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Graniteville Specialty Fabrics Receives 2013 Manufacturer Of The Year Award

Graniteville Specialty Fabrics, Graniteville, S.C. — a provider of specialty coatings and custom coated fabrics for tent, awning, marine, military and other applications — has received a 2013 Manufacturer of the Year Award in the small business category from the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. The award recognizes companies that exhibit manufacturing excellence, make a positive economic impact, are committed to workforce development, and serve as outstanding community stewards.

Graniteville Specialty Fabrics was founded in 1845 when William Gregg built the South's first cotton mill, which eventually became known as The Graniteville Co. The company established its Specialty Fabrics Division in 1947, and in 1996, it was purchased by Monroe, Ga.-based textile manufacturer Avondale Mills Inc. Following a disastrous train derailment in January 2005 outside of one of its plants in Graniteville, which exacerbated the strain the company already was experiencing from global competition, Avondale closed its doors (See " Avondale Mills Closes Doors, Sells Some Facilities," TextileWorld.com, July/August 2006). The company subsequently sold its Woodhead Plant in Graniteville — which housed the specialty coating operations — to Woodhead LLC partners, who brought the company back to life as Graniteville Specialty Fabrics.

Over the past three years, the company reports it has improved quality, delivered profit and introduced an employee wellness program.

"South Carolina manufacturers were particularly hard hit in a difficult economy — including Graniteville — so to receive this award is very gratifying," said Jim Egan, president, Graniteville Specialty Fabrics. "The award confirms that our commitment to quality, concern for employees and continuous improvement efforts are on target."

Graniteville Specialty Fabrics received the award at the Manufacturer of the Year Awards luncheon held on August 27 in Columbia, S.C.

September 3, 2013