Garment manufacturers need to know what customers want and factories must deliver.

With a history spanning thousands of years, the garment industry is one of the oldest industries in the world. Our ancestors made clothing by hand, a slow process that requires care and patience. In the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution transformed garment making into a full-blown machine-based industry, shaping garment production as we know it today.

Our preindustrial ancestors would have been hard-pressed to imagine the consumer-centric society of the 21st century. Before industrialization, garments were handmade for the individual, not mass-produced for a global market. Worn-through garments were simply sewn back together by hand. Now, consumers constantly replace clothing. In fact, many chain stores now add new items to their clothing racks every couple weeks instead of each season to accommodate this lifestyle change. Garment manufacturers are busy trying to keep up with increased demand from customers chasing the latest trends.

How globalized is today’s garment industry?

In 1965, around 95 percent of clothing worn by Americans was US-made. Now clothing is manufactured and distributed around the globe. In India, for example, garment production makes up around 30 percent of the country’s total exports and 14 percent of its total domestic production. In 2013, the global apparel market was valued at 1.5 trillion USD. This year, revenue has seen an annual increase of 10.59 percent. Despite a brief lull in growth resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, garment industry revenues are expected to hit two trillion USD by 2026. To keep their edge in an increasingly competitive market, garment manufacturers must continually adapt to new consumer trends and upgrade their machinery.

What is the future of garment manufacturing?

Looking at the industry’s past, we should think about the future of clothes making. Whereas previous generations were content with in-store shopping on their days off, today's consumers are used to the convenience of all-hours online shopping. Not only does this mean higher demand, it also means garment merchants risk losing business if their stock runs out for even a moment, as customers know they can always shop elsewhere with a few simple clicks. For this reason, garment manufacturers are under more pressure than ever to provide.

Fortunately, the digital age has also brought with it improved automation and smart machinery. Machines can do far more work than human workers, producing highly accurate goods at a superhuman pace without getting sick or tired. Factory automation doesn’t mean that people are redundant, as workers are still required for intricate tasks like sewing buttons and embroidery, which is done by hand. But machines can take on mundane tasks like fabric spreading and bring precision to tough jobs like cutting. Factory automation can help manufacturers satisfy modern demand, all with improved production quality.

How to run a successful garment factory

The key to running a successful garment factory is versatility. Garment manufacturers can either adapt to making a variety of items or be replaced by a manufacturer that can. Smart machines and automation must form part of a modern garment production strategy, as they help manufacturers achieve high output quantities while enabling greater product variety.

Factory automation is here

Smart, integrated machines are shaping the future of garment manufacturing, allowing manufacturers to tackle bulk production orders. Manual production pales in comparison to their level of performance, proving that automation is the way forward for manufacturers looking to meet modern demands for quickly produced high-quality clothing. Smart machines also boost management efficiency by creating production reports for remote management, enabling managers to see the big picture and make decisions on the go.


Ever since the Industrial Revolution brought high-capacity machinery to manufacturing, the garment industry has been evolving at a breakneck pace. As the industry turns to automation to meet modern market trends, manufacturers must equip themselves with machines that are built to deliver high-quality goods on a quick turnaround. From fabric spreading and cutting to heat transfer and needle detection machines, OSHIMA has the perfect solution for any factory automation needs. With decades of industry experience, we stay up to date on factory automation trends so you don’t have to. Talk to us today to learn how we can help you bring your garment factory into the digital age.