Wrapping up our series this week on flax grown for fiber, Jason Finnis, Crailar Technology’s founder and Chief Innovation Officer explains that renovations on the plant in Pamplico, South Carolina are progressing:
“The Pamplico facility is well under way. We have the Delta Mills spinning facility on Old River Road, we are in full scale renovation and installing our own equipment. Its approximately $8 million that we have invested in that area, including brand new state of the art equipment as well as putting fiber on about 3500 acres last winter. The facility will employ about 25 people and will process and produce about 600,000 pounds of Crailar fiber per week. We are very excited. We are looking forward to a long relationship with South Carolina.
The long term outlook is very good. We signed supply agreements with some of the largest clothing brands on the planet, including ten year agreement with Hanes Brands, a ten year agreement with Georgia Pacific for things like shop towels and baby wipes, along with agreements to Levi Strauss, Target, department stores and many others. Our company is looking to grow as many acres as we can get in SC. We have engineered the facility in Pamplico to accommodate growth. So we have one line in there now and provisions for a second line, which would double our output.
We are growing right from the southern part of NC, through SC and down into Alabama and Georgia, so it’s a wide area that we can pull fiber from.
We arrange the transport from farm gate to our facility. We will work with the individual growers to bail the fiber and put it in a convenient location for us to pick it up.
We are a compliment to cotton, so the blends that we are working with are approximately 80% cotton and 20% Crailar flax. What cotton customers we have are finding is that by adding a small amount of flax they are able to bring performance to cotton garments that they haven’t had before.”
For more on our series on alternative crops, click here. Next week we’ll talk about rapeseed.