History of the Southern Apparel and Textile Industry: Through the Photographer's Lens
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The first national meeting of textile and clothing professors took place in Madison, Wisconsin in June 1959. With a mission to advance excellence in education, scholarship and innovation, and their global applications, the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) is a professional and educational association of scholars, educators, and students in the textile, apparel, and merchandising disciplines in higher education.
This site provides free, public access to the ITAA annual conference proceedings beginning in 2015. Previous proceedings can be found by following the "Additional ITAA Proceedings" link on the left sidebar of this page.
Reconstruction of the post-Civil War South was fueled in part by entrepreneurs who moved south for plentiful nonunion labor, readily available land and geographic closeness to raw materials. Although extensive documentation exists about textile and apparel manufacturing in Northeast U.S. communities (e.g., Kulik, Parks, & Penn, 1982), with a few exceptions, limited documentation exists about Southern textile and apparel manufacturing. Exceptions, such as the case study of West Point Manufacturing Company (AL), concentrate primarily on mill life (Blythe, 2003). This study focuses on technological changes and documentation of these changes in textile and apparel manufacturing buildings.