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Déclin et résilience de l'industrie textile rhônalpine, des années 1950 à nos jours

Abstract : The Rhône-Alpes textile industry is historically characterized by a network of small and medium-sized enterprises in peri-urban and rural areas highly specialized in the various stages of production: throwing, weaving and finishing. This structure is inherited from the former lyonese silk Fabrique and still remains largely in place after World War II. The arrival of artificial textiles in the 1920s and 1930s marks the start of a structural and organizational modernization in these businesses. The regional industry is supported by the powerful regional chemical complex (Comptoir des Textiles Artificiels, Rhodiaceta) which is the main supplier of yarn. The generalization of synthetic textiles in the 1950s leads to an industrial concentration movment. Independent workshops and very small businesses are being forced to close in the face of significant productivity gains and intensified international competition by the opening of the European community's trade borders. Intermediate companies manage to emerge as the main regional players in the sector, without reaching the size observed in the cotton and wool complexes of the North and East. In the middle, medium-sized enterprises manage to maintain their activity by material modernization and the establishment of common structures with other business partners. This productivist movement is however stopped by the structural crisis of 1973. The sector is threatened upstream with the withdrawal of the historic supplier Rhône-Poulenc from the spinning industry and downstream with the boom in of low-cost finished products imports from developing countries. This crisis causes the end of an industrial model by pushing major regional businesses into bankruptcy or into exceptional cutbacks. A new generation of companies however manage to emerge from this model in crisis. Smaller and more flexible, they maintain their activity by distinguishing themselves through their responsiveness, the occupation of niche markets or the implementation of high added-value productions. New small groups thus flourishes during the 1980s and 1990s in just-in-time clothing textiles and technical textiles. The Rhône-Alpes textile industry is thus evolving from a labor-intensive industry to a capital industry, with very high productivity at the cost of a considerable reduction in the number of jobs. This transition accelerates since the 2000s with the emergence of a second wave of international competition, mainly embodied by China.
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Contributor : Victorien Pliez <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, April 7, 2021 - 4:01:27 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 8, 2021 - 3:26:13 AM


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  • HAL Id : tel-03191909, version 1


Victorien Pliez. Déclin et résilience de l'industrie textile rhônalpine, des années 1950 à nos jours. Histoire. Université Lumière Lyon 2, 2021. Français. ⟨tel-03191909⟩



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