European Commission overview of textiles and clothing industry
The textiles and clothing sector (or "T/C sector") is a diverse and heterogeneous industry which covers a wide variety of products from hi-tech synthetic yarns to wool fabrics, cotton bed linen to industrial filters, or nappies to high fashion. This diversity of end products corresponds to a multitude of industrial processes, enterprises or market structures.
The T/C sector is an important part of European manufacturing industry with a turnover in 2002 of over €200 billion produced in roughly 177,000 enterprises employing more than 2 million people - a figure which increases to 2.7 million after EU enlargement in May 2004. Textiles and clothing account for around 4% of total manufacturing value added and 7% of manufacturing employment in the EU-15.