Drying of textiles is one of the energy-intensive unit operations and stenters are the most widely used drying machines in textile finishing mills. This study reveals energetic and exergetic analysis of a stenter system in a textile finishing factory based on actual operational data. The system includes a stenter along with its circulating and induced draft fans, a hot oil boiler and an oil circulating pump. The exergy destructions in each of the components of the overall systems were determined for average values of experimentally measured parameters. Exergy efficiencies of the system components were determined which help in assessing their performance and to establish strategies for improvement. The exergetic efficiencies of the stenter and hot oil boiler were found to be 28.7 and 34.7%, respectively, while the overall exergy efficiency of the system was obtained to be 34.4%. Copyright (C) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.