Light industry

Azerbaijan has a long tradition of production, spinning and weaving of cotton and silk. Industrial weaving started in the late 19th century. Further industrialization of Azerbaijan in the 20th century stimulated rapid development of light industries including textiles. The main raw materials for the domestic textile industry are cotton, wool, silk cocoons, leather and synthetic fiber. Azerbaijan had a large share of silk production among the republics of former USSR.

After a period of crisis in the mid 1990s, cotton cultivation has increased. This indicator was 44.8 thousand tons of raw cotton in 2013. More than half of the increase was derived from higher productivity. The overall potential production of cotton in Azerbaijan is as much as 800000 tons from approximately 280000 hectares. This level was achieved in mid 1980s with massive capital investment by the Soviet government.

Other raw materials that are also important for the weaving industry of Azerbaijan are wool and silk cocoons. There is a potential to produce over 9,000 tons of silk cocoons annually by increasing the area of mulberry plantations to 25,000 hectares. Normally, 1 kg of silk cloth is produced from 3.5 kg of local cocoon (the Japanese standard is 1 kg of silk per 2.8 kg of cocoon). So the potential of the local silk industry is 2,600 tons or about 18 million m2 of silk cloth (1 kg - 5-7 m2).

There are also opportunities for leather production and processing in Azerbaijan as livestock-breeding has been growing rapidly for the last few years. Markets for Azerbaijan’s textiles, in addition to the local market, include Russia, Central Asia and Iran. No export duty is payable on such products. Textile products exported to the EU are free of quotas and permits, and only the import customs duty is payable.


Production volume of textile products




Cotton fiber, ton

21 349.3

11 324.5

Ready cotton fabrics, ths m2



Cotton thread, ton

15 297,7

15 453.7

Cotton linen, ths