Hudson plant to produce fabrics for Malden Mills' new product line
But by the 1990s, the name was one that most people associated with Polartec, the synthetic fleece fabric that lines many winter coats, gloves and hats to this day.
Company CEO Gary Smith said the latest venture provided a welcome chance for the company to return to its roots.
According to Allison Spahr, Polartec vice president of global design, the project had been in the works for the past two years, following the launch of a waterproof, breathable version of the popular fleece fabric.
In 1981, Polartec, in partnership with Patagonia, revolutionized cold weather apparel with its invention of modern synthetic fleece. The technology used to create these fabrics evolved from the know-how of Polartec's engineers running the upholstery knitting machines.
Smith said the fabric-weaving machines used in Hudson are ideal to produce the plush, soft velvet upholstery offerings included in the new product line.
As the knitting business spreads overseas, Polartec officials said they hope the new upholstery line will help them adapt to a changing market for their products.
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