Yarn Specifications and Performance Metrics for Short Staple Yarn Manufacturers

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Title: Yarn Specifications and Performance Metrics for Short Staple Yarn Manufacturers
Author: Echeverria, Claudia
Advisors: Dr. George L. Hodge , Committee Co-Chair
Dr. William Oxenham , Committee Co-Chair
Dr. Gilbert O'Neal, Committee Member
Abstract: Domestic yarn manufacturers must address the requirements of all the participants in the textile and apparel supply chain in order to remain competitive and to differentiate their products from offshore sources. The objective of this research was to better understand these requirements through visits to companies, elaboration of case studies, discussions and interviews with members of the supply chain. Case studies were conducted with the participation of machinery, yarn, fabric and apparel manufacturers, as well as research and retail organizations. Both domestic and Latin American companies were pursued; a total of 32 company interviews were conducted involving 64 participants. These interviews were used to map the yarn specification process across the supply chain; identify yarn characteristics most frequently specified; identify how the characteristics are measured and their importance as a function of the final product. The products investigated were denim, t-shirts, socks, sheets and sewing thread made of cotton or poly-cotton blends. Yarn specification across the supply chain includes three basic yarn characteristics, yarn count, yarn type (spinning system), and fiber content. Retailers put more emphasis specifying fabric characteristics rather than yarns characteristics. Detailed yarn characteristics such as Uster® % CV, tensile properties, and surface characteristics are usually decided at the fabric and yarn manufacturing level, based on the fabric specifications and the requirements for an optimum process performance. Methods and equipment used to test fabrics and yarns are relatively standard for both domestic and international companies. Analyses of different software used to manage product data revealed that these are not used to their full extend and detailed yarn characteristics are rarely incorporated into final product design. It was also possible to identify performance metrics and several business practices that can bring domestic yarn manufacturers closer to the retailers and to drive business success. These practices were identified not only through discussions with yarn manufacturers, but from feedback at the fabrication and retail levels. Good business relationships, availability, capacity and location were found to be key drivers for success for commodity yarn producers and it was found that they should try to reinforce relationships with the vendors rather than directly with the retailers. Innovation and flexibility allow specialty yarn manufacturers to have direct access to retailers and designers. Yarn quality, price and delivery can typically be considered “order qualifying criteria†as opposed to a means of product differentiation.
Date: 2009-08-08
Degree: MS
Discipline: Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1800

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