Industries in the Apparel Manufacturing subsector group establishments with two distinct manufacturing processes: (1) cut and sew (i.e., purchasing fabric and cutting and sewing to make a garment), and (2) the manufacture of garments in establishments that first knit fabric and then cut and sew the fabric into a garment. The Apparel Manufacturing subsector includes a diverse range of establishments manufacturing full lines of ready-to-wear apparel and custom apparel: apparel contractors, performing cutting or sewing operations on materials owned by others; jobbers performing entrepreneurial functions involved in apparel manufacture; and tailors, manufacturing custom garments for individual clients are all included. Knitting, when done alone, is classified in the Textile Mills subsector, but when knitting is combined with the production of complete garments, the activity is classified in Apparel Manufacturing.
The subsector's revenue for the year 2008 was approximately $28.8 billion USD, with an estimated gross profit of 29.25%. Import was valued at $76.2 billion USD from 213 countries. The subsector also exported $4.3 billion USD worth of merchandise to 182 countries. Adding import value to and subtracting export value from the subsector's shipment value, the total domestic demand for the subsector in 2008 was $100.7 billion USD.