Under the government* s new program dating from April 1964, prices of raw cotton
sold domestically and for export were equalized. “One-price” cotton legislation has been
extended to August 1970.
2 / Comparison of fiber consumption is more meaningful in terms of cotton equiva­
lent units rather than in terms of actual poundage consumed because the number of yards
of cloth produced from a pound of manmade fiber is greater than the amount produced
from a pound of cotton or wool fiber. Therefore, differences in processing losses and
differences in fabric weights (“covering power**) should be taken into account to determine
the quantity of material realized. The Textile Economics Bureau and the Department of
Agriculture have developed these data on fiber consumption on a comparable cotton
equivalent basis. As shown in table 19, manmades, in cotton equivalents, accounted for
57 percent of total fiber consumption in 1966, compared with 44 percent measured in
actual pounds consumed.


Table 19.

Percent Distribution of M ill Fiber Consumption, Actual Pounds and
Cotton Equivalents,* 1947, 1957, and 1966

Actual pounds

Cotton equivalent basis*

Type of fiber






T o ta l2 ------------ ----------------------------


1 00 .0

100 .0


1 00 .0

100 .0

Manmade fiber--------------------------------------Rayon and a c e ta te ------------ --------------N o n cellu losic----------------------------------Glass ------------------------------------------------C o tto n ----------------------------------- --------- ------W o o l -------------------------------------------------------

1 6.5
. 1
7 2 .6
1 0.9

2 8.8
7 .9
1 .6
6 5 .2
5 .9

4 4 .4
1 8.0
2 2.9
3 .5
5 1.5
4 .1

23. 1
2 1 .8
1 .2
7 1 .0
5 .8

3 9 .2
2 4 .2
2 .3
5 7 .9
2 .9

5 6 .6
1 9 .6
3 2 .2
4 .8
4 1 .6
1 .8

* Converted by the Department of Agriculture to enable interfiber comparison on the basis of the quantity of
material realized.
Adjustment was made for differences in the waste involved in manufacturing fabric from various
fibers and differences in the average weight of generally compariable end products produced from the different fibers.
2 Does not include silk.
NOTE: Because of rounding,

sums of individual items may not equal 1 00 .0 .

SOURCE: Based on data from the Department of Agriculture.

manmade fibers. Today, about 20 generic forms of manmade fibers are produced. These
include three forms of cellulosics (rayon, acetate, and triacetate); four forms of fibers
from nonfibrous materials such as glass; and more than ten synthetic noncellulosic fibers,
including nylon, polyester, acrylic, spandex, olefin, and others.
The increase in manmade fiber consumption accounted for more than four-fifths of
total fiber growth over the 9 year period from 1957 to 1966. Manmade fiber use rose to a
high of 4.0 billion pounds in 1966, about two and a quarter times that of 1957 or at an
average rate of 9.3 percent annually. In 1957, manmade fibers accounted for 39 percent of
total fiber consumption on a cotton equivalent basis; by 1966, the ratio had risen to 57 per­
More than four-fifths of the increase in manmade consumption from 1957 to 1966 was
made up of noncellulosic s , including nylon, polyestef, acrylic, spandex, olefin, and others.
Noncellulosic s consumed in mills rose at an average annual rate of 19 percent from 1957 to
1966. The growth rate was particularly high in the 1960*3; 22 percent annually from 1961 to
1966. Consequently, these fibers increased their share of total manmade consumption from
32 percent in 1957 to 57 percent in 1966 (cotton equivalent basis).
Cellulosics (rayon and acetate), in contrast,have not held their share of the manmade
market. Although cellulosic fiber consumption increased at the annual rate of 3.4 percent
from 1957 to 1966, its relative share of total manmade fiber declined from 62 percent to
35 percent over those 9 years. Rayon’ s dominant position in tires, one of its major
markets, was reversed for the first time in 1963, culminating nylon’ s continuous inroads
over the past 10 years. On the other hand, increased use of rayon in home furnishings and
clothing has more than compensated for the industrial market loss.
Outlook for Manmade Fiber Consumption
Total manmade fiber consumption will continue to increase significantly in the next
decade, despite growing research, new product development, and promotional activities by


natural fiber processors. By 1975, manmade fiber consumption may account for 65
percent--on a cotton equivalent b a sis--o f allfibers consumed, compared with 57 percent in
1966 .
Of the manmade fibers, noncellulosics will continue to be the major growth fiber
group in the next 5 to 10 is not generally expected, however, that it will increase
at the high annual rate of the 1960*3, i.e., at the average of 22 percent per year from 1961
to 1966. Industry experts estimate a rate closer to 10 percent annually over the 10 year
Rayon's competitive position will depend largely on its ability to maintain its share
of the tire cord market, one of its major outlets. Despite the inroads of nylon, almost all
original equipment tires are made of rayon cord because of its lower price and because
nylon tires tend to become slightly flat after standing. Car manufacturer s' requirements
for higher tenacity cords, however, are expected to reduce rayon demand, particularly as
nylon properties are improved and other cord materials are developed. The recent growth
of polyester tire cord also threatens rayon’ s supremacy in the original tire market. A l­
though research continues to improve rayon tensile and elongation properties, many
industry men believe that rayon’ s share of the market will be seriously reduced in the next
decade. Radial tire production which requires more cord strength and rigidity, may, in
part, be responsible for this cutback.
Intensive research programs and consumer promotion activities stimulate demand
for manmade fibers. Many fiber companies assist mills in adapting their equipment to use
of manmade fibers. They maintain finishing laboratories for dyeing research, and send
technical service groups to mills to help make up new fabric constructions. More than
4,000 manmade fiber items are now on the market, and research on modifications of
physical and chemical properties is being pursued to create new products.
Besides the attractiveness of easy care and long life to consumers, several advan­
tages to the manufacturers account for the increased use of manmade fibers. Major
advantages in processing of many manmade fibers are lower unit labor requirements,
relatively stable prices, shorter processing time, and greater potential for integrated
processing. Filament yarn, for example, which accounts for more than half of all man­
made yarn produced, is shipped to textile mills directly from chemical plants, ready for
preparatory weaving operations. All the conventional operations of an integrated mill
usually required to produce yarn from fiber, i.e ., opening, blending, picking, carding,
roving and spinning are eliminated.
Many manmade fibers almost entirely eliminate waste, a serious time and labor
consuming problem in the use of natural fiber. The average processing loss (with no allow­
ance for salable waste) has been estimated at 13 percent for cotton, 5 percent for wool, 4
percent for manmade staple, and 1.5 percent for manmade filament. In some cotton yarn
mills, cleaning lint and fly may constitute as much as 20 percent of total labor costs.
Moreover, a new technology in the apparel industry, durable press, is accelerating
the shift from all cotton to polyester blends. All-cotton fabric do not, at this time, have the
abrasion resistance required for durable press, a process which imparts a permanent
wrinkle-free appearance. According to one estimate, about 80 percent of all dress shirts,
traditionally made of all-cotton fabrics, will be made of polyester-cotton blends next year.
Durable press is also being adopted for various household textiles, such as sheets.


In addition, the price differential between polyester and cotton has been narrowing,
strengthening the fiber shift. Polyester capacity expansion has been accompanied by sharp
price declines in the last decade. Although cotton prices also declined in this period, the
ratio of polyester to cotton prices fell from almost four in 1955 to less than three in 1966.
Cotton prices, moreover, are expected to rise since the more desirable qualities of cotton
are in short supply and cotton stocks generally are signficantly reduced.
Wool consumption declined fairly steadily after World War II. Although some
leveling-off took place in the early 1960*8, 1964 consumption hit a new low, and the 1966
consumption of 370 million pounds was at the 1957 level. As pointed out earlier, the import
penetration ratio (measured in fiber poundage) of wool increased sharply to almost 30 per­
cent in the m id-60’ s. As a percent of total fiber used in mills (converted to cotton equi­
valents), wool accounted for only 1.8 percent of the total in 1966 compared with 2.9
percent in 1957 and 5.8 percent in 1947. The outlook is for a continued decline in wool’ s
share of the total fiber market.


Chapter VI. Employment Trends and Outlook

This chapter reviews past trends and future prospects of the industry’ s employment
profile, including overall employment, regional distribution, unemployment, age of
workers and the employment of women and Negroes. Occupational trends and projections
are presented in chapter VII.

Employment Trends
Following its postwar peak of 1,332 thousand in 1948, textile employment began the
sharpest long term decline in its history. The trend was almost continually downward, with
the sharpest reductions in 1949, 1954, and 1958. (See chart 4.) Slowly leveling off in the
1960’ s, employment hit the postwar low of 885 thousand in 1963. From 1948 to 1963,
employment had fallen 33.5 percent, or an average of 2.7 percent annually. (See table 20.)
As pointed out earlier, multiple factors were responsible for this decline. Shrinking
domestic and foreign markets seriously reduced demand and many hundreds of mills closed
their doors. At the same time, mill modernization, more efficient managment and the shift
to synthetic fiber reduced unit labor requirements.

C h a r t 4. E m p l o y m e n t i n T e x t i le M il l P r o d u c t s In d u s try !!/ 1 9 4 7 - 6 6




1950 '51



A " *"



1955 '56




1960 '61




1965 '66

1/ See appendix table 3 for data.


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

!t '





•' ■• / ■ -rn
■ ’ ,



fHmiflBlMs >8 ft ’


tft, '


Table 20.

All Employees and Production Workers, Textile
Mill Products, Selected Years


All employees

Production workers

In thousands
1947 — _ --------------------


1948 (Peak) ----------------------1963 (Low )-------------------------1966 -------- --------------------—

1 ,2 9 9 .0
1 ,3 3 2 .0
8 8 5 .4
9 61 .5

1 ,2 2 0 .0
1 ,2 4 8 .0
7 93 .4
857. 1

Average annual percent change
1948-63 — — --------------------1963-66 ----------------------------1947-66 ------------------------—


-2 . 7
2. 8
-1 .6

-3 .0
2 .6
-1 . 9

Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Although textile output had risen sharply after 1959, employment did not advance.
Additional man-hours required were provided to a great extent by lengthening the work­
week, rather than by hiring new workers. However, as output continued its sharp rise
between 1963 and 1966, both employment and man-hours rose significantly. Employment
moved upward from 885.4 thousand to 961.5 thousand, at an average annual rate of 2.8 percent--the first increase since 1948 of more than 1-year* s duration. The improved employ­
ment situation since 1965 was due largely to greater defense expenditures for textile
Overall, approximately 962 thousand employees were working in the textile industry
in 1966, about 338 thousand fewer than in 1947, a decline of 26 percent or an average annual
decline of 1.6 percent. Employment in all-manufacturing increased 23 percent in this
Employment Outlook
The outlook is for a continuation of the long-term decline, but at a slower rate. Pro­
jections of textile employment to 1975 range around 880 thousand, or about 5 percent below
the 1965 employment level. This represents an average annual decline of about 0.5 percent
over the decade, compared with the average rate of decline of 1.9 percent per year between
1947 and 1965.
This projection was prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the National Com­
mission on Technology, Automation and Economic Progress and is discussed in detail in
Appendix Volume I to the Commission’ s report. A basic assumption underlying the pro­
jection is that the national unemployment rate in 1975 will be 3 percent. Moreover, the
projection assumes that the trend in textile imports and exports in the next decade will
continue at about the same average rate as in the 1947-65 period.
These projections must be considered as conditional statements, not firm predictions
about the future. While the as sumptions used are reasonable in the light of past experience,


they and the projections basedupon them are subject to revision in the light of new develop­
ments. As in other economic projections, inadequate data and imperfect understanding of
the complex relationships among determinants of output and employment could result in
fairly wide margins of error.
Trend in Industry Sectors
Not only did employment in the textile industry decline in the post-World War II
period, but the structure of employment by industry sector changed significantly.
The broadwoven sectors (cotton, synthetic, and wool), the largest homogeneous
group, declined sharply between 1947 and 1966--over 40 percent (an average of 2.8 per­
cent annually) compared with a decline of 26 percent (1.6 percent annually) for all textile
employment. This employment loss accounted for about four-fifths of the total postwar
decline in textiles. Although employment increased in the cotton and synthetic broadwoven
groups from 1963 to 1966, only synthetics rose above the 1959 level. Wool weaving and
finishing continued its downward trend during this period. (See table 21.) In 1947, broadwovens represented about 50 percent of all textile employment; by 1966 employment had
fallen to 380 thousand, or to less than 40 percent of the total.

Knitting, the second largest industry group comprising 234 thousand employees in
1966, declined only 3 percent from 1947. Employment declined sharply in the 1947-57 decade
but recovered in recent years. From 1963 to 1966, it rose an average of 3.2 percent
annually. By 1966, knitting accounted for almost a fourth (24.4 percent) of total textile
employment, compared with less than a fifth (18.7 percent) in 1947. Data for knitting
sectors (hosiery, knit outerwear and underwear) are available only for the years since
1959. As shown in table 21, employment in knit outerwear rose most rapidly from 1963 to
1966 (5.4 percent annually), and rose 2.9 percent annually from 1959 to 1966. Employment
in miscellaneous hosiery and socks declined substantially (3 .4 percent annually) from 1959.
In the other sectors of knitting, employment in 1966 was at about the 1959 level.

Employment in the third largest industry sector, yarn and thread, was 116 thousand
in 1966, a decline of 2.2 percent annually since 1947. Sharp increases in recent years (4.6
percent annually from 1963 to 1966),brought employment up about 7 percent above 1959.
Relative to total textile employment, yarn and thread employment remained fairly stable:
about 13 percent in 1947 and 12 percent in 1966.

Production Worker Employment
Production worker employment declined more sharply (average annual rate of 1.9
percent) than total employment (1.6percent annually) in the post-war period 1947-66.
(See table 20.) In almost all sectors of the industry, production workers showed a greater
decrease or a smaller increase than all employees.
Although the ratio of production workers to total textile employment has been
declining, it is still high relative to all manufacturing. In 1966, production workers ac-


Table 21.

A ll Employees and Production Workers in Textile M ill Products Industry, 1959, 1963, and 1966
All employees
Average annual change
Industry sector







(In thousands)

Manufacturing ------------------------------------------------------------------

16, 675


19, 186

2 .0

4. 1

Textile mill products-----------------------------------------------------Cotton broadwoven fa b r ic s ----------------------------------------Silk and synthetic broadwoven fabrics-----------------------Weaving and finishing broadwoolens-------------------------Narrow fabrics and smallwares----------------------------------K nitting-----------------------------------------------------------------------Women's full and knee length hosiery-----------------Miscellaneous hosiery and sock s---------------------------Knit outerwear-------------------------------------------------------Knit underwear-----------------------------------------------------Finishing textiles, except wool and knit -----------------Floor covering---------- ---------------------------- ----------------------Yarn and th r e a d ---------------------------------------------------------Miscellaneous textile g o o d s---------------------------------------

945 .7
259 .4
8 1 .0
6 0 .4
2 8 .5
5 3.7
5 3 .9
5 9.5
3 3 .2
7 7 .3
3 7 .6
7 3 .5

8 8 5 .4
228. 2
8 5 .9
4 9 .6
27. 5
213 .3
5 1 .4
4 4 .3
62. 2
3 1 .7
75. 2
3 7 .6
101. 2
6 6 .9

9 6 1 .5
237 .2
9 7 .0
4 5 .4
3 1 .4
5 4 .2
4 2 .3
7 2 .9
3 4 .7
7 9 .6
4 3 .5
7 7 .2

- 1 .3
2 .6
- 4 .0
1 .4
- 3 .4
2 .9
2. 1
1 .0

2 .8
4. 1
- 2 .9
4 .5
3 .2
1 .8
- 1 .6
5 .4
1 .9
5 .0
4 .6
4 .9

Production workers


12, 603


14, 273

1 .8

4 .4

Textile mill products-----------------------------------------------------Cotton broadwoven fa b r ic s ----------------------------------------Silk and synthetic broadwoven fabrics-----------------------Weaving and finishing broadwoolens-------------------------Narrow fabrics and small w a r e s --------------------------------K nitting-----------------------------------------------------------------------Women's full and knee length hosiery-----------------Miscellaneous hosiery and socks---------------------------Knit outerwear-------------------------------------------------------Knit underwear------------------------------------------------------Finishing textiles, except wool and knit-------------------Floor covering-------------------------------------------------------------Yarn and th r e a d ---------------------------------------------------------Miscellaneous textile g o o d s ---------------------------------------

8 57 .4
243 .5
74. 2
5 3 .9
2 4 .9
4 9 .3
50. 1
2 9 .8
6 7 .0
3 1 .9
6 2 .0

7 9 3 .4
211 .3
77. 5
4 3 .7
24. 1
192 .0
47. 1
4 0 .8
5 4.7
2 8 .6
64. 2
31. 2
93. 1
5 6 .2

857. 1
8 7 .5
3 9 .6
2 7.9
4 9 .6
3 8 .7
6 3 .7
3 1 .2
6 7.3
3 5 .6
6 3 .8

-. 1
- 1 .6
2 .4
-4 . 3
1 .6
- 3 .7
2. 6
. 1
1 .6
1 .0

2 .6
1 .0
4 .1
- 3 .2
5 .0
3 .0
- 1 .8
5 .2
2 .9
1 .6
4 .5
5 .0
4 .3

SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

counted for 89.1 percent of all textile employment compared with 93.9 percent in 1947. In
manufacturing, the ratio was 74.4 percent in 1966. (See table 22.)
Trends in Unemployment
The decline of textile employment was accompanied by a relatively high rate of unem­
ployment among textile workers throughout the postwar period. The rate of textile unem­
ployment exceeded that of manufacturing in every year from 1958 (the first year for which
data are available) through 1966, except in 1961 and 1962. Unemployed textile workers
constituted 9.5 percent of the textile labor force (i.e., those employed in the textile indus­
try, and those unemployed whose last job was in the textile industry) in 1958 but declined
to 3.7 percent by 1966. As shown in table 23, only in 1965 and 1966 was the rate below
5 percent.


Table 22.

Production Workers as Percent of Total Employment



1947 ----------------------1957 -----------------------------1966 ------------------------------


Table 23.

8 3.6
76. 8
7 4 .4

Textile mill products

93. 9
9 1 .0
89. 1

Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Unemployment Rates in Manufacturing and Textile
M ill Products, 1 1958-66

Unemployed as percent of civilian
labor force in category

1958 --------------------------------1959 ---------------------------------

9 .2
6 .0
6 .2
7 .7
5. 8
5. 7
4 .9
4 .0
3 .2

I960 --------------------------------1 9 6 1 --------------------------------1962 -------------------1963 -----------------------—
1964 --------------------------------1965 --------------------------------1966 ---------------------------------

Textile mill products

9. 5
7 .2
6 .3
6. 8
5. 2
6 .7
5. 7
4 .3
3. 7

* The denominator of the unemployment rate includes the employed,
classified according to their current job, and the unemployed, classified ac­
cording to their last civilian job, if any; the numerator includes the unem­
ployed workers classified according to their last job.
SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Moreover, the unemployment rate may be under stated because it is based on the last
job held, not on the industry in which duration of employment was longest. For example,
workers who spent all their working lives in the textile industry and who may have taken
other types of employment after being unemployed for some time, would not be counted
as unemployed textile workers. Also, the extent of the unemployment problem is not fully
reflected in the unemployment rate because of the exit from the labor force of laid-off
workers who retire, or return to home or school.
Some textile areas, particularly in New England, continue to have substantial and
persistent unemployment, despite economic expansion nationally. In Fall River, Mass,
area, formerly a major textile center, the unemployment rate, according to the Bureau of
Employment Security, was 6.2 percent in 1966, having dropped from over 10 percent in
1963 and 1964. The Altoona, Pennsylvania area in the Appalachian region had an unemploy­
ment rate of 6.6 percent in 1966. The lack of alternative job opportunities is a major prob­
lem. On the other hand, some textile centers such as Utica, New York have increased
employment opportunities as a result of diversification programs which brought in new


Although large scale layoffs were most severe during the sharp decline of the 1950*8,
they continued to occur in the 1960*s. A study of layoffs of 100 or more workers based on
reports to the Department of Labor, covering the period July 1963 through June 1965 (a
period of brisk activity in the textile industry and in the economy generally), showed a
total of 33 textile establishments and 9.6 thousand workers affected by permanent layoffs
during this period. Most of these were in New England and the Middle Atlantic States. These
two areas accounted for 85 percent of the textile mills and 64 percent of the employees
Of the 33 textile mills affected, 13 listed competitive pressures, 9 reported reloca­
tion and 2 gave consolidations and mergers as the primary reason. These reasons
accounted for 74 percent of the employees laid off. (Primary reason for the other mills
were given as “ other” .) None of the mills reported that technological change was the
primary reason for layoff. It may be presumed, however, that competition from more
technically advanced plants was an important factor underlying the other reasons given
For layoffs.
Laid-off textile workers as a group face special difficulties in finding reemployment.
Almost 60 percent of all textile employees are in mills located in non-metropolitan areas
which usually have few alternative opportunities within the area. Moreover, textile skills
are not easily transferred to other industries. Women, who comprise almost half the tex­
tile work force, usually have family ties which limit their mobility in the search for work.
An additional problem is the textile workers* relatively high average age.
Some of the expected decline in employment through 1975 may take place through the
retirement of older workers, and the transfer of people to other industries. But the work­
force will remain vulnerable to high unemployment rates as marginal plants with obsolete
equipment shutdown during periods of slackening demand.
Regional Distribution of Jobs
Greater concentration of jobs in the South continues the long term regional pattern.
Continuing liquidation of older, high-cost, marginal plants in New England and in the
Middle Atlantic States, rather than any marked expansion in southern employment accounted
for the distributional shift. Employment in the South Atlantic States increased only about
2 percent from 1958 to 1963, but employment in New England and Middle Atlantic States
declined sharply (18 and 1 3 percent respectively) over this period. New England’ s share of
textile jobs contracted from 23 percent in 1947 to 14 percent in 1958 and to 12 percent in
1963. By 1963, 57 percent of all textile worker s were employed in South Atlantic States, as
shown in chart 5.
In leading textile states, the industry’ s relative importance as a source of employ­
ment has been declining. In North Carolina, for example, textile mill products is still the
major industry, but in 1963 it provided only 41 percent of all manufacturing jobs in the
state compared with 55 percent in 1947. In Massachusetts, the leading New England
textile state, jobs in textile mills constituted 18 percent of all manufacturing jobs in 1947,
and 6 percent in 1963.
Although the movement of cotton manufacturing mills to the South started at the turn
of the century and gained momentum after World War I, the woolen and worsted industry did


C h a rt 5. R e g io n a l D is trib u tio n o f T e x tile E m p lo ym e n t 1
1947,1954 and 1963
(P e rc e n t o f total)

not gain importance in the South until after World War II. An improved spinning system,
developed in the South for woolen manufacture, was a major contribution to wool manufac­
turing technology and resulted in important cost savings. Unlike the movement in earlier
periods, plants in the South are being fully equipped with the newest machinery, without the
transfer of large amounts of equipment from northern mills. In addition, the establishment
of southern wool processing plants enables mills to buy processed wool locally, whereas
previously southern mills had to buy processed wool from the North.
In cotton manufacture, many of the historic causes for the shift southward continue
to exist. These include lower power costs, lower wages and supplementary benefits, and
various tax advantages. In addition, location closer to Southern synthetic mills is a new
factor because of the use of multiple fibers by cotton cloth manufacturers.
The outlook is for an increase in the proportion of textile jobs in the South Atlantic
Changing Age Composition
As employment in the textile industry declined, the average age of the workforce rose
fairly rapidly. The average (median) age of employed textile workers increased from 32.4
in 1940 to 40.7 in I960, a considerably sharper rise than in all manufacturing. This was


due in some
industrie s.



the movement of young adults to higher paying, expanding

The proportion of older male employees, 45 and over, rose to about 40 percent of all
male employees in I960 compared with 26 percent in 1940. The proportion of females of
45 and over almost tripled: from 14 percent in 1940 to 37 percent in I960. (See table 24.)

Table 24.

Employed Persons, by Sex and Age Group, Textile M ill Products
1940, 1950, and 1960
(Percent of total)

Sex and age group





100 .0

1 00 .0

1 00 .0

Under 2 5 --------------------------------------------------2 5 - 3 4 -------------------------------------------------------3 5 - 4 4 --------------------------------------------------------4 5-54 --------------------------------------------------------5 5 - 6 4 ---------- ---------------------------------------------65 and over-----------------------------------------------

2 1.9
3 1 .9
1 5 .0
7 .9
2 .7

1 6.0
25. 1
2 5 .0
1 7.6
1 2.0
4 .2

1 4 .6
2 1 .4
2 3 .8
2 3 .5
1 3.7
2 .8



100 .0

1 00 .0

Under 2 5 - ------------------------------------------------2 5 - 3 4 --------------------------------------------------------3 5 - 4 4 --------------------------------------------------------4 5 - 5 4 --------------------------------------------------------5 5-64 --------------------------------------------------------65 and ov er-----------------------------------------------

2 9.6
36. 2
2 0.7
1 0 .0
3 .0

2 7 .4
7. 2

1 3 .2
2 1 .4
2 8 .2
2 4 .8
1 0.8
1 .6




Because of rounding, sums may not add to 1 0 0 .0 .


Bureau of the Census.

The outlook is for a further rise in the median age level over the next decade, as
expanding, higher paying industries continue to attract younger textile workers. At the
same time, many workers will reach retirement age, but whether they will be retained
on their jobs will depend on the demand for textile labor.
Employment Outlook for Women
The textile industry has been a source of abundant job opportunities for women since
its inception. More than 426 thousand women were employed in textile mills in 1966, and
they constituted about 44 percent of all employees. This was considerably higher than the
ratio for all manufacturing--27 percent. Although the percent of women to total employees
has been slowly increasing since 1940, their relative position has diminished substantially
over the long term. In 1870, women constituted about 60 percent of cotton mill workers
compared with about 40 percent today.


The relative importance of women in employmentvaries widely depending largely on
the nature of the work. Finishing, primarily a chemical process involving relatively
har'-’ dous working conditions, employs relatively few women--24 percent in 1966. In
kniUxng, which requires considerable dexterity, women constitute about 68 percent of the
w o /' force. (See table 25.)
Significant increases in female textile employment usually occur at times of male
labor shortages. For example, from 1940 to 1945, the increase in female labor in South
Carolina textile mills accounted for over 90 percent of the State’ s total increase in textile
employment. SinGe women can take the place of men in almost all textile operations, either
directly or by breaking down the jobs into several operations, expansion of the female labor
force requires little or no adjustment by the mill.
Job opportunities for women are also affected by technological change. Weaving, for
example, was originally considered a man’ s occupation requiring physical strength. When
power looms were introduced, however, women were considered capable of filling the job.
As mechanization continues, more employment opportunities maybe open to women in oc­
cupations previously considered too dangerous or too difficult physically for them. In the
carding room, for example, where the proportion of women is relatively small, mechani­
zation of lap removal and suction cleaning may increase card tending jobs for women. On
the other hand, some of the new developments in winding, drawing and packaging may re­
duce unit labor demand for women. For example, as industry adopts automatic attachments
for winding on the loom, battery hands and winders, which are primarily women’ s occupa­
tions, will be reduced. In new and remodeled mills which have made this change, women’ s
jobs related to these operations have been practically eliminated.
Women’ s relative position has been strengthened by the fact that, in recent years,
men’ s jobs have been more affected by technological change than women’ s jobs. For
Table 25.

Women Employees in Textile M ill Products Industry, 1959 and 1966
( in thousands)

As per cent of
all em ployees

Industry sector




M anufacturing-------------------------------------------

4, 3 59 .0

5, 206. 0

26. 1


Textile mill products-------------------------------Cotton broadwoven fa b r ic s -----------------Silk and synthetic broadwoven
fabrics------------------------------------------------Weaving and finishing broadwoolens - Narrow fabrics and smallwares-----------K nitting------------------------------------------------W om en’s full and knee length
hosiery------------------------------------------Miscellaneous hosiery and socks----Knit outerwear-------- ------------------------Knit underwear---------------------------------Finishing textiles, except wool and
k n i t --------------------------------------- -----------Floor covering--------------------------------------Yarn and th r e a d ----------------------------------Miscellaneous textile g o o d s ----------------

4 1 4 .5
101 .4

4 2 6 .8
9 1 .8

4 3 .8

4 4 .4
3 8 .7

2 8 .5
2 0.7

3 4 .0
16. 1
1 7.8
1 60 .4

3 5 .2
3 4 .3
5 3 .7
6 9 .3

3 5.1
3 5 .5
5 6 .7
6 8 .4

3 5 .8
3 8 .7
4 4 .1
2 4 .6

4 1 .2
3 0 .6
5 3 .0
2 4 .2

6 6 .7
7 1 .8
7 4.1
7 4.1

7 6 .0
7 2 .3
7 2 .7
6 9 .7

1 6 .4
4 7 .6
2 0 .5

1 9.3
1 3.7
5 2 .3
2 1 .5

2 1 .2
3 1 .4
4 4 .0
2 7 .9

2 4 .2
3 1 .5
4 5.1
2 7 .8

SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics.


example, advances in materials handling and cleaning affect primarily men’ s jobs and have
reduced labor requirements for men in these unskilled tasks. The proportion of women in
the industry is thereby favorably affected.
Employment of Negroes
Negroes have made some employment gains in the textile industry. A total of about
44,000 Negroes were employed in the textile industry in I960, compared with 25,000, 20
years earlier. (See table 26.) Negro employment advanced from 2.1 percent of total textile
employment in 1940 to 4.6 percent in I960. This ratio, however, was still lower than that
for all manufacturing in I960 (6.6 percent).
The bulk of the advance occurred between 1940 and 1950 when war and postwar
production was at its highest level. Negro textile employment increased 73 percent in those
10 years. Between 1950 and I960, the number of Negro workers in textiles increased 2.7
percent, as total textile employment fell by almost a quarter.
The South accounted for slightly more than half of the Negro increase from 1940 to
1950. Between 1950 and I960, however, Negro employment declined in the South, and the
ratio of Negro employment to total employment remained about the same, compared with
the ratios in other regions which showed substantial increase. (See table 27.)
Annual data for South Carolina, one of the leading textile states, show a substantial
increase in the Negroes’ share of textile employment but only since the m id -1960’ s. The
proportion of Negroes in textile mills was less than 5 percent for more than 30 years,
except for 1945-49 when the ratio ranged from 5.1 to 5.5 percent. In 1965, the ratio was
slightly over 6 percent, still below the 1925 ratio (see table 28), but in 1966, the ratio
jumped to 10 percent. These data cover nonsalaried employees only.
Although a combination of long-term social and economic factors underlies the low
ratio of Negroes in southern textile m ills, there is evidence that some of these conditions
are changing.
Table 26.

Negro Employment in Textile M ill Products Industry, 1940, 1950, and 1960
( in thousands)

Color and sex


Total employees*------------------------------------N e g ro --------------------------------------------------Negro as percent of to ta l--------------------

1 ,1 7 0 .0
2 4.8
2. 1

4 2 .9
3 .5

Male employees1 --------------------------- ---------Negro m a le s ---------------- ----------------------Negro as percent of total m a le s --------Female employees1 --------------------------------Negro fem a les------------------------------------Negro as percent of total fem ales-------

6 9 2 .4
3. 1
4 77 .7
3 .5

7 12 .8
3 3 .4
4 .7
5 28 .6
9 .5
1 .8

1 Totals include nonwhites other than Negroes.
2 Percentages based on unrounded data.
SOURCE: Bureau of the Census.




Percent change


9 5 4 .0
4 4 .0
4 .6

6. 1
73. 1

-2 3 . 1
2 .7

5 35 .9
3 3 .7
6 .3
1 0 .4
2 .5

3 .0
5 6 .8



173. 1

-2 4 .8

-2 0 .9
9 .3

Table 27.

Textile M ill Employment by Region, Color and Sex, 1950 and 1960
( In thousands)




Percent change


of total


of total



N ortheast------------------------------------------North Central-------------------------------------South--------------------------------------------------W e s t ---------------------------------------------------

5 5 4 .0
5 5 .8
617. 1
1 4.6

8 .3
2 .9
3 1 .0

1 .5
5 .3
5 .0
3 .8

303. 5
3 8 .9
5 98 .0
1 3 .6

1 1 .0
3. 1

3 .6
7 .9
4 .9
5 .6

-4 6 .4
-3 2 . 2
- 3 .0
6 .3

3 1 .7
4 .2
- 5 .8
3 6 .2

N ortheast------------------------------------------North Central-------------------------------------South--------------------------------------------------W e s t ---------------------------------------------------

3 28 .4
2 7.8
3 4 9 .9
6 .7

5 .3
1 .7
2 6 .0

1 .6
6. 1
7 .4
5 .7

171 .2
1 9 .6
3 3 8 .4
6 .7

5 .8
1 .6
2 5 .8

3 .4
8 .3
7 .6
6 .6

-4 8 .9
-3 1 .2
-3 .5

1 0 .9
- 3 .5
-1 .1
1 5 .4

N ortheast------------------------------------------North Central------------------------------------South--------------------------------------------------W e s t ---------------------------------------------------

2 25 .5
2 8 .0
267 .2
7 .9

3 .1
1 .2
5 .0

1 .4
4 .4
1 .9

5. 1
1 .4
3. 5


2. 2

1 9.3
2 59 .6
6 .9

3 .9
7 .4
1 .3
4 .6

-4 2 .9
-3 3 .2
- 2 .3
13. 8

6 7 .3
1 4 .6
-3 0 .2
8 1 .7



Bureau of the Census.

T a b le 2 8.

T o ta l and Negro Em ploym ent in T e x tile M ills 1
in South C arolina, Selected Years
(Em ploym ent in thousands)




70. 1
6 7 .0
8 3 .6
9 2 .7
109 .5
1 24 .6
127. 2
1 22 .9
138 .2

------------------------------ --------- ------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------- ---------

1940 -------------- --------- ---------------------------------1945 -------— — ....................................................
1950 ...........................- .........................................
1955 ----------------------------------------------------------1960 ------------ ---------------------------------------------1965 ------------ --------- -----------------------------------1966 --------------------------------------- --------- ---------

Negro employment


4 .6
3 .9
3 .8
3 .7
5 .6
6 .0
5 .9
5 .7
8 .2
1 3.8

6 .6
5 .8
4 .6
4 .0
5. 1
4 .8
4 .7
4 .7
6 .2
1 0 .0

1 Nonsalaried.

Department of Labor of South Carolina.

First, the social milieu which influences the attitude of textile workers toward
Negroes is undergoing change. The closely knit society of textile mill towns, the rural
background of the population and their isolation fromurban centers have been factors that
tended to restrict Negro employment, except at the lowest levels. Greater communication
and mobility may be changing these community-work relationships. Opportunities for
Negroes may also be expanded by the efforts of the Equal Employment Opportunities
Commis sion.


Second, the traditional sources of labor supply for the textile industry in the South
are diminishing as new, higher-paying industries are expanding, and attracting white labor.
As long as wages have been higher in textiles than in many other local industries, textile
mills usually have been assured of an adequate supply of white male workers. When white
male workers were in short supply, white women were hired because women generally
can perform almost all operations in the mill. For example, when white male workers were
not available in South Carolina textile mills during World War II, white women were hired
comprising about 90 percent of the increase in total employment from 1940 to 1945. Negro
employment increased less than 2 thousand in this period, compared with an increase of
almost 16 thousand white women. (See table 29.)
In the tight job market of the 1960* s, however, the textile industry has had to compete
with higher-paying industries not only for white male workers but also for white women
who are finding employment in other industries. Of the net increase in women employment
in South Carolina industries between 1940 and 1945, almost 80 percent went into textile
mills; in the 1960-65 period, only 25 percent went into textile mills. The gap in traditional
sources of labor accounted, in large part, for the gain in Negro employment from I960 to
1965, as shown in table 29. In 1966, as white women workers declined in South Carolina
textile m ills, Negro employment rose from about 6 percent to 10 percent of total nonsalaried textile employment.
These favorable factors in the outlook for Negro employment may be offset by more
widespread mechanization which tends to reduce the demand for unskilled workers. It has
been estimated that about a third of all Negro workers in the textile industry of North
Carolina and South Carolina in 1966 were unskilled laborers compared with about 10 per­
cent of all white workers.

Table 29.

Employment Changes in Textile Industry of South Carolina,
by Sex and Color, 1940-65 1
(In thousands)

1940 4 5 ----------------------------------------------------1 9 4 5 -5 0 ----------------------------------------------------1 9 5 0 -5 5 ----------------------------------------------------1955-60 --------------------------------------------------1 9 6 0 -6 5 -----------------------------------------------------

* Not fully comparable;



1 6.8
1 5 .0
2 .6
- 4 .3
1 0.4

-0 .8
15. 2
1 .9
3 .6

1 5.7
-4 . 8
4 .4

nonsalaried employment.

SOURCE: Department of Labor of South Carolina.


1 .8
-. 1
2 .5

Chapter VII. Occupational Changes and Prospects

This chapter deals with occupational changes in the textile industry expected over the
next decade resulting primarily from technological developments. Two approaches are
adopted: first, potential change s in the content of key jobs are presented; second, industry­
wide occupational changes are projected.
Job Content and Training
Changes in job content and skill requirements differ among the three major occupa­
tional categories: machine tenders, technical workers and supervisory personnel. Each,
therefore, will be discussed separately. Major emphasis will be on the effect of latest ma­
chine technologies on the worker. Although the discussion is confined to the cotton textile
industry, workers in the cotton, synthetic, and woolen and worsted industry have substan­
tially identical duties and operate similar types of machines.
Machine tenders or operatives. Although cotton is processed through several different
machines, the work performed and the skills involved are quite similar at many opera­
tions. The content of machine tender or operative jobs can be summarized in terms of
seven basic work duties:
1. Creeling is the operation of loading the machine with the supply stock and remov­
ing the empty package-container. On carding machines, for example, it involves position­
ing the laps; on spinning frames, placement of full bobbins of roving; on looms, hanging
beams and positioning bobbins of filling.
2. Doffing is the removal of full packages of processed material and replacing them
with empty package cores. This involves removal of laps on pickers; full cans of sliver
from cards or drawing frames; full bobbins of yarn from spinning frames; and cloth rolls
from looms. This may be done by the machine operator, as in the picker operation or by
an auxiliary worker, a doffer, as in spinning.
3. Repairing or piecing-up involves the operation of tying together broken fiber, yarn
orthread, or attaching ends of newpackages for proces sing. Drawing frame tenders pick up
broken ends of sliver and mat and roll them together between thumb and fingers; spinners
locate the ends of broken strands, thread them through guides, twist two ends together, and
replace the bobbin.
4. Operating manual controls involves stopping and starting machines, and regulating
machine speeds or other variables. On the warper and slasher, tenders regulate machine
speeds. In finishing, operatives control valves regulating dye or solution.
5. Cleaning machines to remove accumulation of lint, dirt, sizing,and oil may be done
in whole or part by machine operators, or by specialized cleaners, such as roll pickers,
in spinning.
6. Materials handling duties comprise moving materials and stock from one opera­
tion to another. This may be done by machine operators or by workers whose major duty
is materials handling, or by both.


Patrolling involves walking around many rows of machines and watching their
operation closely. In spinning, tenders walk past several thousand spindles to detect
broken strands and to note when bobbins are running out.
Generally, an operative’ s job is a combination of two or more of these duties. The
card tender, for example, does all the following: creels or positions the roll of lap, doffs
or removes the full cans, cleans machines, and patrols for malfunctions. The drawing
frame tender’ s major duties include repairing fiber breaks, controlling machine speeds,
creeling, doffing, cleaning, and patrolling. Some workers, however, perform only one
major job, such as the spinning frame doffer who primarily doffs the full bobbins.
Future job content. Advancing technology is altering the content of machine operatives’ jobs
by changing the mix of their d u tie s--i.e ., the relative time allotted to each duty. In addi­
tion, machine trends in many new mills indicate that one or more of the operative’ s tradi­
tional duties are being entirely eliminated by transfer to the machine. These changes
increase the time allotted for patrolling a greater number of machines.
Comparison of the approximate distribution of a spinner’ s time in a modernized mill
of the 1950’ s and 1960’ s, and projected distribution for the 1970’ s as estimated by experts
in the industry, reveals the following shifts:
1950’ s


1960’ s

1970’ s

(Percent of time)


Creels or loads ........................
Cleans . ........................................
M iscellaneous...........................




Number of spindles patrolled




Repairs broken yarn, etc.

The spinner’ s cleaning, creeling, and repairing time will be reduced from more than
4 /5 of his total time in the 1950’ sto about half in the 1970’ s, despite the fact that the num­
ber of machines tended will more than double. Consequently, the time available for patrol­
ling will more than triple.
When the increase in spindle assignments is taken into account, the effect of advanc­
ing technology on traditional duties is evident. The spinner’ s time allotted to repair, per
spindle, will decrease 60 percent from the 1950’ s to the 1970’ s. Part of the reduction in
cleaning and creeling time .may result from the use of unskilled auxiliary labor, such as
roll pickers and creelers, which permits the spinner to tend more machines.
Similarly, the newest winding equipment also illustrates the shift in duties. The
operative s duties on a nonautomatic winder or spooler involve placing the bobbins or
cones of yarn on the machine, threading the yarn through the guides, piecing up the broken
ends by twisting them together, and removing full winding bobbins. The operative on the
newest automatic machines has none of these duties; the machine performs these tasks


automatically. The operative’ s duties consist primarily of patrolling a much larger number
of machines to detect malfunctioning.
Effect on the worker. It is difficult to generalize about the effect on the worker of in­
creased mechanization. The gradual transferral of traditional skills to the machine alters
the physical and psychological demands on the worker, but its impact varies depending
on the degree of machine automaticity. Moreover, the relative effect of varying degrees of
boredom or stress, for example, is difficult to ascertain.
Less physical labor. Mechanization of materials* handling, and one-story plants with
straight line layouts reduce the physically arduous jobs of pulling, pushing and hauling. In
modernized m ills, for example, operatives no longer handle 60 pound laps manually or push
heavy cans of sliver. Physical labor involved in cleaning has also been greatly reduced.
Increased patrolling of machines, however, may require greater physical stamina,
particularly for women workers. Many operatives must walk considerably longer distances
to tend a larger number of machines than were required 10 years ago. For some opera­
tions, this may result in an increase in physical labor; in other jobs, in a replacement of
equally difficult physical jobs of handling or cleaning.
Less manual dexterity. Dexterity will continue to be required on many machines for
piecing-up or repairing broken sliver or yarn, threading yarn through guides, and other
operative duties. Such skill is particularly important for specialized operatives such as
tying-in hands who attach warp threads from full loom beams to the threads of nearlyexhausted beams. As shown earlier, however, the trend is toward a reduction in the time
allotted for many repetitive, manipulative jobs, and even their elimination, as automatic
machines assume knotting jobs, etc.
Greater responsibility. As capital investment per employee increases, downtime is
more costly and the operative has a greater responsibility to monitor the machines close­
ly. In 1966, investment per job in a model print cloth cotton mill was estimated at over
$40,000, about 40 percent more than 10 years earlier. More highly integrated machinery
of the newest mills requires a greater sense of responsibility because an error or over­
sight can result in the shut-down of an entire line of machines. Even in older modernized
mills, the increase in the number of machines the operative now patrols may intensify
time pressure and anxiety. Some automatic devices, on the other hand, may lessen certain
time stresses, but may require the worker to be more alert to malfunctions.
Improved physical environment. Poor lighting, excessive noise, and poorly controlled
heat and humidity which result in strain on the workers are being greatly reduced, New
and modernized mills are installing fluorescent lighting, air conditioning, air cleaning
systems, and when possible, reducing noise and vibration.

More formal training. Industry training or retraining generally involves the tradi­
tional method of learning on the job by assisting an experienced employee. However,
some mills now apply a more scientific and formal approach to training which, is believed
to be more efficient. In these m ills, a separate area is set aside where trainees are
taught on actual machines or ‘dummies* to perform their jobs before being assigned to
the production floor. Trainees may be assigned to an instructor--loom fixer instructor


or head weaver instructor--whose sole job is to develop qualified operatives. Work
manuals, classroom lessons and progress reports may be part of the formal procedure.
Machine manufacturers are also involved in training programs, particularly in the
installation of radically new equipment. In mills where shuttleless looms are installed,
for example, loom fixers and supervisors may spend 4 weeks at the manufacturer’ s train­
ing center.
The bulk of operative jobs, however, do not require a longer period of training than
was required with less mechanized equipment. Some highly automatic machines may re­
quire less training. Only a few skilled production workers, such as loom fixers, require
additional technical training to diagnose and repair more complex and varied machinery.
In the opinion of some managers, educational requirements for textile jobs may be
raised slightly over the next decade, toobtaina more responsible workforce with greater
potential for adaptability to new machinery. The median school years completed by textile
workers in I960 was 9 compared with 11 in all-manufacturing, due in part to the relative­
ly small proportion of professional and technical workers. Operatives in the textile in­
dustry had an average educational attainment of 8.5 years compared with 9.4 in manufac­
Technical Workers. Duties of technical personnel consist of planning maintenance pro­
grams, diagnosing machine failures, determining correct action, and supervising repairs
by skilled repairmen.
More technical knowledge and greater experience will be required for the wider range
of machines and more rapid acceptance of machine innovations. Technicians must have the
ability to diagnose not only the mechanical and electrical problems but pneumatic, hydrau­
lic, and electronic as well. As in the case of the operative, greater responsibility rests
with the technical worker because of the high cost of downtime, particularly in mills with
highly integrated machinery. Good judgment and the ability to make decisions rapidly are,
therefore, of great importance.
Formal training programs for technical personnel on machine principles are often
made available by machine manufacturers, usually with the installation of new machinery.’
Textile colleges provide courses in mathematics and engineering designed primarily for
technical personnel in cooperation with the industry.
Supervisory and Management Staff. Traditionally, the overseer or foreman rose through
the ranks and had little formal or technical education. Judgement and decision-making
were primarily based on experience and a thorough knowledge of the mill. Today, in the
most modern m ills, production planning and decicion-making are more precise and exactng and must be, at least in part, based on judgement derived from data analysis. For
example, the weaveroom foreman in some new plants must make use of an electronic
monitoring system which records the performance of every loom, visually and in print­
ed reports. Analysis of these data enables him to plan or change production schedules
and machine and crew assignments rapidly and efficiently.
The functions of mill managers and supervisors may be modified in the future by
computerization in central offices. So far, computer applications are generally limited


to market analysis and long-range planning, but some large textile firms plan to install
input and processing equipment which will permit daily production analysis by the central
office and possibly greater centralization of control. Opportunities for systems analysts
and computer programers will be opened up in central offices of large textile companies.
Modern managers will probably need more formal education to effectively operate
these m ills. Many textile companies now regularly recruit college graduates, particularly
from textile colleges, to as sume management positions. This trend is expected to continue
as textile companies move away from family-ownership toward more professionally
oriented management in a corporate structure.
Industry Occupation Projections
Projections of the textile industry’ s occupational structure for 1975, based on data
from the decennial Census of Population, wer^ made by the BLS Division of Occupational
Employment Statistics. Although changes in the industry’ s occupational structure reflect
primarily technological developments, they are also affected by shifts in the relative im ­
portance of subindustries, changes in management organization, and the growth of larger
corporations. Moreover, these projections reflect labor requirements and may not be
consistent with actual occupational distribution in 1975 due to labor market conditions.
For example, when operatives are in short supply (e. g. spinners), rationalization of jobs
maypermit transferring some of their duties to laborers, thereby increasing that occu­
pational group.
The projected structure does not differ radically from I960 and continues trends of
the past 25 years. The bulk of 1975 employment will remain in the semiskilled operative
group in spite of some decline from I960. (See table 30.) A larger proportion of employees
will be required in white collar occupations, and fewer in the blue collar group. Skilled
worker requirements, however, will increase relative to the total.

Table 30. Percent Distribution of Textile Employment
by Occupational Group, 1960 and 1975

I96 0 1

Occupational group


Total ---------------------------------------------

1 00 .0

1 00 .0

White collar--------------------------------------------Professional, technical, and
kindred --------------------------------------------Managers, officials, and proprietors--------------------------------------------Clerical and s a le s ------------------------------

1 4 .0

1 7.9

1. 5

2 .5

3. 5
9 .0

4 .2
1 1.2

Blue co lla r------ ----------------------------------------Craftsmen, foremen, and kindred----Operatives and kindred-------------------- -Laborers-------------------- -------------------------Service workers---------------------------------

8 5 .9
1 1.4
6 7 .5
4. 9
2. 1

82. 1
13. 1
6 3 .3
3 .7
2 .0


Based on Census data.


Because of rounding, sums of individual items may not equal total.

SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Professional, technical and kindred workers, including engineers, technicians, chem­
ist, and accountants are the fastest growing occupational group. Employment increased
from 1950 to I960, despite a decline in total textile employment. This upward trend is ex­
pected to accelerate over the next decade. By 1975, professional, technical and kindred
workers may constitute 2.5 percent of total textile employment, compared to 1.5 percent
in I960.
Many new occupations are being created in this group. An air conditioning system in
a large mill, for example, may require 7 to 8 technical employees for maintenance and
operation. The larger mills now employ instrument technicians so that immediate servic­
ing can be available. More quality control, waste control, and instrument engineers and
technicians will be required.
Demand requirements will also increase for R&D scientists and engineers. According
to the National Science Foundation, this (still relatively small) professional group increas­
ed more than 60 percent from 1958 to 1966 in the textile and apparel industry,
Managers, officials and proprietors declined from 1950 to I960 due largely to the
decline in the number of establishments but increased as a proportion of total employment.
Assuming greater industry stability and the growth of corporate organizations, a moderate
rise in numbers is projected. The proportion of managers, officials, and proprietors by
1975 is expected to increase to 4.2 percent of total employment, compared with 3.5 per­
cent in I960.

Clerical, sales and kindred workers declined slightly from 1950 to I960 partly re­
flecting the reduction in the number of textile establishments. However, this group in­
creased as a proportion of total industry employment. In the next decade, sales and asso­
ciated personnel will play a more prominent role in the industry. The group is expected
to rise to 11.2 percent in 1975 compared with 9.0 percent in I960.
Craftsmen, foremen and kindred workers declined by about 10 percent between 1950
and I960, but also increased in relative importance. Foremen, loom fixers, mechanics and
repairmen are the three major occupations in this group. Employment in this occupational
group is expected to increase over the next decade, reflecting the increasing importance of
some of these occupations. By 1975, craftsmen, foremen and kindred workers may consti­
tute 13.1 percent of total textile employment, compared with 11.4 percent in I960.

Operatives and kindred workers, the largest textile occupational group, will continue
to be adversely affected by technological advance. From 1950 to I960, this occupational
group declined more than a fourth, and its proportion to total employment was reduced.
Weavers and spinners in yarn, thread and fabric m ills, and stitchers, knitters, loopers and
topperc in knitting mills are the major occupations in this group. BBS projections show a
continuing decline of operatives as a proportion of textile employment. By 1975, this group
will constitute about 63 percent of the total, compared with 68 percent in I960.
Laborers declined sharply from 1950 to I960, both in number and proportionately,
because of greater mechanization and the shut-down of older mills, This trend i< expect­
ed to continue as more mills mechanize materials handling and cleaning operations. Some


modernized mills have reported reductions of 25 percent in unskilled jobs. In some new
mills, not a single per son i s employed to haul material. It is estimated that by 1975, labor­
ers will constitute 3.7 percent of textile employment, compared with 4.9 percent in I960.
Service workers, which include janitors', guards, etc., are also expected to continue
to decline slightly, both in number and as a proportion of total employment. In I960, ser­
vice workers constituted 2.1 percent of the total; by 1975, they may be down to 2.0 per­


Chapter VIII, Working- Conditions and Adjustments
to Technological Change

Technological changes have a pervasive effect on labor—
management relations and
working conditions. This chapter deals with labor-management relations, working condi­
tions and earnings, and employee adjustments to technological change.
Working Conditions
Working conditions in the textile industry are largely a matter of management dis­
cretion, particularly in southern mills. Only about 27 percent of all textile workers were
in mills covered by bargaining agreements in 1965, compared to over 60 percent in all
manufacturing industries. The major unions are the Textile Workers Union of America,
the United Textile Workers of America, and the International Ladies* Garment Workers*
Union (knitting establishments), all affiliated with the AFL-CIO. The Amalgamated Lace
Operatives of America is an independent union.
Contraction of the Northern textile industry, where union organization is strongest,
seriously depleted union ranks. Attempts to organize Southern mills have been relatively
unsuccessful. Nearly seven-eighths of New England cotton workers, but only one-eighth of
those in the Southeast were employed in mills having collective bargaining agreements in
September 1965. Although relatively few Southern cotton mills were covered by union
agreements, the number of workers involved was substantially greater than in the North.
Five times as many workers were covered in the Southeast as in New England. In syn­
thetic textile m ills, coverage was lower--about three-fifths in New England, two-fifths in
Middle Atlantic States, and only 1 percent in the Southeast. In actual numbers, less than a
thousand synthetic mill worker s were employed in covered mills in the Southeast, compared
to 9-10 many in each of the other areas.
Efforts to secure wage rate increases and greater fringe benefits are major issues in
collective bargaining. With few exceptions, negotiations are on a single-employer basis. In
some sectors of the industry, particularly in New England and Middle Atlantic states,
settlements with a leading mill or employer-association set the pattern for other mills.
Pattern setting, however, was more prevalent in the 1940’ s. In the final analysis, wage
patterns in Northern mills are greatly influenced by leading non-union southern mills.
Southern union mills attempt to achieve the wage rates and benefits obtained in Northern
contracts, but the non-union pattern usually predominates.
Average weekly hours for textile production workers reached a postwar high of 41.9
in 1966 reflecting near-peak capacity utilization. (See table 31.) Except for 1964 and 1965,
this was more than an hour longer than any year since 1947. Overtime increased to 4.4
hours, in 1966, compared with 2.2 in 1957. Compared with the workweek in manufacturing,
the textile workweek was longer in every year since 1961, in contrast to the 1947-60
Three shifts have become fairly common in the postwar period. Nearly all broadwoven mills have provisions for three shift operations in most production departments.
Third shift operations accounted for about a fourth of the workers in the Southeast and a
fifth or a sixth in the other regions in 1965. Except for northern wool m ills, second shift
operators usually do not receive differential pay, but third shift operators received 7 cents
an hour above day rate s in New England and 5 cents in the South in 1965 in cotton, synthetic
and wool mills.


T a b le 31.

Hours and Earnings o f Production Workers in M anufacturing and T e x tile M ill Products, 1947 and 1 9 5 7 - 6 6
(Annual averages)
Average weekly hours

T extile

Average hourly earnings


Average weekly earnings





40. 4

39. 6

$1. 22

$ 1 .0 4

$49. 17

$40 .9 9

1957 - -— ——
------ — ------- 1958------------ ---------------------------- -------------- 1959 ------ - -------------- ------- -----------------

39. 8
39. 2
4 0 .3

3 8 .9
38. 6
4 0 .4

2. 05
2. 11
2. 19

1 ,49
1 .49
1 .5 6

81. 59
88. 26

5 7 .9 6
6 3 .0 2

I960 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - —
1961 ---------- ----------- ------ ~--------- - - - - 1 9 6 2 -- — ----------------- ~-------- -------- -----------1963 ------------ ------------ --------------- — --------- -1964 --------------------------------- --------- —
1965 - - - - - - - - - ----------------------------------------- 1966 - -------------- ------------ - - - - - - -

3 9 .7
39. 8
4 0 .4
40. 5
4 0 .7
41. 2
4 1 .4

3 9 .5
3 9 .9
4 0 .6
40. 6
4 1 .0
4 1 .8
4 1 .9

2. 26
2. 32
2. 39
2. 46
2. 53

1 .63
1 .79
1 .87
1 .96

8 9 ,7 2
92. 34
96. 56
99. 63
102. 97
112, 19

6 3 .6 0
6 5 .0 4
6 9.4 3
7 3 .7 9
78, 17

1947 - ~ - ------ ----------- -




8 2 , 12

Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Earnings and Compensation
Two-thirds of cotton broadwoven production workers and three-fourths of the syn­
thetic fabric workers in 1965 were paid on the basis of time rates, i»e., a set amount
earned each hour which is not related to production. Usually this provides a single rate
for a given occupation. The remaining third of the cotton workers and a fourth of the
synthetic workers were paid on the incentive or individual piece rate system.
Average hourly earnings in textiles are still among the lowest in manufacturing.
In 1966, textile earnings were $1.96 compared with $2.71 for all manufacturing. (Table 31.)
Textile hourly earnings were up 88 percent over 1947; overall manufacturing earnings
more than doubled. Since 1957, however, the percent increase in textile earnings was al­
most as high as that for all manufacturing. Regional wage differentials still exist, but they
are narrowing for most occupations. Table 32 shows the change over an eleven year period
in wage rates for selected key jobs.
Table 32.

Hourly Earnings of Workers on Cotton Carded Yarn or Fabric, Selected Occupations,
New England and Southeast Regions, 1954 and 1965






- --- ---------------------------------Loo m fix er 1 - - - -------------— - - - - - - - - Weaver, plain loom
------ -—

$ 1 .3 6
1 .68
1 .4 6


$ 1 .2 4
1. 52
1 .33

$ 1 .8 9
2 .28
1 .98

$ 1 .8 7
2. 26

Spinner, ring f r a m e ---------- ------ -------Winder2 -------------------------------

1 .2 7
1 .3 0


1 .14
1 .16

1 ,9 0


1 Plain and dobby looms.
2 Automatic spooler.
SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics.


The rise in hourly earnings and the longer workweek raised average weekly earnings
for production workers in textile mills to $82.12 in 1966 compared with $57.96 in 1957.
Compared with the all-manufacturing average, however, textile earnings are still relatively
low. In 1966, average weekly manufacturing earnins were 37 percent above textile earn­
ings; in 1957, they were 40 percent greater. In the early postwar years, the relative
differential was considerably less-about 20 percent.
Fringe benefits are also increasing, but are still relatively low compared to pay­
ments in manufacturing. According to Department of Commerce estimates, supplements
to wages and salaries (including employer contributions for social insurance, private
pension and welfare funds, medical compensation, military reservist pay) more than
doubled between 1957 and 1966. The ratio of supplements to total compensation (wages
and salaries and supplements) rose from 6.2 percent in 1957 to 9.0 percent in 1966, about
two and a half times the 1947 ratio. In all manufacturing, supplements constituted 12.0
percent of total compensation in 1966. (See table 33.)

Another way of measuring the changes in the structure of compensation is in terms
of payroll expenditures for supplementary employer practices. In 1962, 8.3 percent of the
gross payroll for production workers in the textile industry was paid out for: leave time
(3.7 percent), premium pay for overtime, weekend, holiday, and shift work (4.0 percent)
and Christmas and related bonuses (0.6 percent). The all-manufacturing group spent 10.9
percent of its gross payroll on these practices, the difference resulting largely from
substantially higher ratio of paid leave than in textiles. In addition, private welfare plans
in textiles cost 2.9 percent of the industry’ s gross payroll in 1962, compared with 5.4 per­
cent for all manufacturing. The textile industry paid out 6.0 percent of its gross payroll
for Social Security, Unemployment Compensation, and related legally required programs,

Table 33.

Compensation of Employees in Manufacturing and Textile Mill Products Industry, 1947 and 1957-66
(In millions of dollars)
Supplements as a
percent of total
T extiles


Supplements 1 to
Wages and salaries i
1 wages and salaries
_______________________ i
Manu- ;
T extiles
T extiles
facturing |

1947 - ------------------------------------------------------


$ 3 ,2 1 9

$42, 500

$3,1 0 3

$2,0 3 7


4 .6

3 .6

1 9 5 7 ----------------------------------------------------------1958 ---------------------------------------------------------1 9 5 9 -----------------------------------------------------------

9 0,089
86, 242
9 5,776

3 ,49 7
3, 318
3 ,72 2

82, 482
7 8,6 8 2
86, 895

3, 280
3, 116
3 ,4 6 4

7 ,60 7
7 ,5 6 0


8 .4
8 .8
9 .3

6 .2
6. 1
6 .9

I 9 6 0 ---------------------------------------------------------1 9 6 1 ----------------------------------------------------------1 9 6 2 - - -----------------------------------------------------1963 ---------------------------------------------------------1964 ----------------------------- ------------ --------------

9 9 ,4 2 4
112, 888

3 ,70 8
3, 663
3 ,9 0 6
3 ,9 5 0
4, 212

8 9,7 1 2
89, 823
96, 662

3 ,4 4 5
3, 396
3 ,60 7
3, 635
3, 879

9 ,7 1 2
9 ,89 5


9 .8
9 .9
1 0.6
10. 9
1 1.0

7. 1
7 .3
7 .7
8 .0
7 .9

1 9 6 5 ---------------------------------------------------------1 9 6 6 ------------ --------------------------------------------

130, 312

4, 616
5, 084

115, 570

4, 239
4, 625



1 1.3
1 2 .0

8. 2
9 .0

Total compensation

1 Represent compensation not commonly regarded as wages and salaries. Consist of employer contributions for social
insurance, employer contributions to private pension and welfare funds, compensation for injuries, directors' fees, pay of the
military reserve, and other minor items of labor income.
SOURCE: Department of Commerce.


compared with 5.8 percent for all manufacturing. (Table 34.) The textile industry had a
higher ratio of expenditures to payrolls for the legally required insurance programs, in
part because the Social Security scale of rates was applicable only to earnings up to $4,800
with no higher rates above that level.
Table 34.

Employer Expenditures for Selected Supplementary Practices for Production and Related Workers
in Manufacturing and Textile M ill Industries, 1959 and 1962
Textile mill products

Selected supplementary
remuneration practices

Percent of
gross payroll

Cents per
plant man-hour


Paid le a v e ------------------ -----------------------------Premium p a y ------------------------------------------Legally required paym ents---------------------Private welfare plans - - -------- ----- ------------Bonuses-------- --------------------------------------------

6 .0
4 .3
4 .5
5 .4


1 Private welfare plans include bonuses in 1959.
in 1959; included in 1962.

6 .0
4 .2
5 .8
5 .4


48. 2

T o ta l-----------------------------------------------


1 5.4
1 0.8
1 4.8
1 3 .9
1 .8


5 6 .7

1 4.3
1 0.7
1 2 .9

Percent of
gross payroll



3. 6
4. 1
4 .9
3 .0

3 .7
4 .0
6 .0
2 .9

Cents per
plant man-hour


2 5 .9

3 1 .0

5. 9
6 .8
8. 2
5 .0

6 .6
7 .2
1 0.8
5 .3


Bonuses primarily made under profit-sharing plans were excluded

Bureau of Labor Statistics

The proportion of textile workers receiving supplementary benefits vary widely by
region and are more extensive in Northern union-affiliated mills. Medical insurance, for
example, covered about two-fiths of the cottonbroadwovenworkers in the Southeast, com­
pared with nearly all workers in New England in 1965. Nearly all cotton textile workers in
New England received six paid holidays annually, whereas less than half of the workers in
the Southeast were paid for holidays, most commonly 2 days a year. Plans providing lump­
sum payments at retirement applied to nearly all cotton workers in New England but were
virtually nonexistant in the South. On the other hand, pension plans providing regular pay­
ments for the remainder of the retiree’ s life applied to over half of the workers in the
Southeast (a large proportion were covered by profit sharing plans) but were rarely
reported in New England.
Adjustments to Technological Change
Formal programs to assist workers to adjust to technological change are found pri­
marily in plants with union agreements and even these are few in number . Such provisions
are found more frequently in contracts covering Northern mills than in Southern mills.
Contract provisions regarding internal labor adjustments, such ac workload changes, are
fairly prevalent, but provisions for regulating or easing layoffs are very limited.
Unions in the textile industry believe that changing technology is inevitable and, in the
long run, beneficial to the industry’ s growth, but that such changes can be made in an
orderly way to protect the job security and working conditions of employees. Bargain­
ing agreements recognize management’ s prerogative to institute tec\mological change, but
in many cases, attach various qualifications. A general statement of the intent of one major
contract, relative to technological change, provides that management may


..change or introduce machines, processes
and methods of manufacture for the purpose of
insuring efficient operation and utilizing the
employees* working time most productively and
without adversely affecting the workers* physical
and mental condition or causing undue fatigue/**
Procedures established by provisions for adjustment to technological change in
contracts covering 1,000 employees or more are described below. However, the extent
to which these provisions are operable or successful is difficult to assess. Labormanagement relations differ from mill to mill. Moreover, custom and common sense
often dictate adjustments not formally provided for in the contract.
Advance notice. Many contracts require some type of advance notice by the company to
its employees and uni on of changes in job procedures and assignments. One major contract,
for example, reads:
“it is the responsibility of the Company, when
making changes in job procedures and assign­
ments, to inform the employee s affected in
advance of such changes so that they will have
a full under standing of the work to be performed
and the methods to be used at least two weeks
prior to the new or changed work procedures.**
Later, in the same contract, there is a provision for advance notice to the union, more
specifically tied to technological changes. It also provides for discussion by union and
management on the proposed change, a provision less frequently included in textile bar­
gaining agreements.
“Management shall first inform the Union of the
fact that a change is to be made, of the approxi­
mate date of its installation, the nature thereof,
proposed dutie s and job assignment... The partie s
shall meet and discuss the proposal at least two
weeks before the day fixed for the institutions of
such change. The mill will furnish all informa­
tion which is necessary to a complete under­
standing of the proposed change.**
A fairly large proportion of bar gaining agreements reviewed, covering 1,000 textile
employees or more, provide for a trial period for the proposed change, and procedures
for negotiations regarding permanent installation. One major contract contains the followng provision:
“The mill may install the proposed change for a
trial period of four weeks which may be extended
by mutual agreement... Within fifteen days of the
expiration of the trial period, the Union, if dis­
satisfied, may pre sent a written statement of its
grievances, and if the same shall not be satis­
factorily adjusted by negotiations between the


parties within five days thereafter, the matter
may be submitted by the Union to arbitration
for final and binding decision,”
orkload Adjustments. In unionized mills, technological changes which affect the pace of
work - - “speedup” (i.e ,, installing faster machines or speeding up old machines) and
“stretchout” (i.e ., increasing the number of machines as signed to the worker)- -are often a
major topic of labor-management discussion. Labor’ s objection to speedup and stretchout
are traditional, predating union involvement, and stem from workers’ fear of loss of jobs,
since each worker’ s output increase s with the increase in the number or speed of machine s
In some contracts, workload assignments are subject to review by the union and may
be submitted to arbitration. A sample of this type of provision follows:
“Existing workloads or work assignments shall
not be changed except by mutual agreement of
the employer and the local union,.,. Work as­
signments shall not be interpreted to mean
production quotas or machine speed....During
this thirty day period (of advance notice) the
Employer and the Union shall confer for the
purpose of determining the manpower com­
plement and work assignments.”
If no agreement can be reached, this may be submitted to arbitration. In some contracts,
however, no formal provisions are made for grievance procedure regarding change in
work assignments. One such contract states:
“in expanding and contracting the number of
looms, sides, machines, etc. to which an em­
ployee is as signed, it will be done in such man­
ner as in the discretion of the company will
re suit in the most efficient operation of the
mill. Such changes will be discussed with the
Tramisfer Rights and Retraining. Bargaining agreements in the textile industry do not
generally make provision for transfer rights to another department or another mill in the
event of displacement due to technological changes. In actual practice, however, an effort
is often made to avoid layoff through transfer, if possible. However, since seniority is
usually on a department basis, transfer to another department is pos sible only if there are
no outstanding laid-off workers from the department awaiting recall. Transfer from one
department to another usually results in a loss of seniority in the old department after a
trial period.
Training or retraining provisions are included in only a few textile agreements. One
contract, for example, requires that “whenever management makes a change in job as sign­
ments involving any change of technique or departure from current practice s, management
will provide instruction for the employees involved.... ” Another contract sets up a 4-year
apprentice job program with the objective of “training younger people of proven ability


for further promotion to skilled and supervisory jobs.” Probably the most extensive
training provisions are included in a contract between the Knitted Outerwear Manufac­
turers Association and the International Ladies* Garment Workers’ Union which estab­
lishes a trust fund financed by employers, one aspect of which is the development of
training programs.
Under the Manpower Development and Training Act and the Area Redevelopment
Act, the Federal government has financed institutional and on-the-job training programs
for underemployed and unemployed workers for existing job vacancies in textile mills in
several localities. These programs include former textile workers but are not limited
to them, and no data are available on the proportion of trainees who were previously in
the textile industry. Between August 1962, when the MDTA program began, and December
1966 about 4,200 workers were trained for many textile occupations. Occupations for
training are determined on the basis of cur rent local requirements. The number of trainees
and the duration of training in occupations with over 100 trainees are presented in the
following table:
No. of trainees



W eaver.......................... . . .
Loom f ix e r ............................
Spinner ....................................
Knitting machine operator
D o f f e r ....................................
Laborer .................................
Thrower .................................
Yarn winder...........................
Other .......................................

Duration of training

Labor shortages for particular occupations in some plants and localities continue to
require training programs in spite of the prospect of declining employment for those oc­
cupations in the industry as a whole. This applies particularly to laborers.
Layoff and Recall. Collective bargaining agreements usually provide for the principle
of seniority as a measure of protection for the employee displaced by technological
developments or other causes for which he is not responsible. In contracts in which oc­
cupational seniority by department governs layoffs and recalls, a typical provision states:
“in cases of lay-offs, the last one in shall be
the first one out, and in cases of recall, the last
one out shall be the first one in.”

In such contracts, seniority lists may be subject to grievance by the union. One major
contract requires:
“Any grievance with respect to any (seniority)
list shall be submitted to the Company within
thirty days after the list shall have been fur­
nished to the Union.”


If it ic not settled, it maybe submitted to arbitration in accordance with relevant contract
However, various limitations on seniority rights regarding layoff and recall are
included in many contracts. One contract states that an employee who has completed his
“probationary period” need not
“be considered a permanent or steady employee..
where technological changes within a depart­
ment have created an excess of manpower... or
reduced the need for manpower.”
Another example of a seniority clause states:
“in cases of layoff or reemployment, when abil­
ity is equal, seniority shall govern.”
In one contract, the principle of last in-fir st out applies in all cases of layoff except in the
“incentive workers with less than 5 years
seniority who during the 90 day period of
n o r m a l operations preceding layoff, have
earned, on an average, less than their base rate,
shall be laid off.. . .before all other employees
in their occupational group.”
Income Maintenance. Severance pay and supplemental unemployment benefit plans which
alleviate the economic hardships of layoff are very limited in textile bargaining agree­
ments, particularly in southern mill?.

Severance pay is generally intended to provide financial assistance to tide workers
over a period of unemployment. It usually involves complete severance of the employment
relationship including loss of seniority. Of 28 major (1,000 employees or more) textile
agreements reviewed in 1963, 11 (covering 36.2 thousand workers) contained some pro­
vision for a severance pay or layoff benefit plan, about the same ratio of contracts as in
all manufacturing. However, minimum service requirements are considerably more
stringent in textiles. Half of the textile contracts having severance plans required more
than 5 years service. This length of service was stipulated in about 2 percent of all
manufacturing contracts providing severance payments. In the textile contracts, 25
percent required only one year or less, whereas half of all manufacturing contracts
had these low minimum service requirements.
Of the eleven textile contracts with severance pay plans, several provide that re­
tirement is the only condition under which severance pay is granted. This was often the
only benefit available upon retirement. Such a provision is very infrequent in other
industries. One textile contract states:

“The employer will pay retirement separation
pay to each of its employees who, having attained
the age of 62, voluntarily retires from active
employment in the m ill....”

Only a few c o n tr a c ts sp e c ify te c h n o lo g ic a l d is p la c e m e n t as the con dition fo r s e v e r ­
ance pay:
“ Any e m p lo y e e perm an en tly d is p la ce d becau se
of t e c h n o lo g ic a l r e a s o n s , i . e . , change in plant
or equipment or changes in p r o c e s s op e r a tio n s,
eith er of which c a u s e s the p a r tic u la r jo b to be
p erm a n en tly abolish ed shall r e c e i v e s e v e r ­
ance p a y ,„,, ”
One type of c o n tr a c t pays s e v e r a n c e benefits upon bu sin ess term in ation . A fund
establish ed by the International Ladies* Garm ent W ork ers* Union (ILGWU) and e m p lo y e r
a s s o c ia tio n s in the knitting industry p r o v id e s fo r a l u m p - s u m paym ent to be made to
w o r k e rs who are laid off b e c a u se of plant closin gs* If the term in ated w o r k e r has been in
continuous em p loy m en t with the e m p lo y e r fo r at lea st 9 y e a r s and if he is continuously
u nem ployed f o r 1 y e a r , he then b e c o m e s elig ib le fo r a se c o n d lu m p -s u m paym ent equal to
his orig in a l term in a tion payment.
Supplemental u n em ploy m en t benefit (SUB) plans, another type of in c o m e m ain ten ­
ance, usually p r o v id e w eekly allow a n ces to w o r k e r s , who w e r e t e m p o r a r i l y laid off, to
supplement their u n em p loy m en t co m p e n s a tio n ben efits. The only SUB plan in m a jo r textile
a g r e e m e n ts is p r o v id e d in the ILGWU c o n tr a c t r e f e r r e d to above. In addition to
the sep aration paym ent, this a g r e e m e n t p r o v id e s a w eek ly supplem ental u n em ploy m en t
award. Unlike SUB p r o v is io n s in other in d u s t r i e s , paym ents are only av ailable in the
event that an e m p l o y e r p erm a n en tly te r m in a te s his b u sin e ss .
Outlook, C o m p a re d with other in d u str ies, the textile in du stry has r e la tiv e ly few f o r m a l
institutions to handle p r o b l e m s of w o r k e r d is p la ce m e n t b e c a u se of t e c h n o lo g ic a l change.
The outlook is f o r r e la tiv e ly little im p r o v e m e n t in this situation. B eca u se of the c o n ­
tinued p o s s i b il i t y of plant c lo s in g s in s om e l o c a lit ie s and s e c t o r s of the industry, g o v e r n ­
ment institutions fo r u n em ploy m en t c om p en s a tion , p la c e m e n t s e r v i c e s , training and
retraining, e t c ., m ay play an inc.reasingly im portant r o l e .


Appendix Tables

Table A - l .

Corporate Internal Funds and Total Expenditures
for plant and Equipment 1947-66
(Million of dollars)


\Expenditures for plant
and equipment2

Internal funds *

1947 -----------------------------------

3 923

1948 ----------------------------------1949 ----------------------------------1950 -----------------------------------1 9 5 1 ----------------------------------- '
1952 ----------------------------------1953 ---------------------------1954 ------------------------------- —
1955 ----------------------------------1956 ----------------------------------1957 ----------------------------------1958 ----------------------------------1959 ----------------------------------I960 ----------------------------------1 9 6 1 ----------------------------------1962 ----------------------------------1963 - - ---------------------1964 -------------------- --------------1965 ----------------------------------1966 -----------------------------------

1, 130

Undistributed corporate profits and corporate capital
allowances ( depreciation charges and accidental damage to fixed capital).
Corporate and noncorporate.

Table A -2 .

Department of Commerce





Age of Equipment of Large Companies, Manufacturing and
Textile M ill Products, 1962 and 1966
(Percent installed)


More than
16 years

11 to 16

6 to 10

5 years old
cr less

Spring 1962:
Manufacturing------------------------------------Textile mill products--------------------------





December 1966:
Manufacturing------------------------------------Textile mill products--------------------------






McGraw-Hill Publications, Department of Economics.


T able A - 3,

Em ploym ent in T ex tile M ill Products Industry, 1947-66
(In thousands)


All employees


---------------- --------------------------------- ----------------------—
----------------------- ■
— -------- ----------------- — — -------------------------- — — -------------- ---------------------------------------------------- ------------ - — ------------- ~


-------- ----------------------—
— -—
------------------ -------------------------------------------------- -------------- — —
---------------- ----------- ---------


Production workers

— -------- ------------------------------— — --------------------------------- -------- -------- --------------------— —
— ------ -------------------

1 ,2 9 9 .0
1 ,3 3 2 .0
1, 187 .0
1 ,2 5 6 .0
1 ,23 7 . 7
1, 163.4
1 ,1 5 4 .8
1 ,0 4 2 .3
1 ,0 5 0 .2
1 ,0 3 2 .0
981. 1
918. 8
945. 7
9 2 4 .4
8 93 .4
8 85 .4
8 92 .0

1 ,2 2 0 .0
1 ,2 4 8 .0
1, 1 03 .0
1, 1 69 .0
1 ,1 4 6 .2
1 ,0 7 3 .2
1 ,0 6 3 .9
953. 2
9 61 .6
944. 3
832. 5
8 57 .4
835. 1
8 05 .0
812. 1
7 93 .4
798. 2

1965 ~------ ---------- ~ -------- 1966 ------------------ -------------------

961. 5

823. 1
8 48 ,0


Bureau of Labor Statistics,

Table A -4 .

Regional Distribution of Textile Employment,
1947, 1954, and 1963
(Percent of total)



Total e m p lo ym en t------•------------------

1 00 .0

1 00 ,0

1 00 .0

New England
—----------------------------- — Middle A tla n tic --------------- -----------------------South A t la n t ic -------- ------------ ------ -------------O th er---------------- --— -----------------------------------

2 2 .9
2 3.7
3 9.3
14. 1

2 0 .0
4 8 .8
1 5.0

1 7 .0
5 6 .5
1 4.7


NOTE: Because of rounding,

sums may not add to 1 0 0 .0 .

SOURCE: Bureau of the Census*





Federal Government Publications

U.S. Department of Labor
America*s Industrial and Occupational Manpower Requirements, 1964-75, Bureau
of Labor Statistics (BLS) January 1966 .
Coarse Cotton Gray Goods, Case Study Data on Productivity and Factory Per­
formance, BLS, March 1953.
Employer Expenditures for Selected Supplementary Compensation Practices for
Production and Related Workers, Manufacturing Industries, 1962, BLS,
April 1965.
Employment and Earnings Statistics for the United States, 1909-66 (BLS Bulletin
131 3-4, October 1966).
Indexes of Output per Man-hour: Hosiery Industry, 1947-64 (BLS Report No. 307,
June 1966); Man-made Fibers Industry, 1957-63 BLS, October 1965.
Indexes of Output per Man-hour, 1939 and 1947-66, Selected Industries (BLS
Bulletin 1572, 1967).
Industry Wage Survey: Cotton Textiles, September 1965 (BLS Bulletin 1506,
July 1966); Hosiery, September-October 1964 (BLS Bulletin 1456, September
1965) ; Synthetic Textiles, September 1965 (BLS Bulletin 1509, June 1966);
Textile Dyeing and Finishing, Winter 1965-66 (BLS Bulletin 1527, September
1966) ; Wool Textiles, June 1962 (BLS Bulletin 1372, July 1963).
Major Collective Bargaining Agreements: Management Rights and Union-Man­
agement Cooperation (BLS Bulletin 1425-5, April 1966); Severance Pay and
Layoff Benefit Plans (BLS Bulletin 1425-2, March 1965); Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plans and Wage -Employment Guarantees (BLS Bulletin
1425-3, June 1965).
Projections 1970, Interindustry Relationships, Potential Demand and Employment
(BLS' Bulletin 1 536, December 1966).
Stern, Boris, “Mechanical Changes in the Cotton Textile Industry, 1910 to 1936,”
Monthly Labor Review, August 1937, pp. 316-341.
...... — .- ....—— “Mechanical Changes in the Woolen and Worsted Industries, 1910
to 1936,” Monthly Labor Review, January 1938, pp, 58-93.
“ The Textile Industries.” Chapter in A Guide to Labor Management Relations in
the United States, BLS, 1958, p. 306.
“The Textile Mill Products Industry.” Section in Technological Trends in Major
American Industries (BLS Bulletin 1474, 1966). Pp. 148-1 54.


B, The Congress of the United States
Problems of the Domestic Textile Industry. Special Senate Subcommittee to Study
Textiles of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. Hearings
Part 1-3, (85th Congress, Second Session) July, September 1958; Hearings
(86th Congress, First Session) February 1959; Hearings (87th Congress,
First Session) February 1961; Supplementary Reports (87th Congress, Second
Session) January 1962; Hearings (88th Congress, First Session)May 1963.
Role and Effect of Technology in the Nation’ s Economy, Hearings, Pt. 5. Senate
Subcommittee on Small Business. (88th Congress, First Session) May, June,
and December 1963.
C. Other Federal Government Publications
Census of Manufactures, 1947, 1954, 1958, and 1963, Department of Commerce,
Bureau of the Census.
Comparative Fabric Production Costs in the United States and Four Other
Countries. Department of Commerce, Business and Defense Services
Administration, 1961.
Concentration Ratios in Manufacturing, 1963. Department of Commerce, Bureau
of the Census, 1966.
Current Industrial Reports, (Series M22T. Department of Commerce, Bureau
of the Census, Quarterly).
Davis, Thomas J., Cycles and Trends in Textiles, Department of Commerce,
Business and Defense Services Administration, 1958.
Donald, James R., Frank Lowenstein and Martin S. Simon, The Demand for
Textile Fibers in the United States, (Bulletin 1301, Department of Agricul­
ture, November 1963).
Economic Effect of Textile Mill Closings, Selected Communities in Middle
Atlantic States. Department of Commerce, 1963.
Enterprise Statistics: 1963. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.
Fitzpatrick, Mary Blanche, Response to Unemployment, Manchester, NewHampshire, 1950-1959, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Research Report No. 33,
Boston, 1965.
Howell, L. D., The American Textile Industry (Economic Research Report No.
58, Department of Agriculture, November 1964).
Little, Arthur D., "The Textile Industry,’ * Chapter in Patterns and Problems of
Technical Innovation in American Industry, National Science Foundation,
September 1963.


Long, Richard, The Textile and Apparel Industries: A View Through the Inter­
industry Tables, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, May 1966.
“Manufacturing Cotton Textile Products,” Article in Marketing and Transporta tion Situation, Department of Agriculture, February 1967, pp. 12-33.
Reviews of Data on Science Resources, National Science Foundation, January
Statistical Series, Securities and Exchange Commission, Quarterly.
Statistics on Cotton and Related Data, Supplement for
Agriculture, Economic Research Service, 1967.

1966. Department of

The Outlook for Technological Change and Employment, Appendix Volume 1,
Technology and the American Economy, The Report of the Commission.
National Commission on Technology, Automation and Economic Progress,
F ebruary 1966.
U.S. Industrial Outlook, 1967. Department of Commerce, Business and Defense
Services Administration, 1967.
Wallace, Phyllis, A. and Maria P. Beckles, 1966 Employment Survey in the Textile
Industry of the Carolinas. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,
December 1966.

State Publications
Annual Report of the Department of Labor of the State of South Carolina. 19401966, Columbia, South Carolina.
Department of Industrial Relations of the State of California. Collective Bargain­
ing Adjustments to Technological Change. San Francisco, Commission on
Manpower, Automation and Technology, November 1965.
Harris, Seymour E. and Others, New England Textiles and the New England
Economy. New England Governors* Textile Committee, Cambridge, March
Toward an Economy of the Optimum. Second Annual Economic Report to the
Governor. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, April 1966.


International Publications
Barkin, Solomon, “Labour Relations in the United States Textile Industry,” Inter­
national Labour Review, May 1957, pp. 391-411.
---------------, “Effect of Increased Productivity on the Labour Force and Its Deploy­
ment in the United States Cotton Textile Industry,” Productivity Measure­
ment Review, November 1964, pp. 39-57.


International Federation of Cotton and Allied Textile Industrie s. Proceedings of
Annual Meeting, Zurich, 1966.
International Labour Organization, Textiles Committee, Fourth Session. Problems
of Womens Employment in the Textile Industry, Geneva, 1953.

Fifth Session. P roblems of Productivity in the Textile Industry, Geneva,

... —
i , Sixth Session. Effects of Technological Developments on Wages and on
Conditions and Level of Employment in the Textile Industry, Geneva, 1958.
, Seventh Session. Conditions of Employment and Related Problems in
the Textile Industry in Countries in the Course of Industrialzation, Geneva,
------- ------- , Seventh Session. General Report, Geneva, 1963.
« — —■ — Seventh Session. Problems of Apprenticeship, Vocational Training and
Retraining in the Textile Industry, Geneva, 1963.
Smith, A .D ., Redundancy Practices in Four Industries. Organization for Econo­
mic Cooperation and Development, Paris, 1966.
“ Trade, Wages and Employment in Textiles,” International Labour Review,
January 1963.
United Nations. Report of the United Nations Interregional Workshop on Textile
Industries in Developing Countries, September 1965, Lodz, Poland, 1966.

Books and Reports
Alderfer, E.B ., and Michl, H.F. , “ The Textile Industries,” Chapter in Economics
of American Industry, New York, McGraw-Hill & Company, 1957.
Allen, Edward L ., “The Cotton Textile Industry, ” Chapter in Economics of Am erican Manufacturing, New York, Henry Holt, 1 952.
Andrews, M .B., Profit Life of Textile Machinery, American Textile Machinery
Association, Washington, 1958.
Armstrong, Arthur A. Jr., and Henry A. Rutherford, Applications of Radioisotopes and Activation Analysis to Textile Materials and Processes, North
Carolina State College, School of Textiles, January 1962.
Barkin, Solomon, “international Trade in Textiles and Garments: A Challenge for
New Policies,” Public Policy, Harvard University Graduate School of Public
Administration, Cambridge, 1961.
-------------- , “The Regional Significance of the Integration Movement in the Southern
Textile Industry,” Southern Economic


Journal, April 1949, pp. 395-411.

Blauner, Robert, “ The Textile W orker/’ Chapter in Alienation and Freedom, The
Factory Worker and His Industry, Chicago, University of Chicago P ress, 1964.
Bright, James R., “The Relationship of Increasing Automation and Skill Require­
ments,” Chapter in the Employment Impact of Technological Change, Appen­
dix Volume II. Study prepared for the National Commission on Technology,
Automation and Economic Progress, Washington, D.C., February 1966.
Creamer, Daniel, Capital Expansion and Capacity in Postwar Manufacturing,
No. 72, 1961* Recent Changes in Manufacturing Capacity, Studies in Business
Economics, No. 79^ 1 962, New York, National Industrial Conference Board.
Creamer, Daniel, Sergei P. Dobnovolsky and Israel Sorenstein, Capital in Manufacturing and Mining, National Bureau of Economic Research, Princeton,
Princeton University P re ss, I960.
Davis, Lance E. and H. L. Stettler, III, “ The New England Textile Industry
1825-60,” Output, Employment and Productivity in the United States after
1800, Studies in Income and Wealth, New York, National Bureau of Economic
Research, 1966.
Enrick, Norbert Lloyd, Editor, Industrial Engineering Manual for the Textile
Industry, New York, John Wiley and Sons, 1962.
Gilman, Glenn, Human Relations in the Industrial Southeast, A Study of the Textile
Industry, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1956.
Grosse, Anne P ., “ The Technological Structure of the Cotton Textile Industry,”
Chapter 10 in Studies in the Structure of the American Economy, Leontieff
and others, New York, Oxford University Press, 1953.
Herrin, Harriet L ., Pas sing of the Mill Village, Chapel Hill, University of North
Carolina P re ss, 1949.
How Modern is American Industry, McGraw-Hill Publications, November 1966.
Landsberg, Hans H ., Leonard L. Fischman and Joseph L. Fisher, “Clothing and
Textiles,” Chapter and Appendix in Re sources in America* s Future, Balti­
more , Johns Hopkins Press, 1963.
Miernyk, William H., Inter-Industry Labor Mobility, The Case of the Displaced
Textile Worker, Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Northeastern
University, Boston, 1955.
National Industrial Conference Board, “Textile Products, ” Chapter in Radioisotopes in Industry, New York, 1959.
National Planning Association, Committee of the South. “Negro Employment in
Seventy Textile Mills, October 1950-August 1951,” Selected Studies of Negro
Employment in the South, Washington, 1955.


Shen, Tsung Yuen, “Technological Change and Efficiency in the Textile Industry,”
Report on Research for 1956-1957, Harvard Economic Research Project
on the Structure of the American Economy, Cambridge, Harvard University
Press, December 1957.
Smith, Robert F ., “The Impact of Mass Layoffs, July 1963-June 1965,” Proceedings of the Eighteenth Annual Winter Meeting, Industrial Relations Research
Association, December 1965, New York, 1966.
Strassman, W. Paul , “ Textiles,” Chapter in Risk and Technological Innovation,
Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1959.
Tarnya, Ram S., Profit Sharing and Technological Change, Center for Produc­
tivity Motivation, Madison, University of Wisconsin, 1964.
Textile Workers Union of America. Proceedings, F ourteenth Biennial Convention,
June 20-24, 1966.
United Textile Workers of America. Proceedings, Sixteenth Regular Convention,
September 21-24, 1964.
Weiss, Leonard W., “Competitive Manufacturing-Textiles,” Chapter in Economic s
and American Industry, New York, John Wiley and Sons, 1961.
Wolfbein, Seymour, The Decline of a Cotton Textile City, New York, Columbia
University Press, 1944.

“Automation: Yarn Preparatory Systems,” Modern Textiles Magazine, January
1967, pp. 22-25.
Barkin, Solomon, “The Personality Profile of Southern Textile W orkers,” Labor
Law Journal, June I960, pp. 457-472.
“Burlington’ s New Cowan Plant Features Automatic Doffing and Latest Controls,”
Textile World, December 1966, pp. 58-61.
“A Computer-Directed Control System,” Modern Textiles Magazine, April 1967,
pp. 37-40.
“Dan River’ s Highly Automated Benton Plant-- Tomorrow’ s Mill Today,” Textile
World, October 1966, pp. 70-82.
“Finishing Mill for Tomorrow,” Textile Industries, March 1966.
“Greenville ’ 66,” Modern Textiles, October 1966, pp. 21-31.
Hamilton, R. E., “Tufting Technology,” Paper delivered before the American
Association for Textile Technology, March 1967, Modern Textiles Magazine,
May 1967, pp. 101-103.


Kurt Salmon Associates, “Managing Technological Change,” Textile Industries,
August 1967, pp. 81-94.
“Lowenstein’ s New Wamsutta, ” Textile World, June 1967, pp. 56-66.
“The Modern Print Cloth Mill, A Survey,” The Whitin Review, June 1957;
December 1961, Whitin Machine Works Company, Massachusetts.

Old Industry with a New Image,” Business Week, November 28, 1964,
pp. 116-126.

“Shuttleless Loom s,” Textile World, August 1966, pp. 49-63.
“Ten New P lants--A Complete Look,” Textile World, May 1967, pp. 48-76.






of America,


Textile Labor, Textile Workers Union of America, Monthly.
Textile Organon, Textile Economics Bureau, Monthly.
“Textile Research Achievements in 1966,” Textile Industries Magazine, February
1967, pp. 125-135.
“Update Through Textile Research Can Be Industry’ s Winning Slogan,” America’ s
Textile Reporter, June 15, 1967, pp. 19-43.
'“Weaving: Emphasis on Change,” Textile Industries, January 1966, pp. 64-69, 97.
“What’ s Ahead for Hosiery Manufacturing?” Hosiery and Underwear Review,
May 1967, pp. 57-92.
“ Yarns and Fabrics for Industrial Purposes,”
1967, pp. 42-46.


Modern Textiles Magazine, June






Manpower Planning for Technological Change: Case Studies of Telephone Operators
(Bulletin 1574, 1968), 34pp., 30 cents.
Policies and experiences of four offices in adjusting to technological change.
Indexes of Output Per Man-Hour, Selected Industries, 1939 and 1947-66 (Bulletin 1572,
1967), 99 pp., 55 cents.
Annual data on output per man-hour, output, and man-hours for 27 manufacturing and
nonmanufacturing industries.
Job Redesign for Older Workers: Ten Case Studies (Bulletin 1523, 1966), 63 pp., 40 cents.
Examples of redesign of jobs to retain older workers in employment.
Technological Trends in Major American Industries (Bulletin 1474, 1966), 269 pp., $ 1.50.
Appraises technological developments in 40 industries and the effects on output, pro­
ductivity, and employment.
Impact of Office Automation in the Insurance Industry (Bulletin 1468, 1965), 71 pp., 45
Survey of extent and future directions of EDP, manpower impact, and implications.
Manpower Planning to Adapt to New Technology at an Electric and Gas Utility (Report
293, 1965), 25 pp. Out of print, available in libraries.
Describes personnel procedures and practices used to minimize hardships on em­
Outlook for Numerical Control of Machine Tools (Bulletin 1437, 1965), 63 pp., 40 cents.
Outlook for this key technological innovation in the metalworking industry and im ­
plications for productivity, occupational requirements, training programs, employment,
and industrial relations.
Case Studies of Displaced Workers (Bulletin 1408, 1964), 94 pp. Out of print, available in
Case studies of the post layoff experiences of nearly 3,000 workers formerly em­
ployed in the petroleum refining, automotive equipment, glass jar, floor covering, and
iron foundry industries.
Implications of Automation and Other Technological Developments: A Selected Annotated
Bibliography (Bulletin 1319-1, 1963), 90 pp. Out of print, available in libraries.
Describes over 300 books, articles, reports, speeches, conference proceedings,
and other readily available materials.
Industrial Retraining Programs for Technological Change (Bulletin 1368, 1963), 34 pp.
Out of print, available in libraries.
A study of the performance of older workers based on four case studies of industrial

Impact of Office Automation in the Internal Revenue Service (Bulletin 1364, 1963), 74 pp.
Out of print, available in libraries.
A case study highlighting manpower planning and employment impacts during a major
Impact of Technological Change and Automation in the Pulp and Paper Industry (Bulletin
1347, 1962), 92 pp. Out of print, available in libraries.
General industry survey and three case studies highlighting implications of technolo­
gical change.
Technological Change and Productivity in the Bituminous Coal Industry, 1920-60 (Bulletin
1305, 1961), 136 pp., 65 cents.
Trends in technology and productivity and implications for employment, un­
employment, and wages.
Adjustments to the Introduction of Office Automation (Bulletin 1276, I960), 86 pp.
Out of print, available in libraries.
A study of some implications of the installation of electronic data processing
in 20 offices in private industry, with special reference to older workers.
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