The Machinery of the Textile Industry

Jun 19, 2019 by


It is no secret that machinery powers nearly every industry on the planet. Robots put together our cars. Machines do the mixing that makes everything from jams to shampoos. It comes as no surprise that the textile industry uses a vast number of machines to handle tasks like sewing, knitting, and spinning. However, the average person knows little of just how much industrial machinery gets used in the field of textiles.

There are numerous machines out there, all meant to replace manual labor. They’re all there to make the process of mass producing clothing and other fabric-based products easier, cheaper. Here are the major industrial machines that see use in the textile industry.

Measuring and Cutting Machines

It is fairly typical to find measuring machines, particularly when working with cloth. These are simple in purpose. They are meant to measure the dimensions of the fabrics, and may sometimes be used in conjunction with a cutting machine. While they are most often associated with cloth, there are variants that see use in other fabrics.

Mechanical Looms

One of the most familiar would be the loom. People might think of the traditional looms used by various cultures around the world, with varying designs. There are also mechanical looms used in the textile industry, able to get the job done faster and with greater productivity.

Knitting Machines

Knitting machines come in a wide variety of forms and models, from the double knitting machine to a standard gauge machine. All of them are designed to take a large piece of raw fabric and make it into something smaller, such as articles of clothing. Different models are used for different fabrics, so you don’t use a machine meant to work with heavier materials with something lighter. Industrial knitting machines allow for the production of thousands of articles of clothing per day.

As you can likely guess, these are often the first machine that a batch of fabric will enter. These are the things that take the raw material and turn it into something resembling the finished product.

Knitting machines automate and accelerate the process, while also ensuring that nearly all products are identical and adhere to the set standards of the manufacturer. There are also small-scale knitting machines designed for home use, able to make one to two articles of clothing a day.

Finishing Machines

Once a fabric has been knit, a finishing machine is used to increase their strength and durability. This is actually more of a category than a single type of machine, as the required finish will vary from fabric to fabric. For instance, some fabrics need to be put through a process to extract water and moisture from them to prevent color bleed. Others require a compactor, making the pieces more tightly packed and easier to sew into other textile products.

Finishing machines are used both on the main products to the smaller touches. Main products would be things like jackets, clothes, and even socks. On the other hand, smaller touches can vary. These might be cotton patches that are added on the clothing of a different fabric, as an example.

Industrial Sewing Machines

The sewing machine may seem humble, but it is used in all major textile industries. They’re the tool that’s designed to add fine details and stitching to a product, the finishing touches that complete it. The typical textile factory requires thousands of individual machines, each one operated by a human being. This allows for a greater amount of care and attention, but also tends to open things up to the risk of human error and additional costs.

It should be noted that the typical industrial sewing machine is larger than the ones used at home. While commercial machines are also used in some textile factories, this is not universal. Industrial ones do follow the same basic design, however.

In most cases, the sewing stage is the last one for production. The final touches are completed here, and often will be followed by another instance of quality control. After the inspection, most companies will have these products ready for packaging and shipping.

Fabric-Specific Machines

Beyond these, there are also specialized machines dedicated to working specific textiles. Lace-making machines, for instance, are used exclusively for working with weaving thread into lace. Tufting machinery is used for making things like carpets and rugs, weaving fabric into a different base material.

Monogramming Machines

You might also encounter monogramming machines. These are specialized devices that, as the name indicates, add monograms to a textile product. In most cases, these will be used on personalized towels but might also see a use for other cloth and textile items. As long as a monogram is needed, these machines might be used in place of monogramming by hand.


Machinery is an essential part of the textile manufacturing process. There are various ones that see use, including designs specialized for specific fabrics. Most of these are automated, not requiring human input other than to provide oversight. However, some do require humans operating them.

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