The cotton ginning, extraction of oil from various oil seeds, cotton and chilly trading are the main business in this district. Many Textile industries are located in and around Theni as the climate is suitable for Textile Industries and it provides employment opportunity for the local people.
Vermiculate used for manufacturing cement and paints are available in Cumbum Valley area. Once famous for its agricultural products, it retains its agricultural tint of economy and remains a backward industrial area. Industrial estates have come up with orientation for small scale and cottage industries.
This clubbed with liberalised financing by nationalised banks and new enter
prenatal stimuli, a dimensional change in the district's economy is visible in the last decade. Handloom weaving is the major household industry in the district. Other important items of making toys and dolls, processing of food articles, manufacturing of safety matches and its allied articles etc. are worth to mention. Coarse blankets are made in Periyakulam taluk. This is generally used by tribal women of this area. Wax printing is done at Periyakulam.This was prevalent on a large scale during olden time.This art is slowly declining due to mechanical printing.