Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrenees merged into a single region on 1st January 2016.
The data of this site mainly concerns the former Midi-Pyrenees region and is currently being updated.

Textile / Clothing

Midi-Pyrenees is the 4th French textile cluster and the 1st French centre for the production of carded yarn and woolen fabrics.


Textile is a historical industry in Midi-Pyrenees, which emerged as early as the 15th century and grew strongly from the 19th century, with a regional specificity: the treatment of wool.

Despite the sharp decline in workforce since the 1950s, Midi-Pyrenees remains the 4th largest French textile cluster after Rhône-Alpes, Nord-Pas de Calais and Champagne-Ardennes. The region is the first French production centre for natural fiber wool based fabric.

The textile activity is concentrated in the Tarn and Ariège departments, the clothing industry in Haute-Garonne and Tarn.

Today, the strength of the regional textile industry comes from the existence of a complete chain, from fiber processing to manufacturing the finished product (spinning, weaving, dry filling, knitting) grouping together the leaders in apparel, bodywork and knitted fabrics.

Faced with profound changes, the regional textile industry is trying to adapt to the challenges of globalization by seeking improved competitiveness and developing high value-added sectors such as technical textiles, flexible materials, the use of natural fibers, which offer multiple opportunities (aeronautics, space, protection, sports, medical, agriculture, construction, etc.).

Key figures

(textile/clothing, excluding the leather and footwear industry)

  • 335 establishments
  • 2,591 employees

The employees in the textile and clothing industry are mainly located in Tarn (41%), Haute-Garone (22%) and Ariège (17%).

The sector is mainly composed of small structures: 78% of companies have less than 10 employees.

Breakdown of employees by activity:

  • Manufacture of clothing: 41%
  • Weaving: 23%
  • Manufacture of other textiles: 17%
  • Manufacture of knitted items: 8%
  • Preparation of textile fibers and spinning: 6%
  • Textile dry filling: 5%

Exports mainly concern fabric (43% of the sector). Romania, Slovenia and Germany are the main client countries. Apparel items top the list of imported products and come mainly from China.

80% of weaving companies in Midi-Pyrenees achieve more than 60% of their turnover from exports.

Given its potential, China is a prime target market for textile manufacturers of Midi-Pyrenees.

Source: CCI/OBSéco data from the 3rd quarter of 2012

Main actors

The main companies of Midi-Pyrenees

Institutional players

  • UIT SUD - Union des Industries Textiles du Sud, trade union
  • SPL Textile Pays d’Olmes Montagne Noire groups together textile companies of the Ariège and Tarn region. This local productive system (SPL) facilitates the implementation of concerted collective action around promising innovation projects (technological, commercial, organizational, etc.).
  • The Comité Technique Opérationnel Textile (CTOT) strengthens and supports, for accelerating global structural changes, the innovation of the textile sector in Midi-Pyrenees.
  • R3iLab: network for professionals in the textile, fashion and creative industries in general. It establishes, manages and organizes, with the support of the State, a number of actions and projects to promote innovation, including immaterial, within companies.

Skill centers

  • Créalaine et Tisslaine, group of textile industries in Midi-Pyrenees, promotes member companies of the UIT by undertaking collective actions at events or trade shows.

- Competitiveness clusters:

  • Aerospace Valley, global competitiveness cluster covering Aquitaine and Midi-Pyrenees, is specialized in aeronautics, space and embedded systems. Textile companies combine their skills with members of the cluster.
  • Cancer Bio Santé groups together the main players in Midi-Pyrenees contributing to the fight against cancer: clinical and medical activities, research centers and food processing, pharmacy, biotechnology, information science and technology and micro-nanotechnology industries. Textile industries present on the medical market are associated with it.
  • Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation, the Agro and Agro-Industry competitiveness cluster of Midi-Pyrenees promotes Agro diversity and develops technological investments in bio-refinery. Many textile companies are associated with its research work.


  • Fortex, promotion and development of skills
  • Forthac, management and collection of contributions Continuing Professional Development of companies in the sector
  • IFTH Grand Ouest, training organization in the Textile-Clothing-Distribution sector

Research and Development

Technology Transfer