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Preserving Hosiery Manufacturing in NC


Hosiery Is Big Business in NC. 60% of all US hosiery production comes from NC. ... JC Penny and Wal Mart testing labs have adopted these methods. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Preserving Hosiery Manufacturing in NC

Preserving Hosiery Manufacturing in NC
  • Presented by Paul Fogleman Executive Director
  • Carolina Hosiery Association
  • For The National Governors Association
  • June 6-7, 2002
  • Atlanta, Georgia

Hosiery Is Big Business in NC
  • 60 of all US hosiery production comes from NC.
  • Over 35,000 People are employed in Hosiery.
  • Over 4 Billion in sales.
  • Brand names such as Nike, Adidas, Rebok, Liz
    Claiborne, Hanes, GAP, Lands End are made in NC.

Changes in Hosiery
  • More changes to the hosiery industry in the past
    5 years than the previous 50!
  • Why?

The Hosiery Technology Center

The Situation in 1994-95
  • The HTC had 3 full time employees located in
    Hickory and Asheboro.
  • Had done a good job of meeting technician and
    operator needs for first 5 years.
  • No University involvement in HTC.
  • Training only at HTC.
  • Products more difficult to make
  • Dyeing and finishing was now critical
  • Wastewater regulations getting tougher.
  • Many more immigrant workers in workforce.
  • Need for RD and Testing for Hosiery.
  • Retailer demanding much quicker deliveries,
    better quality at lower cost.

Industry In Transition
  • Industry consolidation
  • Workforce training required for new technologies.
  • Trends
  • Labor costs were growing
  • New technologies were needed
  • Market was shifting ( greige and vertical mills)
  • Government partnerships were growing
  • Retailer demands were changing chargebacks,
    returns, etc

The Plan Preserving Hosiery Manufacturing in
  • Funded by NCACTS (NC Dept of Commerce)
  • Created by CEOs representing 25 hosiery
    manufacturers of all sizes.
  • Facilitated by the Carolina Hosiery Association
  • The goal of this document was to define what the
    industry needed to stay competitive and grow
    beyond the year 2005.
  • Included goals, objectives and budgets.

Trip to Italy March 1996
  • Study Networking Among Italian Manufacturers
  • Gain A Better Understanding of Technologies
    Coming From Italian Machinery Suppliers.
  • Learn About Government Initiatives To Help
    Italian Manufacturers Expand Their Markets.

Key Elements to Success
  • Industry developed the plan so they had
    Ownership and buy in. Everyone worked on it
  • Presented to Governor and State Legislature by
    CHA. They saw that it was well thought out. This
    was done in lobbying efforts by NCACTS,CHA, and
    industry going to Raleigh repeatedly. It gave a
    consistent message.
  • The Governor gave the directive to over 25 state
    agencies and universities to see where they fit
    into the plan. It was hard to ignore the document
    as it was the industry saying what they needed to
  • HTC was given a boost in funding due to this

Objectives and Results of The Plan
Develop Relationship with NC State University for
support in RD.
  • 3 year consortium of manufacturers, suppliers,
    retailers, NCSU, HTC led to the successful
    rollout of standard test methods for testing
    hosiery. These methods are currently on the web
    and have been universally accepted by the
  • Led to the 6 year partnership with NCMEP for
    benchmarking of the hosiery industry along with
    lean manufacturing and supply chain
    implementation in plant.

Utilize Trade Associations to Facilitate
Manufacturing and Marketing Networks
  • Formed Carolina Legwear Limited in 1996 which was
    a marketing network of small manufacturers to go
    after niche markets. If eventually failed but we
    learned a lot about what to do and not do.
    Concept is being revisited with 5 mills currently
    forming with a different structure. We feel that
    the concept was right, just a little ahead of
    its time.

Utilize Community Colleges to Bring English As A
Second Language into Workplace Courses
  • Through a grant from NIST and help from the NC
    Community College System we produced a CD Basic
    English for Hosiery. This documents the various
    hosiery jobs and translates hosiery terms into
    Vietnamese, Spanish and Hmong.
  • Has had over 200 copies distributed to
    manufacturers, community colleges and suppliers
    for their use.

Utilize Department of Labor, Commerce and Other
Government Agencies To Deliver Services
  • Wastewater Analyzer Software
  • Industry Jobs Profiled For Job Content and Skills
    Development Needs.
  • Wastewater Testing Lab Developed and State
    Certified For Use By Any Manufacturer Needing
    These Services.
  • E Commerce, Government Procurement and Exporting
    Seminars Held For The Industry. Many Mills Have
    Reported Increased Sales From These Activities.

Updates To The Plan
  • Has been updated 4 times since the original
    Preserving Hosiery Manufacturing In North
    Carolina plan.
  • Concentrated on marketing initiatives for the
  • Still relied on industry partnerships with
    government and education.

The Updates Brought
  • An E-commerce site for the US
    hosiery industry to communicate needs, over/under
    capacities, employment and technical needs etc.
  • Goal is to generate more business for the US
    hosiery industry.
  • Easy way for retailers and consumers to find US
  • Averages over 4000 hits/day from 300 unique
  • Mills are receiving real business. One mill had a
    sales increase of over 250,000 due to Legsource.

What we are currently doing
  • Broadcast emails examples
  • Consumer pages
  • Click on the link below to view new products
    from Kayser-Roth on Legsource  http//www.legsourc
  • Supplier rollouts
  •    Click on the link below to view an important
    announcement on Legsource from DuPont Textiles
    and Interiors http//
  • Procurement examples
  • Manufacturer
  • Supplier

Web Site Development
  • Developed by people with hosiery industry
  • Most are 50.00 each.
  • Register sites with search engines.
  • Most sites receive new business or new contacts
    immediately after launch.
  • Purpose of Legsource and web site development

    For hosiery manufacturers
    to take advantage of the internet to generate new

Plan Updates Brought (Continued)
  • Lean Manufacturing Training to over 26
    manufacturers and 20 suppliers.
  • Supply Chain Training Scheduled for January. It
    will be customized for hosiery.
  • Led to the development of a full testing lab
    facility at the HTC doing quality and RD testing
    for manufacturers and retailers.
  • Prototyping of new products
  • not necessarily related to hosiery.

Sock Testing Consortium
  • Joint Project of
  • NCSU College of Textiles
  • The Hosiery Technology Center
  • Hosiery Manufacturers ( 40 Companies)
  • Hosiery Suppliers ( 25 Companies)
  • Retailers - (7 Major Retailers)
  • Testing Labs ( 3 Testing Labs)
  • 3 Different Textile Associations AATCC, THA, CHA

Goal was to find repeatable testing methods for
testing socks for fit, durablity, and
Results of Working Together
  • Methodology for measurement was developed and
    machines created to measure sock fit accurately
    and repeatably.
  • Reduced variation by 40 in the fit area and 30
    in the durability area.
  • Put on the web at
  • The entire industry has adopted these new
    methods,especially retailers.

Testing - Impact to the Industry
  • A Hosiery Testing Lab was created at the Hosiery
    Tech Center with the capabilities to test all
    hosiery products at at very competitive rates.
    Have 3 full time people performing hosiery
  • Many mills have launched new product lines based
    on the tests run by HTC Testing Lab. Over 40
    different hosiery mills have used the HTC since
    Nov 2001.
  • Saved on yarn claims over 400,000 where the
    yarn company and manufacturer would have been
    charged with a large chargeback.
  • Better durability methods led to the recovery of
    an extremely large product line from a major
    retailer for a hosiery manufacturer.
  • The HTC is now performing all sock testing for
    Kmart. JC Penny and Wal Mart testing labs have
    adopted these methods.

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Partnerships for Additional Services
  • Manufacturing Extension Partnerships of both NC
    and SC for Lean Manufacturing Implementation.
  • NC and US Department of Commerce for Exporting
    Help and Research of Overseas Markets.
  • NC Department of Labor for OSHA Help.
  • NC State University College of Textiles for help
    in Testing Protocols.
  • NC General Assembly
  • Carolina Hosiery Association for Strategic
    Planning and Government Lobbying Efforts.

National Initiatives
  • Working with US Dept of Commerce to bring
    resources to the hosiery industry for export help
    and marketing of US goods abroad.
  • Working on a grant to expand our services to help
    hosiery manufacturers nationwide.
  • Pursuing the opportunity of being included in
    the nationwide sizing study being performed this
    summer by TC2 and NC State University.
  • Keep the industry visible on trade and regulatory

Reasons Why HTC Works
  • The HTC has a 12 year history of success in
    working with the hosiery industry since 1990.
  • Industry involvement in the HTC. The HTC grew
    from the industry and services changes as the
    industry needs changes.
  • Partnerships developed by the HTC and use of
    these partnerships to deliver meaningful bottom
    line services.
  • We are a resource, let us know how we can help!

The End
A complete transcript of this presentation is
available at
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