The British textile industry: In numbers
The UK’s textile manufacturing sector produces £5.8bn of materials, ranging from the world’s most sought-after cashmere to the finest worsted wool, luxurious tweeds and distinctive tartans. In addition to the world-renowned apparel fabrics that will be featured during British Textile Week, the UK textile industry also produces high quality fabrics and accessories for the home and contract interiors sectors, plus a wide range of technical textiles and performance fabrics that are used in industries such as medical, defence and aerospace.
There are more than 4,200 businesses manufacturing textiles in the UK – an increase of 12% in the last five years – in a sector that employs more than 64,000 people.
UK made fabrics and yarns are highly sought after by leading brands, designers and retailers and the UK exports £3bn of textiles to almost every country in the world.
The UK has a strong textile heritage and a promising future – with more than 4,800 people studying textiles at university each year on courses including textile design, textile technology and textile engineering.
Minister for Exports: The UK textile industry has a “great story to tell”
The UK textiles industry has a “great story to tell”, said Graham Stuart MP, Minster for Exports at the Department for International Trade (DIT), as he congratulated UKFT on the launch of the first ever British Textile Week.
He noted that the UK industry exports £3bn of textiles a year and experiences continuing strong demand in markets such as the USA and Japan.
He pointed to AW Hainsworth, based in West Yorkshire and not far from his constituency of Beverley and Holderness, not only makes the scarlet cloth of the Queen’s Guards uniforms here in the UK, but the company also exports this high quality cloth to international markets including Japan and China.
UKFT’s British Textile Week is a digital showcase of the craftsmanship, imagination and innovation of the UK textile industry.