The textile industry is the largest and one of the first established industries in Turkey. The sector comprises 20 thousand manufacturing companies and employs about 400 thousand employees. The production value of the textile industry, which includes mainly yarns and fabrics, was around US$ 17.5 billion in 2005. Turkey exported US$ 8.1 billion worth of textiles in 2006. The fabric industry as a subsector of the huge Turkish textile industry has improved significantly in recent years, since the Turkish clothing and home textile industries have had a significant role in the worlds clothing and home textile markets in the last two decades. Turkey has invested heavily in weaving and knitting sectors in recent years. In 1996 2005 period, Turkey was the third largest investor of shuttleless looms, which are the most advanced weaving technology. In 2004 and 2005 Turkey became the second and fourth respectively in the investment of shuttleless looms. In terms of the installed capacity of shuttleless looms, Turkey ranked 10th in 2004 and 2005 in the world. On the other hand, Turkey was the second largest investor of single jersey machines in 1996 - 2005 period. It ranked third in the investment of double jersey machines in the same period as well. In the investments of single and double jersey machinery, Turkey ranked second in 2004 and fourth and second respectively in 2005. Moreover, Turkey ranked third in 2005 in the investment of electronic flatbed knitting machinery, which is a more preferred technology by developed countries when compared with hand and semiautomatic flatbed machinery. As indicated from the figures above the Turkish textile industry uses modern technology. Three fourths of the textile machines in production are less than 10 years old. The Turkish fabric finishing sector has a level of processing all capacity of grey fabric. This sector is equivalent to the European Union in terms of processing capacity, modern technology, qualified workforce, and especially product quality. Today, the Turkish fabric industry has competitive advantages in international markets, particularly in terms of its technology, extensive product range and the quality, design and creativity of its products. In addition to its well - developed structure, it employs a highly skilled labor pool. Also, the Turkish fabric industry has great flexibility and ability to modernize its production and adapt itself to new technologies. This ability allows the industry to reduce the reaction time to changes in consumer demand in international markets. So, the Turkish fabric industry satisfies its customers by meeting all their needs with the quality of its products together with its strong service ability in both quick response and ontime delivery. All these features have enabled Turkish fabric manufacturers and exporters to earn a good reputation in international markets.
The Turkish fabric industry which produces almost all kinds of fabrics for apparel, home textiles, upholstery and technical applications has a welldeveloped structure, especially in production based on cotton, wool and manmade raw materials. A large amount of fabric production is based on cotton. The fabric industry based on cotton consists of two segments. One is composed of large scale companies which have production facilities integrated vertically in all stages of fabric production, from fiber processing, spinning and weaving to dying, printing and finishing. Many of them also have ready made goods manufacturing facilities such as clothing or home textiles. The other area is composed mainly of nonintegrated companies on a small scale. These companies cooperate with the Turkish finishing industry which is one of the vital subsectors of the Turkish textile industry. Production of woven cotton fabrics was 1.7 billion meters in 2004. In 2005, estimated woven cotton fabrics production was 1.65 billion meters. The sector meets its raw material needs mostly from domestic sources. As an important world cotton grower Turkey ranked seventh in the world production of cotton with about 820 thousand tons in the 2006/2007 season. With the completion of the GAP, which comprises the development of water resources and investments in agriculture, energy, transportation, telecommunication and rural infrastructure, cotton production in Turkey will be twice what it is today. Irrigation of the Harran Plain began in 1994 and now 471 thousand tons of cotton, which is almost half of Turkeys total cotton production, are cultivated in this region. On the other hand, investment opportunities in the GAP, a US $ 32 billion multisectoral and integrated regional development project, have also been noticed by many foreign investors. As well as the cotton textile industry, the Turkish manmade textile sector is also a welldeveloped industry. Having the eighth largest capacity of synthetics in the world, Turkey has a large production potential for synthetic fabrics based especially on 100% polyester and polyester blends with cotton, viscose, nylon, polyamide, wool, linen and/or multiblends of those. 62% of the companies in this sector have finishing plants and 75% of their raw material needs are met by domestic production. The total production of synthetic fabrics was estimated about 688 million meters in 2005. Being the third largest mohair producer in the world, Turkey also has a strong wool industry. The majority of wool products meet the demand of clothing producers and exporters. In 2005, production of woven wool fabrics was estimated about 63 million meters.
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