Annual U.S. Textile Investment Roundup

The 500,000-square-foot Panda Hemp
Gin industrial hemp processing plant.

The year 2023 proved to be an active year for acquisitions, expansions, and new facilities and equipment purchases.

TW Special Report

A review of’s “New Plant & Equipment, M&A” news section for 2023, yields some insight as to where investors see future opportunities in U.S. textiles. Though not a complete list, TW’s annual investment roundup provides a sense of economic activity in an array of textile sectors.

Acquisitions, Mergers

The U.S. textile industry is fertile ground for acquisitions and consolidations — a proven method for scaling businesses, gaining efficiencies and consolidating costs. The year 2023 saw activity among some well-known firms.

Albany, N.Y.-based Stein Fibers LLC, a distributor of textile products, acquired Fibertex Corp.’s North American fiber operations. According to the company, this strategic move aims to broaden the fiber product portfolio in North America, enhancing the capabilities of both companies to better serve their customers. Ernest Elias, president of Fibertex, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, emphasizing shared core values and the potential for strengthened relationships with customers and suppliers. Jaren Edwards, president of Stein Fibers, echoed his sentiments. “It is a privilege to partner with such a well-respected industry expert in Ernest who takes so much pride in customer service and business integrity,” Jaren said.

Mentor, Ohio-based Avery Dennison acquired Owings Mills, Md.-based Lion Brothers, a designer, and manufacturer of apparel brand embellishments. This acquisition is expected to significantly expand Avery Dennison’s Embelex portfolio. The collaboration aims to leverage Lion Brothers’ expertise, innovation, and service to enhance Avery Dennison’s presence in high-value solutions and drive growth in external embellishments. “Since 1899, Lion Brothers has helped apparel brands tell the story of identity and belonging through brand insignia and embellishments that bring meaning and connection to each brand, community and consumer,” said Susan Ganz, owner of Lion Brothers. “We are excited to become part of Avery Dennison and will continue telling this story together.” Lion Brothers is now a part of the Apparel Solutions business within the Solutions Group of Avery Dennison.

Lyndhurst, N.J.-based Lion Brand Yarn — a fifth-generation, family-owned global marketer and distributor of knitting and craft yarn— acquired Quince & Co., a Maine-based premium hand knitting yarn company. The acquisition, in celebration of Lion Brand’s 145th anniversary, aligns with Lion Brand’s commitment to creating a colorful, connected, comforting, and caring world. Quince & Co.’s focus on responsibly farmed natural, renew-able fibers complements Lion Brand’s dedication to quality and innovation in the craft yarn industry.

Apex Mills recently bought a former
HanesBrands facility in Patrick County, Va.

Apex Mills, Inwood, N.Y., a specialist in warp knit fabrics for industrial and technical applications, announced an investment of $3.1 million to acquire the former HanesBrands facility in Patrick County, Va. “The Apex Mills family of companies has been manufacturing Made in the USA textiles for 80 years” said Jonathan Kurz, Apex Mills president and CEO. “When we became aware of the imminent closing of the HanesBrands Woolwine operation and learned more about the rich tradition of textile manufacturing in Patrick County, we ultimately made the decision that this was where we wanted to locate our next fabric formation facility.”

Dahlonega, Ga.-based RefrigiWear, a supplier of insulated work apparel for the cold chain, has acquired Avaska, a newcomer in the insulated workwear industry known for its premium quality and modern European style. The acquisition aims to provide customers in the cold chain and extreme temperature environments with a diverse range of options. The combined portfolio, including Samco Freezerwear, positions RefrigiWear as a comprehensive solution provider for those working in freezing temperatures. “Avaska really helps us round out our brand portfolio to serve customers in the cold chain and in any environment where extreme temperatures create challenges,” explained Ryan Silberman, RefrigiWear CEO. “Giving customers flexibility helps us serve the ever-changing and demanding environments they face in every step of the cold chain.”

Miami-based Intradeco Holdings — a global vertical-manufacturing company specializing in supplying high-quality casual clothing and thermal underwear to retailers in the United States, Mexico, and Canada —announced its acquisition of Yadkinville, N.C.-based thermal underwear supplier Indera Mills. John Willingham, owner of Indera Mills, has continued as president of Indera, a division of Intradeco Apparel Inc. “We at Indera Mills are excited to become part of Intradeco,” Willing-ham said. “For 109 years, our family-owned company has built a successful business based on integrity, commitment and hard work. These important values align with those of Intradeco. Together, we will build a thermal underwear business second to none in the world.” MMG Advisors facilitated the transaction.

Wellford, S.C. -based Leigh Fibers has purchased the operating assets of Martex Fiber, rebranding the business as Revive Fiber. The two companies, now operating as separate but related sister companies, are focused on recycling in North America. “The acquisition of these assets will benefit customers of both companies,” said Daniel Mason, co-owner of Leigh Fibers and the newly formed Revive Fiber. “While the companies will remain separate, we have broadened and deepened our resources, improving our capabilities and expertise. Nobody else can provide the same breadth of products from recycled fibers, eco-friendly chemistry, toll manufacturing, and nonwoven solutions. Sustainability is core to who we are.”

Galls acquired LVI, a third-party
logistics partner with experience in
military logistics.

GALLS®, Lexington, Ken., a supplier to America’s public safety and military professionals, completed the acquisition of LVI, a multi-faceted third-party logistics partner with extensive experience in military logistics. This strategic move enhances GALLS’ position in the military and defense sector, providing unique opportunities to enter Defense Logistics Agency contracts and solidify relationships with key branches of the military. According to the company, this acquisition fol-lows previous strategic moves, such as the acquisition of Patriot Outfitters in 2017 and U.S. Patriot in 2022.

Partnerships Formed

Navis TubeTex, Lexington, N.C., a provider of machinery solutions, has announced a strategic partnership with Fibroline, a pioneering technology and engineering company based in France. Fibroline is known for its patented dry impregnation technologies, capable of precisely impregnating powder-form materials into porous structures. Fibroline has four business units covering medical solutions, nonwovens and textiles, technical yarns and composite materials. Through the partnership, Navis TubeTex and Fibroline will launch “Fibroline USA,” an innovation center dedicated to promoting Fibroline’s dry impregnation solutions in the U.S. market. Navis TubeTex also will handle manufacturing and delivery of the machinery required for U.S. customers, ensuring seamless access to Fibroline’s groundbreaking technology. “Fibroline’s expertise in dry impregnation technology aligns seamlessly with our commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions to our customers,” said Will Motchar, president and CEO at Navis Tube-Tex. “This collaboration further demonstrates our strategic mission to provide sustainable solutions for coating, dyeing, and impregnation.

Dallas-based Panda Biotech has announced an equity partnership deal with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Growth Fund, marking a significant milestone for the Panda High Plains Hemp Gin (PHPHG) project. The strategic alliance, facilitated by growth fund subsidiary Aka-Ag LLC positions PHPHG to become the largest hemp decortication center in the United States and one of the world’s largest industrial hemp processing facilities. The Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s strong credit rating and commitment to sustainability align with Panda Biotech’s vision for an eco-friendlier future. Panda Biotech President Dixie Carter said of the deal: “Panda Biotech could not have selected a better equity partner for our first project, the Panda High Plains Hemp Gin. The Southern Ute Indian Tribe and its subsidiaries bring numerous strategic opportunities to what is anticipated to be a successful, long-term partnership.”

Latco America Polymers, a recycled polyester staple fiber manufacturer based in Queretaro, Mexico, has appointed FiberQuest, Florence, S.C., its exclusive sales distribution partner for North America. In operation since 2019, Latco America Polymer’s Fiber Division produces 6,000 tons per month of recycled polyester staple fiber for various applications, including home furnishings, apparel, consumer goods, automotive, filtration and geotextiles. The company plans to expand its capacity over the next five years. FiberQuest, specializes in the sale and distribution of polyester staple fiber, with more than 15 years of experience in the industry. FiberQuest Owner Brad Dutton, stated: “We are extremely happy to be working with Latco America Polymer Fiber Division, as they are a quality driven company. The team they have assembled and the facility they have built is second to none. This partnership will allow us to provide the best quality and service for all our customers.”

Tex-Tech, producer of OASIS super
absorbent fiber among other products,
is investing $24.8 million in a new plant.

Expansions Show Growth

Kernersville, N.C.-based specialty textiles manufacturer Tex-Tech Industries, announced an investment exceeding $24.8 million that will establish a new manufacturing center in Winston-Salem, N.C. Tex-Tech’s focuses on textile research, development and manufacturing of high-performance fabrics and coatings for the aerospace, automotive, defense, medical and protective apparel industries.

Hollingsworth & Vose (H&V), a global manufacturer of advanced materials, announced that it will invest $40.2 million to expand its facility in Floyd County, Va. “We’ve been a part of the Floyd, Virginia, community since 1976,” said Josh Ayer, H&V CEO. “This facility is essential to serving both our global and domestic customers. We chose Virginia for this expansion because of its positive business environment and strong support from the Commonwealth of Virginia and Floyd County.”

FUZE Biotech has relocated its headquarters to Salt Lake City. The new facility will allow a tenfold increase in the production of its antibacterial solution. Applied as a mist to various materials, FUZE’s permanent treatment fights odors, accelerates evaporation, and provides protection against ultraviolet (UV) A and UVB radiation. “As brands increasingly look for sustainable, high-performance solutions, we are scaling up production to meet growing demand,” said Andrew Peterson, chief technology officer of FUZE Biotech. “Our new facility is state of the art and will help us better serve our expanding roster of sustainability focused partner brands in North America and abroad.”

Firefighter PPE manufacturer
Fire-Dex opened a new production
facility in Old Fort, N.C.

Medina, Ohio -based Fire-Dex, a manufacturer of personal protective equipment for first responders, has opened a new production facility in Old Fort, N.C. This marks the company’s fourth major production center and reinforces its commitment to quality craftsmanship and fast shipping. The 25,000-square-foot facility is expected to play a vital role in supporting Fire-Dex’s continued growth. “While our footprint is rapidly expanding westward, we serve a large portion of the East Coast with many relationships that go back decades,” said John Karban, vice president of Operations for Fire-Dex. “Old Fort presents a unique opportunity to position critical resources closer to major customers and, at the same time, boost the local economy by keeping a number of jobs in Old Fort.”

Sage Automotives, producer of
automotive interior materials expanded its Sharon Plant in Abbeville, S.C.

Sage Automotive Interiors, a global provider of automotive interior materials, announced the expansion of its Sharon Plant in Abbeville, S.C., with a $10.45 million investment. This expansion will create 95 new jobs, reinforcing Sage’s dedication to meeting the evolving needs of the automotive industry. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Sage is a global company with offices and manufacturing locations in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Sage’s U.S. manufacturing facilities are in South Carolina and Georgia.

Greensboro, N.C.-based Phase Change Solutions (PCS), a temperature management product manufacturer, is set to expand its operations in Guilford County, N.C. With an investment exceeding $3.5 million, PCS reports it will create 35 new jobs at this new U.S. headquarters and manufacturing facility in Greensboro. According to the company, PCS specializes in advanced materials for various industries, offering energy-efficient solutions with innovative technology. The new location will expand the company’s production capacity, and consolidate research and development, ware-house, and headquarters operations to Greensboro.

Birmingham, Ala.-based Motion Industries Inc. announced a new Motion Ai facility in Beverly, Mass., to meet increasing demand for automation and robotic solutions. With 33,000 square feet, the new facility complements existing locations in Danvers and Woburn, providing a total of 62,000 square feet of manufacturing space in the Boston area. “The expanded manufacturing space will allow us to meet growing customer needs while adding future opportunities across our entire automation and robotic platforms,” said Aurelio Banda, Motion’s senior vice president, Automation Intelligence. “This includes additional OEM business and the ability to accept larger orders in quantity and physical size. We expect this new facility to fuel economic growth for the region, contributing beneficial, long-term impact.”

New Facilities Reveal Foreign Investment

Kaumagraph International, Canada, announced a Latin America expansion with a new plant in Queretaro, Mexico. According to the company, the new facility will serve primarily Latin American customers. Kaumagraph is a specialty transfer manufacturer in the textile industry specializing in transfers for applications such as apparel, denim, gloves, shoe sockliners, socks, intimate apparel and tennis balls.

Vietnam-based tire manufacturer Tin Thanh Group Americas unveiled plans to establish its first United States operations. With an investment of $68 million in Allendale County, S.C., the company’s new facility will focus on manufacturing and retreading large commercial vehi-cle tires while promoting sustainability initiatives such as recycled energy and closed industry-agriculture practices. Operations are slated to commence by September 2024.

Australia-based EPOC Enviro, a per- and polyfluoroalkyl susbstances (PFAS) remediation company, is set to invest more than $4.1 million in its first North American production site to be established in Statesville, N.C. The company aims to combat water pollution with its SAFF® technology, to address PFAS substances in water, soil, and industrial systems. “After looking at possible sites all over America we are delighted to have settled on North Carolina as the hub for our U.S. business activities,” said Peter Murphy, EPOC Enviro president. “Statesville is perfectly situated in a beautiful corner of the country, and it is exactly the kind of community we were hoping to become an integral part of.”

New Equipment And Technology

Northfield, Vt.-based outdoor sock brand, Darn Tough Vermont®, announced the expansion of its manufacturing capabilities with the addition of 22 new state-of-the-art knitting machines at its Waterbury mill. The move comes in response to escalating demand, while upholding the company’s commitment to American-made socks. “Since we opened our second mill [Waterbury], we have increased our capacity significantly,” said Ric Cabot, president & CEO of Darn Tough. “Increased capacity means that we can provide more opportunities for our communities — that makes us proud.”

WPT Nonwovens, Beaver Dam, Ky., announced an investment in a new thermobonding line for filter media, partnering with Trützschler Nonwovens and Schott & Meissner, suppliers both based in Germany. The cutting-edge line, equipped with advanced technology, ensures reliable fiber preparation and web forming processes for various filtration media, catering to demanding market needs. The investment underscores WPT Nonwovens’ commitment to growth and innovation in supplying technical nonwovens. WPT Nonwovens is a specialist not only for filtration media, but also for nonwovens used in the medical, hygiene and industrial sectors. The company started its business in 2008 and is a supplier of spunbond, needlepunched, wet-laid and carded nonwovens.

England-based Pincroft invested in TexCoat G4 finishing technology from St. Louis-based Baldwin Technology.

Pincroft — an England-based textile dyer, printer, and finisher —announced it invested in environmentally friendly technology for fabric finishing developed by St. Louis-based Baldwin Technology Co. Inc. The TexCoat G4 machine is said to reduce water, chemical, and energy usage while enhancing productivity. Pincroft’s investment reflects its dedication to environmental stewardship and delivering high-quality products tailored to customer needs. Rick Stanford, Baldwin’s vice president of Global Business Development, commented: “I worked with Ian [Rawcliffe, Pincroft’s technical manager] and Pincroft for many years prior to joining Baldwin. Pincroft are known to seek out the latest in cutting-edge technology and their evaluation and implementation of TexCoat G4 was no different.”

Germany-based Monforts, widely known for its durable textile machinery, emphasizes retrofitting options to enhance existing manufacturing lines’ performance and sustainability.
Monforts recently undertook a major modification project on a Montex tenter that was first commissioned back in 1995 for Grupo Kaltex, Mexico City. According to the company, the project included a complete switch cabinet exchange, and all control panels were updated to the latest technical specifications including new frequency converters, transport drives and a gearbox. Circulation fans also were modified. In addition, the Montex tenter was equipped with full PLC control, 24-inch touchscreen PC control and the very latest Monforts visualization software. “Compared to a new machine, upgrades are a low-cost investment that deliver clearly defined benefits,” said Monforts Marketing Manager Nicole Croonenbroek. “Monforts is the right partner to assist valued customers in offering retrofits to help with enhanced production, sustainable operation and energy savings.”

Foss Floors recently purchased a new SDV velour loom from ANDRITZ.

Austria-based ANDRITZ delivered a new velour loom to Foss Floors in Rome, Ga., which will be used for the production of high-quality flooring from recycled plastic. The investment aligns with Foss Floors’ commitment to sustainability, utilizing recycled materials to meet cus-tomer demand for ecofriendly products. Kevin Nasser, general man-ager of Operations at Foss Floors, said: “We bought our first velour loom from ANDRITZ in 2019 and have been very satisfied with the operation and performance of the machine as well as the quality of products. This was, of course, an important consideration in the choice of supplier for our new investment. We relied on Andritz during a supply chain crisis to deliver a necessary machine on time to fulfill the growing demand for our velour product line.”

In addition to the investment in its new production facility referenced earlier in this article, Fire-Dex also adopted Fashion On Demand by Paris-based Lectra to enhance manufacturing processes and overcome supply chain challenges. According to Lectra, the Industry 4.0 solution digitizes production processes, improving efficiency and flexibility. Fire-Dex’s collaboration with Lectra underscores the importance of advanced technology in addressing evolving market demands and main-taining competitiveness in the textile industry. “By integrating Lectra’s Fashion On Demand cutting room with the latest version of its cloud nesting solution, Fire-Dex has been able to improve its workflow and plan its cutting room more efficiently, while giving everyone clear visibility on the entire process,” Karban said. “We’re seeing the start of industry 4.0 in the fashion cutting room, and it’s very exciting.”

Textile Investment Coverage

As in years past, many textile investments in the United States go unreported because of privacy, the competitive nature of the textile business and lack of a source willing to go on the record. But 2023 proved to be an active year for business activity. As 2024 takes shape — with significant headwinds including election year politicking, inflation, higher interest rates and still struggling consumers — opportunities to grow and strengthen businesses still exist and will make for good reporting.

The editors of TW continue to report as news breaks, and if textile investment is of particular importance to you, keep an eye on’s “New Plant & Equipment, M&A” news section.

March/April 2024