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In this piece, we will take a look at the twelve countries that export the most fabrics/garments. For more countries, take a look at 5 Countries that Export the Most Fabrics/Garments.
The textile industry is one of the most diverse sectors in the world, which is evident when we look at the Harmonized Tariff Schedule codes for its products. The HTSUS is a classification for goods that are imported into the U.S., and it is used to determine the different duties and taxes that products must be charged once they enter the country. For the textile sector, there are 13 different chapters of the HTS code dedicated to different products such as carpets, cotton, yarn, silk, knitted fabrics, apparel, and related accessories. Each chapter has more than five different products, highlighting the dozens of products that are manufactured throughout the world.
The primary textile product categories are fabric, yarn, furnishing, garments, and apparel. According to a research report from The Business Research Company, the global textile market was worth $573 billion by the start of 2022 and stood at $610 billion by the end of the year, marking a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.6%. From 2023 to 2027, the firm expects the industry to grow to $755 billion through a 5,5% CAGR. It notes that the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which will soon mark a full year, impacted the industry’s recovery from the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic, and slowed down its recovery in 2022. Key trends in the market include the growth in electronic commerce platforms, such as Alibaba, which allow companies to sell their products in bulk over the Internet – allowing them to eliminate the barrier between customers that had previously been overcome through market research.
This industry is also one which is using technology in some of the most interesting ways to drive innovation. A growing trend these days is the advent of smart textiles. These are products that are capable of detecting environmental conditions and changing their ‘form’ accordingly. For instance, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed a special kind of textile called 3DKnITS. This fabric is able to detect changes in pressure and posture and then adapt itself to these. At the heart of the development is machine learning, which enabled the researchers to predict motions and positions by a yoga practitioner with a startling 99% accuracy. 3DKnITS is manufactured by a digital knitting machine that weaves together standard and functional yarn and places a piezoresistive knit capable of detecting pressure changes around conductive yarn. With this textile, MIT researchers developed a smart shoe that they believe can help diabetics and people with weak gait after an injury.
Yet, the developments at the technology university are not the only ones taking place in smart textiles. As is the case with any peripheral industry, startups are also leading the charge in this novel area. One such startup is the Dutch firm Elitac Wearables. Elitac provides three kinds of suits that use pressure sensing devices. These allow customers to develop a wide range of products to augment or restore musculoskeletal human function, provide surgeons with sensory information during their complex operations, a wristband that uses imagery to communicate facial expressions to visually impaired people through a wrist band, and a wide variety of other interesting applications. Another startup is the French company clim8. The firm has different products for manual workers, outdoors enthusiasts, and motorcycle riders. These feature smart sensors that are capable of detecting the wearer’s body temperature and matching it with the ambient temperature and user profile to provide heating. In short, the jacket you wear is now a heater as well. Sounds quite intriguing if you ask us.
Finally, the novelty of the smart textile sector naturally ascribes it a high CAGR – as is often the case with other high technology areas such as biotechnology. According to the research firm Future Markets Insights, while the smart textile market was worth $2.6 billion by the end of 2022, it will grow at an eye popping CAGR of 25.88% between 2022 and 2032 to have an estimated value of $26 billion by the end of the forecast period. This growth rate is more than double the CAGR between 2017 and 2021 which stood at 12%.
Out of the dozens of different textile and fabric products made and sold all over the world, we used the HTS classification number 6210 which covers different garments to determine the largest exporters.
12 Countries that Export the Most Fabrics/Garments
12. Republic of Türkiye
Garments Exports in 2021: $241 million
The Republic of Türkiye is a European and Asian country. It has a vibrant textile industry with several different brands. Turkiye exported $241 million of garments in 2021, which weighed 23,193 tons. However, the country’s largest textile exports were of men’s and women’s suits, which were cumulatively worth roughly $4 billion. Blouses and shirts accounted for another $1 billion of Turkey’s exports. Yet, as a whole, they made up a small part of the country’s total $225 billion of exports in 2021. Some Turkish clothing firms are LC Waikiki, Desa, Mavi Jeans, Koton, and Les Benjamins, and the country is also one of the world’s largest garments and fabrics exporters.
11. United States of America
Garments Exports in 2021: $265 million
The United States of America is one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world and the country with the world’s largest nominal economy. America exported $265 million of garments in 2021, which was its fourth largest cloth export. The largest women’s clothing and suits, which totaled $478 million, and in second place were the tracksuits which stood at $320 million. Given the economic powerhouse that is the U.S., these were merely a drop in the sea of the country’s overall exports in 2021. These stood at a whopping $1.7 trillion, making America the world’s second largest exporter. Due to its advanced economy, America has a laundry list of textile companies. Out of these, some of the most well known names are Kraemer Textiles Inc., WestPoint Home, Inc., and American Woolen Company. Another American company, which is a well known clothing brand, is Levi Strauss & Co. (NYSE:LEVI).
10. Kingdom of Spain
Garments Exports in 2021: $297 million
The Kingdom of Spain is a Southwestern European country with a colonial heritage of having held several territories. Not only is Spain a major garments exporter, but it also has a strong textile machinery manufacturing industry that consists of more than a hundred firms. One of the most famous fashion brands in the world, Industria de Diseño Textil, S.A. (BME:TX.MC)’s Zara brand is Spanish. The country exported $297 million of garments in 2021, and at the same time, it was the world’s third largest exporter of women’s suits and blouses – of which it exported $4 billion and $737 million, respectively.
9. French Republic
Garments Exports in 2021: $334 million
The French Republic, or France, is a prosperous and developed European country that is also a global power in modern day politics. France is also the most well known country in the world of fashion. In fact, if we were to list down all the French fashion companies, you’d find that nearly every renowned brand is in the country. Some notable examples are Chanel, LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton, Société Européenne (EPA:MC.PA) and its subsidiary Christian Dior, and others. France exported $334 million of garments in 2021, and it was also the world’s second largest exporter of tracksuits with the exports sitting at a cool $1.2 billion and being France’s second largest fabric product export. France also exported $37 million of ties in 2021, placing it in third place of this particular kind of garment’s global exports.
Garments Exports in 2021: $404 million
The Netherlands is a European country with a GDP per capita of $68,572. The Dutch textile industry is one of the oldest in the world, and it traces its roots back to the 17th century. This is due to the country’s colonial history, as it was able to import huge amounts of cotton from India and engage in slave trading with West Africa. The modern day Dutch textile sector exported $404 million of garments in 2021. At the same time, it sold $3.3 billion worth of men’s and women’s suits on the global market. Some Netherlands based textile companies are Dokkumer Vlaggen Centrale B.V., Koninklijke Van Puijenbroek Textiel, Tootal Fabrics (Holland) B.V., Royal Dutch Textile Mills J.A. Raymakers & CO B.V, and Vadain Gordijnconfectie HC Genemuiden B.V.
7. United Arab Emirates
Garments Exports in 2021: $472 million
The United Arab Emirates, or the UAE, is an Asian country. It is also a bustling location for textile companies, particularly due to the ease of doing business in Dubai. The UAE exported $472 million of garments in 2021. These were also its largest clothing and fabric export product category, and they represented a small chunk of the country’s overall $425 billion of exports. Dubai’s export zones are a central facet of UAE’s strong exports. One such zone is the Dubai Textile City, which is a free zone exclusively for textiles.
6. Kingdom of Belgium
Garments Exports in 2021: $545 million
The Kingdom of Belgium, or simply Belgium, is a high income Northwestern European country. Its textile industry has been operating for centuries and has often played a central role in the economy. Belgium exported $545 million of garments in 2021, yet its largest exports, like most other countries, were of men’s suits which equaled $625 million. This also made Belgium one of the world’s largest garment exporters.
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Disclosure: None. 12 Countries that Export the Most Fabrics/Garments is originally published on Insider Monkey.