WASHINGTON—An industry coalition representing the full spectrum of domestic personal protective equipment (PPE) production released a statement today outlining policy principles and objectives needed for reshoring and safeguarding domestic PPE manufacturing.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which exposed severe shortages in our nation’s PPE supply and an overreliance on foreign sourced products, underscores how important it is for the U.S. government to incentivize, support and maintain domestic manufacturing capacity for PPE.

Our association members, encompassing every segment of the U.S. textile, apparel and PPE supply chain, as well as unions representing workers, acted swiftly to convert manufacturing facilities and build supply chains virtually overnight to produce desperately needed PPE.

“We are united in our support of important principles that must be adopted in order to address our current public health needs and guarantee our nation is better prepared to respond to future emergencies,” the 21 associations said in the joint statement.

The associations are calling on Congress and the Trump administration to adopt principles outlined in the statement through legislation, executive order and other appropriate means.

See the full joint statement and principles here.

The statement was signed by the following organizations. Please see relevant contacts where provided:

  • Alliance for American Manufacturing
  • American Iron and Steel Institute
  • American Sheep Institute
  • Coalition for a Prosperous America
  • Georgia Association of Manufacturers
  • Hand Tools Institute
  • INDA: Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry
  • Narrow Fabrics Institute
  • National Cotton Council
  • National Council of Textile Organizations
  • Parachute Industry Association
  • Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network
  • SEAMS: Association of the U.S. Sewn Products Industry
  • SEIU
  • South Carolina Textile Council
  • U.S. Industrial Fabrics Institute
  • United States Footwear Manufacturers Association
  • United Steelworkers
  • Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition
  • Workers United/SEIU





Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091


Coalition for a Prosperous America

Melissa Tallman, (202) 688-5145 ext. 3

National Cotton Council

Marjory L. Walker, (901) 274-9030

Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network

Michael M. Woody, (401) 331-8483

SEAMS: Association of the U.S. Sewn Products Industry

Will Duncan, (803) 642-1111

Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition

David Costello, (617) 875-2492


WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) is honored to congratulate Mr. William “Bill” V. McCrary Jr. on a significant tenure – celebrating 50 years of employment in the U.S. textile industry with William Barnet & Son, LLC, a synthetic fiber/yarn/polymer firm headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C. with plants and/or offices in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Bill McCrary joined William Barnet & Son, LLC on July 1, 1970. He now serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for the company, a position he has held since 2001.

“Bill McCrary is an outstanding leader in the textile industry – but, even more importantly, a wonderful human being.  Bill’s deep commitment to his company, employees and the entire community is a model for us all.  His strong voice advocating for manufacturing has benefited the entire industry and we are so very grateful for his outstanding service,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas.

Throughout his career at Barnet, McCrary has also demonstrated strong leadership on behalf of the broader U.S. textile industry by serving as NCTO chairman from 2017-18, after having served as NCTO vice chairman the prior year. He also served for three years on NCTO’s Board of Directors before moving into his current role as an officer.

Former NCTO President and CEO Auggie Tantillo, who headed the organization during Mr. McCrary’s leadership, said the following: “Bill McCrary seamlessly stepped into the role of NCTO chairman and national leader of the U.S. textile industry. The power of his intellect and the persuasiveness of his personality were an invaluable asset to our industry and workforce on numerous policy matters. The entire U.S. textile sector owes him a great debt of gratitude for his effectiveness, professionalism and dedication to our industry.”

Mr. McCrary’s career includes leadership positions with various other industry associations, such as Chairman of the American Fiber Manufacturers Association and Chairman of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance. He is the 2016 recipient of the Roger Milliken Defender of Manufacturing Award, a member of the Palmetto Business Forum, and a graduate of Duke University. McCrary is a dedicated resident of Greenville, SC, where he has dedicated his time to numerous initiatives developed for the benefit of the community, including the institution of the McCrary Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit within the Greenville Hospital System and the Phase II expansion of Cancer Survivors Park.

NCTO congratulates and thanks William “Bill” McCrary on a long and productive career that has benefited not only his organization and community, but the U.S. textile industry on the whole.




NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.


  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 585,240 in 2019.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $75.8 billion in 2019.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $29.1 billion in 2019.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.5 billion in 2018, the last year for which data is available.



CONTACT: Rebecca Tantillo



NCTO Announces Winner of the 2020 Paul T. O’Day Memorial Scholarship

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council of Textile Organization’s (NCTO) Fiber Council announces Lauren Biggs of Charlotte, NC as the recipient of the 2020 Paul T. O’Day Scholarship Award.  She is the daughter of Sheila Price and Alexander Graham Biggs, III, who is employed by Unifi, Inc.

Ms. Biggs graduated in June with high honors from Myers Park High School.  She will attend the University of South Carolina entering the program for Computer Science this fall.  She is grateful to the NCTO Paul T. O’Day Scholarship Committee for choosing her as this year’s scholarship recipient stating, “Your generosity is truly humbling and greatly appreciated. Being awarded the Paul T. O’Day Scholarship will make a huge difference in my finances while I work to achieve my goal of becoming a creative problem solver, leader and innovator in the fiber industry just as Mr. O’Day was for so many years.  Thank you again for this honor.  I hope to one day give back to those who gave so much.”

NCTO Fiber Council Chairman David Poston, President of Palmetto Synthetics LLC, commented, “We are pleased to recognize Ms. Biggs’s record of achievements and passion for learning as we name her the 2020 recipient of our Paul T. O’Day Memorial Scholarship.  On behalf of the Fiber Council, we congratulate Ms. Biggs and wish her continued success in her academic career.”

The scholarship program was created in 2014 in honor of Paul T. O’Day who served as President of the American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA) for more than three decades. The Association merged with the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) in April 2018, and NCTO’s Fiber Council now administers the scholarship program.  Recipients receive a $5,000 award each year, totaling $20,000 for four years of study.  Sons or daughters of NCTO’s Fiber Council member company employees are eligible to apply.


NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 585,240 in 2019.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $75.8 billion in 2019.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $29.1 billion in 2019.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.5 billion in 2018, the last year for which data is available.

# # #


CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091


NCTO Elects South Carolina Yarn Manufacturing CEO as Chairman – Council Chairs & Board Members Elected

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished sewn products, held its officer elections for fiscal year 2020 today.

In addition to the appointment of a new chairman and vice chairman, NCTO elected chairs for each of its four councils. NCTO is comprised of four councils to ensure a broad representation of the industry supply chain. Each council has an allotted number of members who are elected to the association’s Board of Directors, in addition to the Executive Committee.

“I am pleased to announce our new officers, council chairs, and board and executive committee members for NCTO’s 2020 fiscal year,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “David Roberts (CEO of Cap Yarns) has been elected our new chairman and succeeds Leib Oehmig (CEO of Glen Raven Inc.), who did an outstanding job serving in the role for more than a year.”

“This is a critical juncture for our industry as we continue to navigate through an uncertain business environment this year. I could not be prouder of our industry, which has stepped up and retooled to produce critical personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic. With the support of our newly elected officers, NCTO will continue to work on behalf of its members to shape policies that will help our industry persevere and thrive. Through a dedicated association staff and a committed group of industry leaders, we will ensure that together we continue to have a seat at the table in Washington.”


Elected as NCTO Chairman and Vice Chairman for 2020 are:

  • Chairman – David Roberts, CEO of Cap Yarns, Inc.
    • Roberts is CEO of Cap Yarns, Inc., based in Clover, South Carolina. Cap Yarns is a specialty yarn manufacturer and a leader in developing unique yarns for the knitting and weaving industry.
  •  Vice Chairman – David Poston, President of Palmetto Synthetics LLC
    • Poston is President of Palmetto Synthetics, based in Kingstree, South Carolina. Palmetto Synthetics is a leading specialty synthetic fiber producer that has provided specialty thermoplastic fibers to companies across the globe.


Elected to the NCTO Board of Directors during the various Council meetings were the following:

Fiber Council – Lowell Bivens of PHP Fibers; John Freeman of Nan Ya Plastics America; Chuck Hall of William Barnet & Son; Rich Lemerise of The LYCRA Company; Alejandro Sanchez of DAK Americas; and Chip Stein of Stein Fibers

Yarn Council – Jim Booterbaugh of National Spinning Co.; Tom Caudle of Unifi; Charles Heilig of Parkdale Mills; Peter Iliopoulos of Gildan; Marty Moran of Buhler Quality Yarns Corporation; and Allen Smith of American & Efird

Fabric and Home Furnishings Council – Norman Chapman of Inman Mills; Kathie Leonard of Auburn Manufacturing; Chad McAllister of Milliken & Company; Leib Oehmig of Glen Raven, Inc.; Dirk Pieper of Sage Automotive Interiors; and Mike Shelton of Valdese Weavers

Industry Support Council – Cyril Guerin of Picanol; Ian Mills of Fi-Tech; and Gary Romanstine of Marzoli


Elected by their respective Councils to serve on the Executive Committee were:

Lowell Bivens of PHP Fibers; John Freeman of Nan Ya; Tom Caudle of Unifi; Peter Iliopoulos of Gildan; Norman Chapman of Inman Mills; Leib Oehmig of Glen Raven Inc.; and Ian Mills of Fi-Tech


Elected to chair the Councils:

Fiber Council: David Poston of Palmetto Synthetics

Yarn Council: Marty Moran of Buhler Quality Yarns Corporation

Fabric and Home Furnishings Council: Leib Oehmig of Glen Raven, Inc.

Industry Support Council: Ian Mills of Fi-Tech


NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.


  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 585,240 in 2019.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $75.8 billion in 2019.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $29.1 billion in 2019.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.5 billion in 2018, the last year for which data is available.


CONTACT: Kristi Ellis






Glen Raven and Trivantage Customers Making an Impact on PPE Production

American small businesses, entrepreneurs and inventors, driven by the desire to contribute to the greater good of the country, are stepping up to produce personal protective equipment (PPE), such as face shields and gowns, for frontline health care workers battling the spread of the COVID-19 disease.

On several fronts, the U.S. textile industry has united to play a critical role in the production of PPE products for the nation.

One North Carolina textile company, Glen Raven Inc., has become a major player behind the scenes, working with its customer base who traditionally cut and sew products such as awnings, tents, furniture and cushions– to scale up production of highly needed face shields and gowns.

The 140-year-old performance fabric manufacturer with six manufacturing facilities in North Carolina, South Carolina and Pennsylvania, along with 12 distribution facilities in 11 states, has stepped into the PPE game and is having a major impact.

Glen Raven has participated in discussions between hospital groups and health care organizations and its customers, while also organizing frequent calls to discuss bests practices, materials, suppliers, and the best ways to get the product to market.

Companies like Hoover Architectural Products in Florida, Chair Care Patio in Texas and Rainier Ltd. in Washington state are just a few of its customers that have tapped their talented workforce to innovate and create new designs for PPE products for their local hospitals, health care workers and communities.

“This effort has been a collective undertaking among all of Glen Raven’s business units. From day one, our entire company has been laser-focused on collaborating with organizations like the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), and healthcare systems across the country to help identify Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) needs.  The ultimate goal was to identify, engage and leverage the capabilities of our industry in an effort to supplement demand for critical PPE products,” said Bret Kelley, vice president of sales, Trivantage.  “Together we are more powerful, and through collaboration with healthcare agencies, hospitals, our customers, suppliers, and other groups we are able to make a greater impact. Through our collective efforts, we hope to help keep first responders, and front-line workers safe and assist our customers in putting people back to work.  We are hopeful this process will result in sustainable longer-term benefits for the healthcare industry and our industry by developing a more robust domestic supply base for PPE.”

While there are many stories, five Glen Raven/Trivantage customers have shared their stories and experiences below.

They have innovated and created new designs—often equal to or better than the medical products currently on the market– by finding new ways to use fabrics and materials traditionally used for outdoor and industrial applications. Their collective voices underscore the importance of maintaining and cultivating a domestic apparel, textile and industrial supply chain and minimizing the country’s reliance on foreign imports during a global crisis.


Chair Care Patio

For the past 32 years, Debby Martz’s company, Chair Care Patio, has carved a niche in patio furniture repair and custom cushion and pillow designs in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

“We started this business as a hobby in our garage in 1988,” Martz said. “We were repairing patio furniture with vinyl straps and over the years we took it from the garage to 30,000 square feet of space in Dallas. We started with one sewing machine making replacement slings for our local Dallas/Fort Worth customers and that grew and grew to patio shops buying wholesale from us and an online business of custom designed cushions, pillows and slings.”

But over the course of just one month, the COVID-19 pandemic has put her company– along with tens of thousands of other American small businesses– to the test

Instead of shuttering her business, Martz met the challenge head on.

First approached by a local hospital, Martz said she started making prototypes of face shields, and later protective gowns, to help frontline health care workers battling the spread of the disease.

She tapped into a diverse cushion fabric inventory and started experimenting with new fabrications for gowns while also using vinyl materials and foams for face shields.

PPE production in Chair Care Patio factory

Today, Martz is working through an order for 20,000 face shields from Baylor, Scott and White Hospital in Dallas, which has a network of 400 hospitals in north Texas.

Chair Care Patio is now turning out 1,500 protective gowns and 1,000 face shields a day to fulfill the order, she said.x

In the past month, Martz purchased 14 new three-needle and four-needle surgers and has also hired 10-12 new sewers to her existing workforce, while carefully considering expanding her business over the long term.

“We have proven we can make things in America with a high quality and at a reasonable price,” Martz said. “I think we need to source material and goods in the United States and bring it all back to the United States to manufacture products like this and not be so dependent on imports from other countries.”

It has been a gratifying experience to help hospitals and keep her current staff employed, while adding new employees to the staff, she said.

“I think we need to get back to that manufacturing base of sewing and manufacturing because we can,” she noted. “We figured it out because we were forced to figure it out.”


Hoover Architectural Products

Hoover Architectural Products, a leading metal and fabric awnings manufacturer  founded in 1949, with locations in Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has made fabric awnings for the past 71 years and recently diversified into metal and other products for its customers.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Hoover had 44 employees but like so many other companies, it has had to lay off part of its workforce, said Matt Carroll, a third- generation owner.

The company’s traditional customer base ranges from general contractors to government and defense contractors as well as commercial customers such as The Cheesecake Factory, as well as residential, hotels, restaurants, resorts and shopping plazas.

Carroll said he was watching television with his son and heard about the need for face shields. His son, who told him he could make the face shields, was the initial catalyst behind his move into producing the PPE product.

Face shield production at Hoover Architectural Products

An inventor at heart—Carroll has a patented product set to hit the market later this year known as Wiper Fill, which filters rain water, turns it into wiper fluid or antifreeze, and deposits it into an vehicle’s wiper fluid tanks—he reached out to Kelley at Trivantage and heard about other fabricators who were starting to make face shields.

In just two short days, he had come up with the prototype and design that he is making now—a flexible, face shield with foam cushion that rolls up into a two-inch diameter tube. Putting his inventor instinct to work, Carroll utilized marine and awning grade clear vinyl that is scratch resistant and cleanable, foam cushions and Velcro brand straps.

“I was talking to nurses who said every time they turned their heads, the traditional face shields they use would hit their shoulder and fall off because of the hard plastic rigidity to them,” he said.

Carroll said he has the capacity to make 7,500 to 10,000 face shields a day and has currently made about 2,000 for local contractors and a medical health care facility, as well as orders for single-use by private companies.

He is also bidding on very large contracts of between 300,000 to 800,000 units and working with local hospital systems.

“As far as my philosophy of working through this time, we have given away more shields than we have sold, because there is so much red tape [on securing orders],” he said. “It is more important to me to be a good partner within our community than to make money. I do want to keep my employees busy and make sure they have a paycheck but it is as equally important to take care of our community.”

Carroll said collaboration with other fabricators and Trivantage has been important. The companies have shared designs, raw material suppliers and even cutting templates in the spirit of providing first responders with critical supplies.

The supply chain of fabricators with cut and sew operations in the U.S. is extensive.  They can be competitive on pricing and provide much needed supply, he said.

“If anything, this is going to teach us a good lesson to be a little more prepared,” he noted. “Build a stockpile, yes, but also be better prepared; know who the manufacturers are; have them pre-certified and screened and they will be able to flip a switch and go. It is critical for our nation’s security.”

Carroll echoed the sentiment of other American small business owners—that it is critical to maintain and prepare the country’s domestic supply chain for future threats.

“If we can’t take care of our own needs, then we’re not as strong as we could be as a nation,” he said. “Buying U.S. products from manufacturers that are local, sourcing local is important. It doesn’t make sense, in my opinion, for California state to be buying from a company in Florida when there are numerous local manufacturers.”


Rainier Industries Ltd.

Rainier Industries is an historic Seattle, Washington-based tent, awning and graphics company that has been producing products in the Pacific Northwest since 1896.

The company has three divisions—shelter, shade and display, including commercial and residential awnings, tents and industrial sewn products and a graphics print business.

Scott Campbell, president of Rainier Industries

Employing 250 people when operating at full capacity, Rainier has two plants in the Seattle area, as well as an assembly plant in North Carolina.

Scott Campbell, president of Rainier, said his existing tent and shelter business has been in high demand during the crisis, particularly for use as temporary shelters in the emergency hospital space.

Although the demand has also been high for sewn masks, Campbell said he could not take on additional business because his fabrics business is at full capacity due to the demand for emergency tent products.

But he jumped at the opportunity to develop prototypes for face shields and has been part of the shared discussions and collaboration involving fabricators, hospital systems, Glen Raven and Trivantage.

Companies worked on their own proprietary designs for face shields with different cost structures and designs, found ways to collaborate on suppliers and designs and taking the product to market.

“I really appreciate Bret, Trivantage and Glen Raven collaborating with us in taking face shields to market,” he said.

Rainier has sold 20,000 units of the clear vinyl face shields. The company’s largest customer to date has been the Department of General Services, Procurement division for the state of California, and it also selling the face shields to local hospitals.

“The demand is so high for face shields and they are primarily disposable at a low price point,” he said. “We are not making any money but we are keeping our people employed.”

Rainier is also launching a web-based store to sell its face shields but Campbell said he is uncertain whether this will develop into a long-term business for the company.

“We don’t want to get too deep into this and end up with a lot of inventory,” he said, echoing concerns shared by small business owners across the country.

Small business owners are facing serious challenges, including furloughing workers until business picks up, keeping on as many employees as possible, and developing PPE prototypes for products such as face shields, that have never been a part of their business plans.

“In general, there is no clear path in front of us. If business is shut down too long, the economic damage accelerates but if we bring them back too soon, you have health issues to worry about,” he said. “It is really difficult to do business planning and forecasting with a huge variety of unknowns.”

The silver lining, he said, has been developing new products, such as the face shield, which has generated healthy competition among his employees and could still evolve into a new business opportunity.


CCP Manufacturing

CCP Manufacturing is a custom manufacturer of canvas and vinyl products, providing contract sewing services for a variety of industries, including the athletics, medical, industrial, military and transportation areas.

Founded in 1965, the company has grown and diversified and has existing production in the medical field with its healthcare products line, which incorporates high-quality antimicrobial fabrics.

Jan Kellogg, president and owner of CCP Manufacturing

Face shields were not part of the company’s production line until COVID-19 hit but the company has an existing medical production line, said Jan Kellogg, president of CCP and a third-generation owner.

Tapping into her medical products, which includes a line of radiology straps for hospitals, Kellogg said she has used sewing capacity and materials to fabricate the face shields.

“We also took materials that we might use for windows—clear vinyl for curtain walls—and used them for the shield,” she said. “We have elastic that we use for the medical products that we manufacture and we utilized that as well.”

She estimates the company is now producing between 4,000 to 5,000 face shields per week for local hospitals and office groups in Ohio.

“We are doing this for two reasons: 1. To help people who need them and 2. To give our employees continued employment and a meaningful task at the same time,” she said.

Kellogg said it is easier to get the face shields into the hands of people locally, who are quick to make a decision to purchase.

Her response to healthcare groups and hospital associations who are looking for much larger quantities, is to let them know she is capable of supplying a portion of an order and works to see how her company can be part of the solution.

“We are very happy to be part of that whole process,” she said. “It revolves around innovation and openness to how to come to a solution for this new and different problem that we have never faced before.”

Kellogg has weathered economic downturns in the past, particularly the housing crisis of 2008 and 2009 that led to the Great Recession.

Her philosophy: “You come up with ideas like we did today and you move forward—and take care of your people.”


J Miller Canvas LLC 

For the past 25 years, J Miller Canvas LLC/Inc. in Santa Ana, California has manufactured architectural fabric structures, including tension umbrellas and retractable restaurant canopies; but the swift impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. economy has turned the company into manufacturers of PPE face shields overnight.

Dan Neill, principal of J Miller Canvas, said he bought the company with his business partner nearly two years ago.  The company works with developers and architects and manufactures architectural fabric structures for a variety of commercial market segments.

Neill recently learned that Providence St. Joseph Health (a group operating six to seven hospitals), was utilizing hospital volunteers to manufacture the shields and felt with the help of J Miller Canvas manufacturing the shields, the hospital volunteers could utilize their services in other areas.

“We went into the back and told our guys we needed to make shields. We put a couple of examples up on the screen, Googled face shields and let them go to town,” Neill said.

His team ran through 30 different design ideas and overcame various material supply challenges. But once they finally landed on the right design, production of the first face shields could begin.

Face shield assembly station at J Miller Canvas LLC

After delivering its first prototype, J Miller Canvas received an order for 10,000 units from St. Joseph’s and was manufacturing 500 to 750 face shields per day. Production has been put on hold currently, as the initial supply demand was met earlier than expected; but is expected to start up again very soon.

The face shields, comprised of a 20-gauge clear vinyl material with a one-inch square foam for the forehead and elastic band that holds the shield to the face, are primarily used for drive-up testing sites and other non-surgical activities in hospitals.

“Bret Kelley at Trivantage has been ‘essential’ in facilitating connections between our industry and hospital groups”, he added. “He has been a huge leader, telling hospitals ‘we have guys out here who can help and here is their name and number.’”

“We’ve never seen anything quite like this,” Neill said of the COVID-19 pandemic. “This is going to be something for the history books. We will be talking about April 2020—the year the world shut down.”

But it will also be considered the year U.S. small businesses turned their know-how, creativity and innovation into action and retooled production lines or used existing materials to rush to the aid of the nation and frontline health care workers in need of critical PPE products.

“Our workers have taken ownership of the face shields,” he said (noting the company employs 22 people). “Our whole goal is to keep these guys employed. They are the lifeline.”


NCTO Urges Government to Institute Buy American Policy to Boost Manufacturing of Personal Protective Equipment

WASHINGTON, DC– National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement today, urging the government to institute Buy American policy changes to help bolster U.S. manufacturers producing personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If the government is sincere about reconstituting a U.S. production chain for medical personal protective equipment (PPE) to resolve the drastic shortages we are experiencing during the current pandemic, it is going to have to make key policy changes to help incentivize domestic production. A strong Buy American mandate for these vital healthcare materials needs to be instituted for all federal agencies, coupled with other reasonable production incentives, to help ensure a strong U.S.  manufacturing base for these essential products.

Our government already has an existing example of such a mandate that serves as an excellent model. The U.S. Department of Defense operates under a fiber-to-finished product Buy American rule for military textiles. This rule ensures that the vital textile materials our U.S. warfighters depend upon, come from a secure domestic production chain that cannot be severed during a military emergency by offshore entities.

There is a bipartisan call for action as members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have begun to acknowledge the need for these types of reasonable and essential policy changes.

Expanding domestic purchase requirements through Executive Order and other legislative initiatives will ensure that PPE production through U.S. supply chains that have been created overnight don’t evaporate as soon as this crisis is over.

In the midst of the crisis, our failure to confront this challenge will allow for a repeat of the sins of the past that allowed sourcing agents to offshore the entire production of medical PPE in search of lucrative profits. While chasing the lowest cost import may have seemed cost effective at the time, these past few months have demonstrated that we paid a deadly price through this approach by jeopardizing the very lives of frontline medical personnel that are fighting the pandemic.

This is a national security issue. It’s also a vital healthcare issue and it is decision time for U.S. policymakers. If our country is to be prepared for future deadly pandemics such as the one it is now facing, reasonable policy changes need to be implemented to ensure that we strengthen our domestic supply chain to address America’s security, safety and healthcare requirements.


NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 585,240 in 2019.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $75.8 billion in 2019.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $29.1 billion in 2019.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.5 billion in 2018, the last year for which data is available.




CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091

NCTO, Textile Executives Back July 1 Implementation of USMCA

WASHINGTON, DC– The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber though finished sewn products, issued a statement today with textile executives stressing the critical importance of moving ahead with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and lauding U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for setting July 1 as the implementation date now that the U.S. has taken the necessary final procedural steps.

“We commend Ambassador Lighthizer for moving forward with USMCA, a critical trade deal that will greatly benefit the U.S. textile industry at a time when domestic producers–facing significant challenges due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic–have mobilized to convert their production lines to manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers during this crisis,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas.

“Sustaining the $20 billion in apparel and textile trilateral trade between the U.S., Mexico and Canada is absolutely critical at this time. USMCA, which makes several key improvements over the former North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will go a long way to increasing the textile industry’s exports, as well as investments and capacity in the U.S. We need to maintain and expand a Western Hemisphere supply chain to meet national emergencies head on in the future,” Glas added.

Mexico and Canada are the two largest export markets for the U.S. textile and apparel industry, totaling nearly $11.3 billion in 2019.

“I think USMCA is vitally important. It provides this hemisphere with production capabilities to counter Asia and other developing areas,” said Jay Self, president and CEO of Greenwood Mills. “The improved trade agreement offers speed to market and that is such a critical factor not only for our traditional fabric business, but also for our production of face masks and gowns for frontline workers battling the coronavirus. Anything we do to make this hemisphere more competitive is to our advantage.”

Greenwood Mills, a family-owned textile company in Greenwood, S.C., has converted its denim jeans production at a factory in Mexico to PPE production of non-medical face masks and hospital gowns.

“USMCA creates more certainty in the Western Hemisphere and allows us to have a vision of how to continue to build the domestic textile platform and supply chain, while giving us the confidence to re-invest,” said Cameron Hamrick, president of Hamrick Mills. “This trade agreement makes several improvements, and our hope is it will spur more investment in the Western Hemisphere. Now is the time more than ever to have a strong regional supply chain in the Western Hemisphere.”

Hamrick Mills is a 119-year-old company based in Gaffney, S.C. and producer of greige woven fabrics in both polyester/cotton blends as well as 100% cotton. The company has also pivoted to PPE production to help frontline workers.

“Localized cooperation up and down the supply chain is of paramount importance to securing our economy in a predictable manner and as a model for increased investment for all stakeholders,” said James W. McKinnon, CEO of Cotswold Industries, Inc. “The implementation of USMCA is critical to the continued health and growth of the U.S. textile industry and our regional manufacturing partners. It’s times like this that highlight the importance of a robust regional manufacturing base in the Western Hemisphere.”

Cotswold Industries is a vertically-integrated textile engineering and marketing company that manufactures and distributes technical barriers, knitted and woven industrial fabrics and non-woven substrates, many of which the company has utilized for the production of PPE products.

NCTO worked with the administration during negotiations on USMCA and successfully lobbied for several provisions and improvements that were subsequently incorporated in the trade deal that will close loopholes and strengthen U.S. Customs enforcement.


NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.


  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 585,240 in 2019.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $75.8 billion in 2019.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $29.1 billion in 2019.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.5 billion in 2018, the last year for which data is available.



CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091





NCTO Statement on Administration’s 90-Day Tariff Deferral

WASHINGTONThe National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished products, issued a statement from NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas today, voicing concern over the administration’s executive order instituting a non-reciprocal 90-day deferral on certain tariffs. The temporary postponement of duties does not apply to products with antidumping or countervailing duties or those products subject to penalty duties under Section 232, 201 and 301.  As further details of the order emerge, we are closely reviewing the implications for the U.S. textile industry.

“At a time when domestic textile producers and its workforce have mobilized to transform their production lines to manufacture the personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies for frontline healthcare and medical workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, the administration’s decision to defer duties for 90 days on the vast majority of products imported into the United States is counterproductive.

This move contradicts the administration’s top stated priority of rebuilding American manufacturing and buying American and could have severe negative implications for the entire U.S. textile industry, whose companies and workforce already are facing enormous economic hardship.

We support the need to temporarily eliminate barriers to the entry of emergency medical supplies and certain PPE inputs tied directly to the COVID-19 response. But make no mistake, the key drivers behind efforts to defer tariffs have nothing to do with facilitating access to PPE products or stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Our industry is being asked to do extraordinary things.  We are heeding that call, but we need help to ensure the supply chains we are creating overnight don’t evaporate tomorrow.  We need strong procurement policies and additional funding for our industries to ramp up and retool – not further measures that incentivize offshore production. We need to maximize the U.S. domestic production chain right now to every extent possible in helping fight COVID-19 and make the products American frontline workers desperately need.

We need to provide immediate and substantial relief to our manufacturing sector and their workforce who are suffering enormously right now. It’s critical that we have a long-term U.S. government plan to ensure that we aren’t relying on offshore producers to make medically necessary, live-saving PPE.  We shouldn’t be providing handouts to reward the very companies that helped offshore these industries so many years ago.

Tariffs are one of the few mechanisms in place to help partially address the challenges U.S. manufacturers face in competing with imports from countries with exceptionally low wages, poor working conditions, and minimal environmental and safety standards.”


NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 585,240 in 2019.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $75.8 billion in 2019.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $29.1 billion in 2019.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.5 billion in 2018, the last year for which data is available.


CONTACT: Kristi Ellis




Milliken & Company Mobilizing Production of Medical Textiles in Battle against COVID-19

Jeff Morris, Senior Vice President, Protective Fabrics at Milliken

Jeff Morris, senior vice president, Protective Fabrics at Milliken

Milliken & Company (Spartanburg, SC) is rapidly mobilizing on several fronts to ramp up production of newly engineered fabrics and inputs for personal protective equipment (PPE) to support healthcare workers in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 disease.

Jeff Morris, senior vice president of protective fabrics at Milliken, is co-leading the company’s Medical Fabrics Task Force, coordinating efforts across Milliken’s Textile Division as well as tapping networks to repurpose existing fabrics for PPE products.

Morris said the divisional task force is “engaging all elements of our business to utilize our in-house capabilities in order to meet the needs created by COVID-19, especially those of our healthcare workers.”

A key part of Milliken’s strategy is increasing production of its patented BioSmart® fabric, which uses bleach-activated technology to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria.

Milliken is also working across the division to repurpose fabrics and get them into production with a network of cut and sew operations to produce several medical textile products.

Morris said, “In a very short period of time, Milliken has taken existing products in our portfolio and repurposed them to meet certain standards” of The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) for Levels 1-2.

Scaling up Production of Anti-microbial BioSmart® Fabric

Milliken, a global diversified manufacturer, has ramped up domestic production of its BioSmart fabric during the coronavirus crisis. The advanced material integrates anti-microbial protection into a wide range of medical products including scrubs, lab coats and privacy curtains.

The company’s Biosmart fabric, first launched in 2007, is a patented bleach-activated technology that turns textiles into another layer of defense against microbial exposure.

Production of Milliken's BioSmart fabric.

Production of Milliken’s BioSmart fabric.

Morris pointed to a 60 Minutes interview with a doctor, who discussed the routine he goes through each night to protect his family from contracting the disease. He puts his scrubs in a bag, drops them into the wash and sterilizes them with Clorox bleach, while also showering to remove any potential traces of the virus from the hospital.

“This is where Milliken’s anti-microbial technology can add value,” Morris said. “Our BioSmart product is a textile enhancement. We apply BioSmart technology on fabrics for scrubs, lab coats, face masks and hospital privacy curtains. BioSmart binds chlorine to fabric, so if the doctor is washing a garment in chlorine bleach, they are now going to recharge the chlorine protection to the surface of that garment, which will give them an added level of protection.”

“You are putting another barrier between you and that virus potentially spreading to the next person,” he added.

Milliken Increases Production of Advanced Medical PPE

Another prong of Milliken’s PPE strategy is engineering textiles into medical-grade fabrics for Level 1 and 2 gowns.

The company is now manufacturing new critical barrier protection fabrics to be used in gowns and headcovers for health care professionals and is also researching and developing material inputs for face masks, Milliken said in a press release.

“Our team of scientists and developers are fully engaged, uncovering solutions to address critical medical and protective needs for those fighting on the front lines of this pandemic,” stated Chad McAllister, president of Milliken’s Textile Division and EVP, Milliken & Company.

The new innovations complement an existing range of products that can be used for temporary shelters and privacy dividers for transitory field hospitals.

Milliken’s advanced medical fabrics and barriers meet the Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 ANSI/AAMI/PB70 Standard and are used in gowns in minimal-risk, low-risk and moderate-risk situations.


Behind the Scenes of a Textile Giant–Repurposing Fabrics for PPE

Morris said Milliken has been working diligently to convert fabrics and greige goods to get them to the level of protection that is useful in the healthcare space.

“We turned this thing pretty quickly-in about a week’s time. We went from having a minimal offering to an offering in almost a week,” he added.

Milliken teams have spent hours working remotely—to develop plans for pivoting existing in-house fabrics to materials for healthcare workers.

With graduations across the country on hiatus during the coronavirus crisis, Milliken, one of the largest producers of the fabric, has a portion of its inventory for PPE products.

“By adding unique chemistry and solutions through creative thinking, we are able to repurpose those fabrics to meet Level 1 and Level 2 protective products,” Morris said.

“There are two paths Milliken is going down. We are working on all fabrics for wearable garments [and converting them into Level 1 and Level 2 medical fabrics]. We are also looking at how we can transform materials from our nonwovens business, which has typically been for the automotive industry, into protective masks and gowns,” he said.

A worker sewing fabric for Level 1 gowns together

Morris said Milliken is working with cut and sewers to design hospital gowns to make them more wearable and “reusable” than the current disposal products.

Illustrating how the company is working with its traditional customer base, which primarily makes industrial workwear and flame-resistant garments, Morris pointed to a long-time customer in Cleveland, Ohio—National Safety Apparel—which has historically produced PPE products for electrical workers, industrial workers and other safety-oriented products.

Having been deemed “essential” by authorities, National Safety Apparel has converted its manufacturing to help supply the urgent needs of healthcare workers.  Milliken is providing Level 1-and 2 tested fabrics for NSA to produce protective gowns.

It is just one example of many where Milliken is working with traditional customers to supply fabrics for medical PPE products.

Milliken will continue to work with a network of cutting and sewing operations that are also repurposing their manufacturing lines from office furniture, automotive, upholstery, and industrial workwear products to medical textile products for the healthcare industry.

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) has been a “big facilitator in brokering with a number of cut and sewers,” Morris said. “These are cut and sewers that we don’t typically work with domestically who make men’s dress shirts, suits and tailored products. As these lines turn towards medical PPE, we are able to come alongside their efforts and supply critical fabrics.”

Ultimately the company’s goal is to develop a long-term, sustainable business.

“Milliken wants to help, and we’ve shifted to meet this immediate need,” Morris said. “As we move forward, there are a number of lessons industries can apply from this experience. You need to have diversity in your supply chain. You need to keep domestic manufacturing more viable. Furthermore, this has opened our eyes to the necessity of medical PPE at any time, something which inspires us to support both now and into the future. It is not always about the lowest price.”


WASHINGTONThe National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished products, issued a statement today from textile executives leading the nation’s unified effort to produce critical personal protective equipment (PPE) to help hospitals and healthcare workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

In factories across the country, textile companies are retooling production virtually overnight to produce PPE products ranging from hospital gowns, face masks and shoe covers to scrubs. The industry is playing a critical role in the nation’s manufacturing strategy and solution to help contribute to the high demand for these products.

“Coordinating with local hospitals, healthcare organizations, the entire U.S. production chain and federal agencies, the textile industry has been at the forefront of the incredible manufacturing effort, contributing to the country’s rapid response to the rising needs of frontline workers,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “This industry has taken the lead in this effort, utilizing American manufacturing facilities and workers, despite facing many challenges in this environment.  Our industry will continue to do all they can to serve the American people, frontline hospital workers and patients at this time.”

U.S. apparel and textile executives, representing the entire supply chain, from fiber to finished apparel, share their involvement in the monumental task of providing PPE products during challenging times.

The quotes—for use in any articles you are developing—from textile and apparel executives below offer a snapshot of efforts throughout the entire supply chain to provide PPE products for our nation.

As a demonstration of this effort, NCTO shares a few of the many stories emerging from our NCTO members at this time:

Beverly Knits Inc.

“Our team has stepped up to the challenge of fighting Covid-19 and flattening the curve,” said Ron Sytz, CEO of Beverly Knits. “We have organized a team of 25+ companies with over 4,000 American textile and apparel workers, to manufacture personal protective mask for HHS.  Through NCTO and SEAMS [The Association & Voice of the U.S. Sewn Products Industry] we continue to engage with additional companies to help fight this pandemic and flatten the curve.”

Burlington Industries LLC

“Burlington is proud to be a part of an industry with such compassion and call to action as we have seen over the last couple of weeks in the fight against COVID-19,” said Allen Smith, president Burlington, Safety Components & A&E – Americas. “With 40 years of experience in medical fabrics, Burlington is glad to offer its reusable woven products and technical expertise to those within and outside our industry who are stepping up to help produce lifesaving PPE.  Our employees are committed to the cause and working tirelessly in North Carolina to increase production, reallocate resources and support the evolving needs as much as possible.  Reusable fabrics are critical in reducing the scarcity of PPE and increasing availability on the front lines, offering responsible solutions with advanced protection, comfort and durability where it counts the most. Throughout our Elevate portfolio of brands we are also offering support through the use of A&E technical threads and utilizing our network of contacts and expertise across Cone Denim and Safety Components to make connections, offer guidance and facilitate meaningful conversations to support our communities and healthcare heroes.”

Cotswold Industries Inc.

“Cotswold and Central Textiles have pivoted to making PPE substrates for single use non-woven fabrics for and also for reusable PPE,” said James McKinnon CEO of Cotswold. “We have ramped our reusable fabric production and hope to produce 100-150K/week very shortly.”

Gildan Activewear Inc.

“We are pleased to join forces with various business partners in the U.S. to reopen some of Gildan’s global manufacturing facilities under a strict biosecurity protocol to produce face masks and isolation gowns in support of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chuck Ward, president of Gildan Yarns. “We are also proud to have donated a number of N95 protective face masks to local hospitals or health and human services organizations in the U.S. to support front line healthcare providers who continue to deliver exceptional care to patients and their families during this crisis,” he added.

Glen Raven Inc.

“The U.S. textile industry has emerged as a critical part of the solution in protecting our frontline workers from COVID-19,” said Leib Oehmig, Glen Raven CEO and NCTO chairman. “Through our collaborative efforts across the industry and with our employees, customers, suppliers and the medical community, the industry has retooled many operations and is supplying important PPE like masks, face shields, swabs, wipes, gowns and many other products. Glen Raven, through our business units, is actively working with our partners across many industries and have aligned our resources to focus on PPE inputs where we are in the best position to offer solutions. These include inputs for gowns, face shields, mask covers, and temporary structures. As part of our response, Glen Raven has organized a fabrication group with several of our customers who are producing face shields and gowns. This group is collaborating with hospital systems across the country to design and scale production of these important products.”

Greenwood Mills

“Venturing into a completely new territory in less than a week’s time was certainly a calculated risk, but one that we feel will pay off in the long run not just for our company, but for our larger community,” said Jay Self, president and chief operating officer of Greenwood Mills. “We have made the switch from denim production to masks and gowns. The first full week of production will result in about 30,000 masks. At full capacity, the company will produce 500,000 masks and 300,000 gowns per week, with flexibility depending on the demand of the products. It’s a testament to our workforce and ingenuity that we were able to make this transition happen so quickly.”

Hamrick Mills

“We at Hamrick Mills have dedicated a significant portion of our manufacturing capacity to the production of scrubs, gowns, masks, and related PPE,” said Jim Hopkins, director of sales at Hamrick. “We are considered and designated as an essential business concern and are intent on doing our share to assist those in need­ patients, front line first responders, and the general public, during this national crisis.”

Hanesbrands Inc.

“We are proud to be working with the apparel consortium and the National Council of Textile Organizations to rapidly mobilize to meet such an important and critical national need for face masks during this pandemic,” said Michael E. Faircloth, Hanesbrands group president, global operations, American casualwear and e-commerce. “Our employees and those of our consortium partners have been working around the clock to transition production from basic apparel to face mask production. This has required amazing cooperation and close coordination among the government, raw material suppliers, logistics providers and our supply chain employees. Together we are achieving a monumental task, which has resulted in the manufacture and delivery of millions of masks already with hundreds of millions more to come soon. Apparel industry leaders, particularly the consortium members, have successfully turned on a dime to meet the greater good of society.”

Lenzing Fibers Inc.

“Like many companies, Lenzing was working to understand exactly what was needed during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and we already had fibers in a variety of PPE applications,” said David Adkins, Lenzing commercial manager-Americas Textiles. “Thanks to the information provided by NCTO and several other industry organizations we were able to better clarify market needs and determine and provide appropriate products to fit the markets requirement.”

Milliken & Company

“Many of Milliken’s U.S. customers in the flame resistant, workwear, and industrial space have pivoted their operations to manufacture PPE,” shared Chad McAllister, president of the Milliken Textile Division and EVP of Milliken & Company. “When we saw a need to shift to medical grade textiles, our team quickly stepped up. As of today, we have scaled production of these new products so that together with our customers we can help protect medical workers.”

MMI Textiles Inc.

“For our part, MMI has been focusing on raw materials for all 4 gown levels, both immediate inventory and future production orders, N95 and personal protection masks, face shields and any other PPE raw material,” said Amy Bircher, president and founder of MMI.  “We successfully helped secure immediate raw material for Crye Precision, and they gave a shout out to us on a press conference with the Mayor of NYC.  We have secured finished masks to donate to local hospitals that we imported from overseas, and also bought face shields locally to donate.  MMI is stocking a variety of widths of elastic for use in a variety of PPE applications – our plan is to create a robust stock option so that customers can ultimately pull product for immediate delivery.”

Parkdale Inc.

“Parkdale has been an American company since 1916 and as such we feel a sense of duty and an obligation to answer our nation’s call for personal protective equipment,” said Anderson Warlick, Chairman and CEO of Parkdale. “We are proud to work with our industry colleagues as we work together to retool, re-equip and redirect our plants and supply chains so that every citizen in the United States gets a personal protection mask.”

Picanol of America

“The nature of Picanol of America, Inc., business is to support the U.S. textile industry, especially our weaving customers,” said Cyril Guérin, president of Picanol. “Spare parts, electronic repair and technical services are what we offer day in and day out. Throughout this ordeal, we have not skipped a beat, though the environment is clearly challenging. Our customers produce critical fabrics to be transformed in health care personnel uniform, mattress casing and sheets for the patients, and probably many other PPE. As long as our weaving customers will produce, we will stand by them.  This has created a tremendous amount of stress on our associates but their ‘forward looking’ attitude has been an inspiration. It is all about surviving this together.”

Schneider Mills

“Schneider Mills has been very active in the past few weeks in responding to many customer needs for fabric during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.  We have responded to hurried orders of fabric for the outdoor shelters you see outside medical facilities across America,” said Curt Parker, vice president of operations at Schneider Mills. “Demand in lightweight rip-stop fabrics being used for medical gowns and light weight tents has increased as well.  We are continuing to supply to the medical tape industry for 3M.  We are responding to a new customer for barrier fabrics in the medical end uses. We are pleased to be doing all we can to support our country in this war with COVID-19.  Our employees are putting forth great efforts in these changes as they occur rapidly.”

Shuford Yarns LLC

“Shuford makes yarn for several medical applications such as diabetic socks, gloves, cuffs for surgical gowns, towels going to the military through the Federal Prison industry. Shuford has been given a number of opportunities to participate in making yarns for PPE, surgical gowns etc…,” said Marvin Smith, president and CEO of Shuford. “We are working with a car manufacture who is making PPE for several hospitals in their local area. We also internally are using some of our people who are taking fabric from a few of customers and making PPE to give to people in our community.  With all the negatives in our country, our people have found ways to have a positive in our community.”

Standard Textile

“Our healthcare customers are on the front line of treating patients and saving lives, and we’re relentlessly working to ensure our customers and our communities have continuous access to essential supplies needed to safeguard the health of clinicians, patients, and their families,” said Gary Heiman, president and CEO of Standard Textile. Heiman is fiercely committed to manufacturing as much reusable PPE and other healthcare products as possible—as quickly as possible—to alleviate the stress placed upon the healthcare industry and support the fight against COVID-19.  “My concern is we are missing urgent collaboration opportunities with federal or state governments to allow us to serve healthcare workers who are at the frontline of this crisis,” said Heiman.

The Brickle Group

“The Brickle group will be starting production on a general everyday mask produced utilizing our filtration felt from our nonwoven division Bouckaert Industrial Textiles,” said Max Brickle, president of Brickle. “We have developed a supply chain of New England textile manufacturers to be able to produce these masks. The masks we are producing domestically are machine washable meant for everyday public use, not medical use. We are also involved in importing hospital grade PPE for the New England region.”

The LYCRA Company

“The LYCRA Company, the only spandex producer in the U.S., is proud to produce and supply LYCRA® fiber, nylon, and other quality fibers to our value chain customers during these unprecedented times,” said Julien Born, president, apparel for The LYCRA Company. “Now more than ever, the medical community and other frontline workers are in critical need of well-fitting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that helps keep them safe. We are encouraged by the quick action of many of our customers who have shifted production to produce masks and other protective devices. And with the inclusion of LYCRA® fiber, we hope to help our customers create a better wearer experience, so frontline workers can focus on what matters most – the health and wellness of our communities.”

TSG Finishing LLC

“We have just completed production trials on multiple non-medical woven upholstery fabrics which are now eligible for Level 1 and Level 2 (PPE) for gowns,” said Brian Rosenstein, CEO of TSG.  “We are getting ready to run full production on these.  The collaborative efforts of NCTO, IFAI, and INDA have been astounding. I am sure none of us feel we can move fast enough given this environment, but feel the entire textile industry has been very expeditious with response.”

Unifi Inc.

“We have more than 100 customers producing masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment needed by our first responders, medical personnel and military in the fight against COVID-19,” said Tom Caudle, president & chief operating officer of Unifi. “At Unifi, we’re proud to play a part in the fight by providing the fiber they need.”

Wearbest Weavers LLC

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shortage of necessary medical supplies, the mill has been successful in creating and pivoting their production to PPE textiles. I am very proud of our team effort to turn around our production so quickly,” said Greg Thomases, vice president of Wearbest parent company Swavelle.  “We are fortunate to have a U.S. mill that provides us the capability to produce PPE product. We’ve accomplished a lot in just a few weeks and plan to continue innovating through this unprecedented time. Our hope is to help meet the needs of thousands of frontline healthcare workers.”


NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 585,240 in 2019.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $75.8 billion in 2019.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $29.1 billion in 2019.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.5 billion in 2018, the last year for which data is available.



Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091