Textile Insight

November / December 2017

Issue link: http://viewer.e-digitaledition.com/i/899491

Contents of this Issue


Page 16 of 35

important military business that closed recently and Quaker was a significant loss to the City. At one time the [upholstery] company had 3000 employees and 16 plants." He notes, "So there are hills to climb." Coming Full Circle Tweave is in the process of moving into one of the old Quaker Mill sites having maxed out space in its Norton, MA facility. "We are bringing all of Norton and adding to it," says Mary Reardon, VP sales/marketing for Tweave. "We have three brand new looms and are moving two at a time so production is not interrupted. This more than doubles the space and will allow for an efficient work flow." She explains, "We also need to be where there is a workforce of skilled labor. There are people out of work with textile experience in this area." Reardon notes that UMass Dartmouth is close by and has a grad program in textiles. "As a whole the move is pretty exciting. It will give us the ability to grow," says Reardon. "Tweave is originally from the area – we did dyeing and finishing in Fall River and weaving next-door in New Bedford. It's like coming full circle." Maybe the region is too. Susan Mocarski, owner of Cleverhood is hopeful. As a Made in USA brand she found production for her performance rain capes in in Fall River. "There is a genuine sewing community here, but it is still difficult to get workers," Mocarski explains. "Pattern makers are few and far between. Finding a very high level of sewing is hard – but that is true in many places." Yet Mocarski says, "There is a sense of hope that I don't see in other places – even in neighboring New Bedford. There the community is rooted in the fishing industry, which is gone and not coming back. Fall River is rooted in textiles, and the feeling now is that Fall River could do it again. It's not like clothing has gone away, with apparel there is a vitality." Hilderbrand agrees. "Five years ago I had a gut feeling about USA-made. I sensed consumer behavior changing along with how companies were selling. Consumers are buying from companies they feel good about with 'traceable stories.' Our society is ready for this." Says Honeycutt, "I think there is all kinds of opportunity here. People can have $100 million businesses in this City. Its just the will to do it." O New workforce training programs are contributing to a growing community of local manufacturing and helping to boost Fall River's revival efforts. textileinsight.com November/December 2017 ~ Textile Insight • 17 Fall River is rooted in textiles, and the feeling now is that Fall River could do it again." Susan Mocarski Cleverhood Marcbela (Marc N. Belanger)

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Textile Insight - November / December 2017