Expansions and launches of new
textile manufacturers in North and South Carolina are mitigating some of the effects of shuttered
textile operations announced in recent weeks and months. The news involves moves by three companies
that plan to expand and add employees to existing operations, or are newly formed with plans to
take over abandoned facilities and operations.
Suminoe Textiles of America Corp., a Gaffney, S.C.-based subsidiary of Japan-based Suminoe
Textile Co. Ltd., will invest $8 million to add 45,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 55
employees to its operation. The company, which opened the Gaffney plant in 2004 to manufacture seat
covers and head liners for Japanese auto makers Honda, Nissan and Toyota, will employ a total of
130 people upon completion of the expansion.
Tahoe LLC, Blacksburg, S.C., is investing $3 million to purchase the defunct Elizabeth
Weaving mill and begin producing woven textiles for home decorating. The fabrics will be marketed
under the Elizabeth Home Fabric and Elm Road Classic brands.
Tahoe, formed in 2005 through a merger of commission weaver Elite Textile, Albermarle, N.C.,
and National Contract Associates, Roswell, Ga., currently employs more than 50 people in its new
In Tarboro, N.C., newly formed Tarboro Textiles LLC is essentially a reincarnation of the
Tarboro workforce formerly employed by Glenoit Fabrics (HG) Corp., New York City, to manufacture
sliver knit fabrics for faux fur.
Glenoit closed its Tarboro plant in
late 2005 with the intention of moving its production to China and Canada. Instead, Tarboro
Textiles, owned and operated by former Glenoit Fabrics Plant Manager Jerry Howard, has resumed that
production under contract to Glenoit in the Tarboro plant. Howard has already hired 73 former
Glenoit employees and expects ultimately to employ a total of 140 people.