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Glen Raven To Open Specialty Sunbrella® Yarn Plant, Add 30 Jobs

Glen Raven Custom Fabrics — a division of Glen Raven, N.C.-based Glen Raven Inc. — is investing $10 million to open a specialty Sunbrella® yarn plant in Burlington, N.C., and will add 30 jobs in the process. The company reports it is opening the plant in response to increasing demand it has seen for Sunbrella fabrics woven with specialty yarn colors and constructions.

"Sunbrella brand fabrics are design-driven, which requires new colors and new specialty yarn blends with every season," said Randy Blackston, vice president of operations, Glen Raven Custom Fabrics. "This new yarn plant will enhance our ability to meet the market's growing demand for Sunbrella fabrics in fashion-oriented colors and styles."

The company is retrofitting a 130,000-square-foot facility that previously housed its Ultra Spun division operations. The new Burlington Yarn plant — which is similar to Glen Raven's Sunbrella® plant in Anderson, S.C., and which is expected to open in late summer 2013 — will be equipped with a modular, highly automated yarn manufacturing system that features lean manufacturing processes and state-of-the-art air handling systems, according to the company. Yarns produced at the plant will be sent to Glen Raven's Anderson fabric facility to be woven into Sunbrella fabrics.

"While our Anderson, S.C., and Norlina, N.C., Sunbrella yarn facilities are highly flexible and capable of supporting a broad array of yarn and fabric SKUs, our new plant will take this quick change capability to an entirely new level," Blackston said. "The process of design engineering and machine selection began two years ago and will result in a unique operation focused on specialty, blended and novelty yarns for Sunbrella fabrics."

Glen Raven will transfer 50 employees currently working at its Burlington Link Spinning facility — which it is making plans to repurpose — to the Burlington Yarn plant, and also will add 30 new positions to the workforce.

September 4, 2012