German Textile Industry

Instructor: Elisha Madison

Elisha is a writer, editor, and aspiring novelist. She has a Master's degree in Ancient Celtic History & Mythology and another Masters in Museum Studies.

The textile industry is a global market that creates a wide array of products from medical devices to clothing. Germany has a large textile market that is only surpassed by its food and beverage industry.

Introduction to Textiles

Did you know that the clothes you're wearing now, the couch you may be sitting on, and the bed you crawled out of this morning are all examples of textiles? The textile industry is large all over the world. Textiles are an array of products made from materials including thread, fiber, filaments, and yarn. The different types of textile processes vary greatly, from weaving, quilting, sewing, to even the dyeing the materials. This industry is incredibly large due to the variety of businesses it encompasses. It includes not only the making of the products, but also the growing of raw materials like cotton, the tending of the cattle and sheep for leather, and creation of synthetic materials by scientists. Some unusual textiles are medical implant devices, shingles, and even certain glass tiles made from synthetic glass fiber.

Germany's Textile Industry

German Textile

Germany's textile industry is a large one, though not as large as some of its competitors. Still, it is the second largest industry in Germany, right below its food and beverage industry. This being said, Germany still only employs a little over 120,000 people in this industry, which is smaller than countries like Thailand that employ 200,000 of their people.

Germany has solid relations with the United States for garments, and is second to the U.S. as the largest importer of clothing. Germany actually imports mostly from Bangladesh, China, and Turkey.

Other than the garment industry, Germany's largest textile is in technical textiles. This includes products like filters, composite products, and outerwear that does everything from repel germs to water. A technical textile is essentially a product made with the some of the same processes used to make regular textiles, but kicked up a notch by being used for technical purposes instead of traditional purposes like clothing. This is the evolution of textiles.


German Textile

One advantage Germany has over its competitors is its high-tech capabilities. The textile industry in Germany had been centered on quantity over quality for centuries until the last couple of decades when the focus shifted to quality and becoming more of an influence in the fashion markets. Germany has a large foot in the door of the fashion industry, giving them a market share in the garment industry. With companies like adidas and PUMA, Germany has definitely made a name for itself internationally. The country has also increased its technical textile industry. The need for technical textiles has become a massive market, one in which Germany is trying to become essential.

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