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Collaboration is core to the Wilson College of Textiles mission. Industry, government and college partnerships drive our combined success.

NC State’s Wilson College of Textiles started building a legacy of world-class textile education, discovery and engagement with industry in 1899. Today that dynamic industry is focused on manufacturing close to the consumer. We are in the early stages of a resurgent U.S. textiles industry that requires innovative polymers, fibers, textile and apparel products and processes to meet the demands of the civilian textile and fashion markets and the military and first responders.

U.S. textile and apparel shipments totaled $78 billion in 2017 and the U.S. textile industry supply chain—from textile fibers to apparel and other sewn products—employed 550,500 workers in the same year. Worldwide there are several million workers who participate in an increasingly technology-driven supply chain. These stakeholders require advanced education and training in order to remain competitive. That’s where our services are invaluable.

In the past two years, companies from around the world have begun or expanded operations in rural North Carolina, bringing hundreds of new jobs and investing more than $100 million — largely due to access to superior textiles education, research and development, as well as proximity to the best textiles workforce in the nation: Wilson College of Textiles graduates.

While we provide a wide variety of services to industry, we also find our partners eager to engage our students and graduates.

  • In 2017-18, we engaged 149 separate companies and 11 federal agencies
  • These partners funded our work with nearly $10 million in grants and contracts
  • We hosted multiple conferences and industry association meetings, including the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America Materials and Innovation Summit, the Southern Textile Association semi-annual meeting, and Textile Research Day
  • We attended many conferences, workshops and symposia including Outdoor Retailers Summer Market, the Lean Six Sigma World Conference, Techtextile NA and the IFAI Expo, where we delivered onsite textile testing training and certification to attendees
  • We conducted 64 professional development workshops in textiles, nonwovens and Lean Six Sigma
  • We held two Textile Career Fairs in 2017-18, helping 126 companies connect with our students for internships and full-time positions
  • Our Centers and Institutes – the Textile Protection and Comfort Center (TPACC), the Nonwovens Institute, and the Forensic Sciences Institute – are world renowned for their industry partnerships and research and development.

To learn more about how the Wilson College of Textiles can help you, please email Melissa Sharp at