Major changes came to the textile industry during the 20th century, with continuing technological innovations in machinery, synthetic fiber, logistics, and globalization of the business. The business model that had dominated the industry for centuries was to change radically.
Cotton and wool producers were not the only source for fibers, as chemical companies created new synthetic fibers that had superior qualities for many uses, such as rayon, invented in 1910, and DuPont's nylon, invented in 1935 as in inexpensive silk substitute, and used for products ranging from women's stockings o tooth brushes and military parachutes. The variety of synthetic fibers used in manufacturing fiber grew steadily throughout the 20th century.
In the sass, acetate was invented; in the sass, acetate, modally, metal fibers, and saran were developed; acrylic, polyester, and pdex were introduced in the sass. Polyester became hugely popular in the apparel market, and by the late sass, more polyester was sold in the United States than cotton.  By the early 20th century, the industry in the developed world often involved immigrants in "sweat shops", which were usually legal but were sometimes illegally operated. They employed people in crowded conditions, working manual sewing machines, and being paid less than a living wage.
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This trend worsened due to attempts to protect existing industries which were being challenged by developing countries in South East Asia, the Indian subcontinent and Central America. Although globalization saw the manufacturing largely outsourced to overseas labor markets, there has been a trend for the areas historically associated with the trade to shift focus to the more white collar associated industries of fashion design, fashion modeling and retail. Areas satirically involved heavily in the "rag trade" include London and Milan in Europe, and the SoHo district in New York City.
By the late sass, the apparel segment was no longer the largest market for fiber products, with industrial and home furnishings together representing a larger proportion of the fiber market.  Industry integration and global manufacturing led to many small firms closing for good during the sass and sass in the United States; during those decades, 95 percent of the looms in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia shut down, and Alabama and Virginia also saw many factories close.
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