Textile World’s Pursuit Of The Digital Issue

By James M. Borneman, Editor In Chief

Founded in 1868 and published for more than 150 years, Textile World magazine has always had two directives: A focus on editorial content that informs and supports the U.S. textile industry; and to maintain a qualified audience of textile industry professionals that are attractive to those trying to reach key members of the U.S. textile community.

Over the years, editors have adapted the editorial focus to meet the changing needs and interests of a dynamic industry. From the early days of wool and cotton processing, content has shifted to include more nonwovens and technical textile topics.

In format, TW has had to adapt to changes in the overall publishing industry including the speed of news delivery and changes in reader preferences. From the days of solely printed magazines, buyer’s guides and directories, the dynamics of delivering content and reaching readers has changed. Today, TW is delivered in print and online. Additional content reaches more than 17,000 readers through the weekly e-newsletter, and the website attracts an average of 65,000 page views per month.

With changes in mind, editors of TW and its sister publication Textiles Panamericanos have been experimenting with the creation of a digital edition. There is nothing new about the digital rendering of a printed magazine. When the technology was first developed more than 20 years ago, the internet was just taking hold with low speeds and other barriers. There was also a strong demand for print in a time with no iPhones, iPads and few laptops. Over the course of the past 20 years, one might observe that all things internet are vastly different.

The turning point for a relook at digital edition technology came when Covid-19 struck. TW editors learned that some tradeshows were going to take a new approach to distributing magazines and discourage print in favor of digital editions to reduce point of contact exposures. This idea presented an opportunity to augment print rather than replace.

Both TW and Textiles Panamericanos have limited circulations, in publishing circles known as “qualified circulation.” In short, that means that the magazines are limited to certain readers based on qualifications such as geography or industry sector. TW rarely goes, with exceptions, to non-USMCA (NAFTA region) readers. Textiles Panamericanos is largely delivered to qualified readers in Mexico, Central and South America.

So, the opportunity is apparent — maintain the qualified print circulations and expand the readership through the digital edition to all readers in, and beyond, the qualified parameters.

The dynamics available in the new technology also add value. All advertising that appears in print will also be present in the digital edition with the ability to be linked for the reader’s convenience. For example, an event ad might have a link to register. Or in an article, a link may be included for a reference or a video.

The editorial team is at the beginning of exploring these new digital possibilities and hope they will enhance the editorial experience of the highly valued TW and Textiles Panamericanos audiences of textile industry professionals.

January/February 2022