Southern states are reaping the benefits of the return to the U.S., with companies from Brazil, Canada, China, Dubai, Great Britain, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Switzerland and the U.S. announcing plans to open or expand textile plants in 2013 in Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, Mercer writes. A. Blanton Godfrey, dean of the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University, told Mercer, “Textiles manufacturing—yarn, fabric, woven and nonwoven—is still here and growing. We’re selling cotton yarn cheaper than the Chinese.” (Stateline chart)
"Another change in the industry is the growth of non-wovens, which are fiber-based products made of fabric that’s compressed, heated or tangled, like felt," Mercer reports. "Diapers and facial wipes, mops, medical scrubs and all kinds of filters are nonwovens. In the last decade, North Carolina has gained 1,945 jobs making nonwoven products and $719 million in nonwoven factory investment."
More than a third of the jobs gained in 2012 were in North Carolina and Georgia, and the two states have campaigned hard to bring more. In Georgia in 2013, "Five floor-covering manufacturing companies announced expansions that will add 3,550 jobs to the 22,382 existing carpet- and rug-manufacturing jobs and an $815 million in investment," Mercer writes. "In North Carolina, nine textile firms announced plans in 2013 to build or expand plants in the state, creating 993 jobs and investing $381 million." South Carolina is also getting a $218 million, 230,000-square-foot yarn factory that will create 501 jobs. (Read more)