During the late medieval period, cotton began to be imported into northern Europe from Asia and by the end of the 16th century, cotton was cultivated throughout the warmer regions of Asia and the southern belt of America. The textile industry grew out of the industrial revolution in the 18th Century as mass production of yarn and cloth became a mainstream industry in Europe. Even in the 19th century, some used to believe that cotton grows on a wonderful tree which has a tiny lamb on the ends of its branches which is a preposterous belief now.
Europe is a big market for cotton textiles. According to the European Commission, the biggest markets for EU textiles exports was Switzerland, Russia, USA, Turkey and Tunisia in year 2010. EU textile exports in year 2010 were €33.8 billion where as the imports were €83.7 billion. After China, the EU is the world’s second largest exporter of textile products with 31% including intra-EU trade. Excluding intra-EU trade, in 2010 the EU exported €33.8billion worth of textiles and clothing products and continues to dominate global markets for up-market and high quality textiles and clothing. Switzerland is our first export market (12.3%), USA has become the second export market of EU textile and clothing (T/C) products with 10.0% of total exports, followed by Russia (9.4%), Turkey (6.8%) and Tunisia (4.9%). In terms of value the EU’s main suppliers in 2010 were China (41.8%), followed by Turkey (13.3%), India (7.8%), Bangladesh (7.2%) and Tunisia (3.1%)
If you wish to find out more about how the EU supports the European textiles industry, one can visit the link http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/textiles/index_en.htm and for the market access database for knowledge about world markets, visit the link http://madb.europa.eu/mkaccdb2/indexPubli.htm