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Image: Cotton

Definition of U.S. Textile and Apparel Industry



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First used in 1939, the U.S. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system aimed to classify establishments by type of economic activity to facilitate data collection and analysis, and to promote uniformity and comparability across the Federal Government. The system was periodically revised, reflecting changes in the U.S. economy and was last modified in 1987.

In the 1990s, the Office of Management and Budget established a committee to respond to criticisms of the SIC and to explore new ways to classify economic activity. As a result, the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) was developed and released in 1997 to replace SIC. NAICS uses a production-oriented or supply-based framework instead of SIC's product-oriented framework.

NAICS codes were implemented in different data series at different times over 1999-2004. Here are the industries used in this analysis, which covers 1994-2004 and, thus, both classification systems.

Under NAICS, textile and apparel includes:

  • Subsector 313: Textile Mills
    • Fiber, Yarn, and Thread Mills;
    • Fabric Mills; and
    • Textile and Fabric Finishing and Fabric Coating Mills.
  • Subsector 314: Textile Produce Mills
    • Textile Furnishings Mills and Other Textile Product Mills.
  • Subsector 315: Apparel Manufacturing
    • Apparel Knitting Mills;
    • Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing; and
    • Apparel Accessories and Other Apparel Manufacturing.

For more information see the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

Under the 1987 SIC, textile and apparel includes:

  • Major Group 22: Textile Mill Products
    • Broadwoven Fabric Mills, Cotton;
    • Broadwoven Fabric Mills, Manmade Fiber and Silk;
    • Broadwoven Fabric Mills, Wool (including Dyeing and Finishing);
    • Narrow Fabric and Other Smallwares Mills;
    • Dyeing and Finishing Textiles, Except Wool Fabrics;
    • Carpets and Rugs; and
    • Miscellaneous Textile Goods.
  • Major Group 23: Apparel and Other Finished Products Made From Fabrics and Similar Materials
    • Men's and Boys' Suits, Coats, and Overcoats;
    • Men's and Boys' Furnishings, Work Clothing;
    • Women's, Misses', and Juniors' Outerwear;
    • Women's, Misses', Children's, and Infants' Underwear and Nightwear;
    • Hats, Caps, and Millinery;
    • Children's and Infants' Outerwear;
    • Fur Goods; and
    • Miscellaneous Apparel and Accessories.

For more information see the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) System Search.

Last updated: Saturday, May 26, 2012

For more information contact: Karen Hamrick