Discuss the locational aspects of woolen textile industry around the world.
Since the demand for woolen garments is confined only to the colder parts of the globe, woolen textile industry is much smaller and less widely distributed than the cotton textile industry. Two-thirds of the world’s woolen mill capacity and production are located in Europe. Other important countries are Russia, Japan and US. Russia is the leading producer of woolen textiles in the world. The World distribution of this industry in Europe, US and Japan is largely controlled by the market factor. It is quite evident from the fact that the largest wool producing countries, such as New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina, hardly have a developed woolen textile industry.
Russia is the leading woolen textile producer with an enormous internal demand. The woolen mills are concentrated in (a) the central industrial district around Moscow; and (b) Leningrad. Ukraine and the Central Asian Republics also have a developed woolen textile industry. The production of woolens in Japan, another important producer, declined after the Second World War. However, after the war Japan rehabilitated its industries rapidly and today is an important producer. Osaka-Kobe region and Tokyo-Yokohama region are among the leading producing regions of Japan.
US is also one of the leading producers of woolen textiles. However, like cotton textiles, woolen industry is also a declining industry in US due to increasing labour costs. The New England states with Lawrence and Providence as the chief centers and the mid-Atlantic states with Philadelphia as the leading centre are the leading producers in the northern part. Like cotton textile industry, the woolen textile industry has also gravitated to the southern part of the country. The Piedmont area in the south is now an important producing region. The New England region has over half of US wool manufacturing capacity. The increasing costs of production are making it difficult for the US industry to compete with the Asian producers.