I watched it happen first hand, not vicariously through a relative.
Stop and think of what you’re saying. The decimation of the domestic textile industry began due to automation? It’s a wonder, then, that offshoring ever provided such benefit due to radically lower labor cost.
Those domestic manufacturers that continue to exist remain competitive as a result of automation. It obviously didn’t put them out of business. Offshore sources face the same capital expenditure for modern automated equipment.
Home textiles and apparel are dissimilar in several ways as well, your grandfather’s no doubt outstanding contributions to the now defunct Cannon Mills notwithstanding I’m sure.
When seeking to lower costs, the choice has always been between automation and cheap Third World labor.
The big question over the next twenty years will be: what happens to the populations of the Third World when automation finally becomes cheaper than what it costs to keep an unskilled Third World worker fed?
My grandfather was the overseer of the dye plant in Concord. If you ever had any Cannon sheets or towels the cotton was dyed by my grandfather's crew. He started there as an elevator operator when he was fourteen. Mercifully, he died before the plant was sold.