Textile imports are expected to rise as much as 4.9% in 2018, and with the huge textile market for everything we need, from the clothes we wear, the canvases on the walls and the leather covering the seats and chairs. Weaving, one of the more common methods of textile production, has been around for centuries.
Add to it the several non-traditional Australian textiles like medical implants or car filters that have more aesthetic uses in the textile industry.
The Textile Industry in Australia
The textile industry in Australia has undergone a significant transformation in the last three decades. Textile manufacturing is an extensive business in Australia, employing over 36,000 people, out of a population of 23 million people of the country.
Australia is a much-celebrated country when you talk about garments and textiles- brands like Van Heusen and Billabong today base their textile manufacturing there.
Centuries before, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders made a variety of objects with skills in weaving, and knotting, using plant fibres and animal skins. They produced everything from baskets to collect food to nets for fishing, or even skin cloaks to keep them warm.
Then on, they moved to other modern techniques, using their weaving skills to make rugs, hand paint fabrics and more.
Today, the Australian textile industry faces still competition from other competitors like China. With reduced tariffs, the textile industry has seen a decline since the 1980’s. In spite of that, the potential for Australia to be a market leader in the weaving and textile industry is huge.
Here is why.
Australian Textile Industry – Australian Land and Manufacturing of Textiles
With a good amount of open land, textile manufacturers have always found it easy to grow a multitude of natural textile fibres, from Banyan tree fibres, hemp, to cotton. It’s also why Australia is one of the leading countries in not only the production of raw goods but also machinery.
What makes Australia truly stand out in the textile industry is its use of natural and unique raw materials. The plant life and environment in Australia are ideal for the utilization of tree fibres to manufacture textiles like clothing.
A good example is the banyan tree which is used to make several types of clothing and thermal wear. Even though it originated in India, Australians know how to use each part of this tree to manufacture a varied list of items.
- The bark of the banyan tree is used to create fibres for the manufacturing of paper and clothing. You can even break the fibres down to make medicines and pastes for ailments and bruising.
- The fruit of the banyan tree is edible. It is a breed of mulberry and is often enjoyed in local cuisines.
- The leaves are used in dishware.
The Australian textile market has showcases extreme potential and its constant innovation has made it into the massive textile industry it is today.