Monterey Mills buys competitor
JANESVILLE—Founded more than 50 years ago in a Beloit, a company now doing business in North Carolina once again has Rock County ownership.
Janesville-based Monterey Mills recently acquired Glenoit Fabrics of Tarboro, N.C. Monterey Mills' president said the move would strengthen the Janesville company, which was founded in 1965.
“They have the ability to do things we can't, and we have the ability do things they can't,” said Dan Sinykin, who in 2005 bought Monterey Mills, North America's largest sliver knitter and paint roller fabric supplier. “This merger will be very good for our company and present some new opportunities.”
Depending on the season, Monterey employs between 150 and 200 people at its plant on Delavan Drive in Janesville.
Sinykin said Monterey Mills would invest in Glenoit's workers and infrastructure to gain a greater share of the growing sliver knitting industry. Monterey now has an estimated 60 percent market share, he said.
“The acquisition of Glenoit gives Monterey an important presence in the heart of America's textile industry,” Sinykin said. “Although Glenoit is a mere shell of its past—going from 1,100 people in 1997 to less than 50 in the factory today—my vision is to turn that trend around, add jobs in Tarboro and leverage the 'Made in America' brand.”
Sinykin said the United States had dozens of sliver knitting mills years ago. Today, there are only four.
He said one way to compete with the growing overseas manufacturers is to share knowledge and trade secrets.
“We ship our fabric all over the world, so we are confident we can compete and win against any sliver knitting mill anywhere,” Sinykin said. “We must invest in innovation and research and development to prove to our customers that our workers make the best products and are committed to helping them build their businesses.”
Sinykin plans to make sliver knitting a larger part of Glenoit's future.
Sliver knitting is fabric with a wide range of uses, from paint rollers to apparel applications such as faux fur coats or fleece for outerwear jackets. It is also used in saddle pads, pet bed material, hospital pads, fabric for mascots and stuffed animals.
Sinykin said sliver knitting was invented in Wisconsin in the 1940s, and there is some debate about whether it was invented by Edward Borg of the Jefferson-based Borg Textiles or Joseph Rosenberg of Argonaut Mills in Milwaukee.
Glenoit Fabrics bought Borg Textile in 1996, and Argonaut Mills changed its name to Roller Fabrics in the 1970s as knit paint rollers became more popular and supplying fabric to paint roller manufacturers became a large percentage of the business.
Sinykin bought Roller Fabrics in 1995. Shortly after buying Monterey, Sinykin bought Tex-Tenn Corp. of Johnson City, Tenn.