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Industry primed for growth

Editorial | June 1, 2022 | By: Tim Goral

Spring is the time of rebirth, growth and new life. And so it is with the textile and fabric industry. After more than two years of bad news with (stop me if you’ve heard this one before) the impact of a pandemic, rising costs, labor shortages, supply chain disruptions and overseas war, it’s about time we had some good news.

That comes in the form of companies springing up around the country and around the globe not only to meet the demand for products but to also add new skilled workers as they revitalize the industry.

For a few examples out of many, Hemingway Sewing Solutions, a subsidiary of Beverly Knits, one of the largest knitting companies in the United States, is opening a $3.3 million production facility in Williamsburg, S.C., with plans to add nearly 300 jobs to the area. 

An expansion of the Glen Raven Custom Fabrics plant in Norlina, N.C., will add some 200 jobs while teaching new associates to become skilled with advanced technologies.

MycoWorks, a biotech company that creates mushroom-grown materials as sustainable leather alternatives, will be setting up shop in Union County, S.C.—and creating 400 new jobs. 

MMI textiles has relocated to a new headquarters and distribution center in Brooklyn, Ohio, to accommodate growth and future endeavors. The location boasts more than 45,000 square feet of space for a warehouse and large testing lab, giving the company more control over manufacturing, quality and shipping speed.

In other parts of the world, denim producer Artistic Milliners is expanding its presence in Pakistan with a new $60 million state-of-the-art facility. At full capacity, the 500,000-square-foot facility will employ 3,500 workers—70 percent of which will be women—and boost production capacity by 30 percent.

Saitex International is opening an environmentally friendly fabric mill in Vietnam. The company will employ up to 1,000 workers in a facility that produces denim, and 20 percent of the jobs will be dedicated to people with disabilities. 

As they say, every cloud has a silver lining, and these developments show an industry in a spring growth mode after a dismal winter.

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