Companies in this industry manufacture woven, tufted, and other types of rugs and carpet using natural and synthetic fibers. Major companies include Beaulieu, Interface, Mohawk Industries, and Shaw Industries (all based in the US), along with Balta (Belgium), Oriental Weavers (Egypt), and Suminoe Textile (Japan).
Demand for carpeting depends on residential and commercial real estate construction and home sales, which can be cyclical. With many costs fixed, profitability of individual companies depends on their volume of business. There are large economies of scale in manufacturing and distribution. The US industry is concentrated: the four largest companies account for about 55% of revenue.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Most carpeting is made on large tufting machines that use rows of needles to sew loops of nylon thread into a latex "backing." The loops are cut to produce tufts and additional backing is glued on to the bottom to hold the tufts in place; polypropylene and polyester thread are also used. Rugs and woven carpeting are made on looms using wool, cotton, silk, or synthetic thread. Most carpeting is made as 100-foot rolls ("roll goods") of various widths - mainly 12 or 15 feet ("broadloom") - but modular carpet tiles also are made.