Mt. Vernon Mills
Mount Vernon Mills Inc. is a diversified and integrated producer of yarns, fabrics, and finished products for the apparel, industrial, home furnishings, institutional and consumer goods markets.
The company, which operates two mills in the Habersham County community of Alto with about 650 employees, produces quality yarns, fabrics, finishing, apparel, industrial, home furnishings, denim, acid wash, institutional consumer goods, chemical processing, plastics coating, fabric dyeing, afghans, yarn dyeing, weaving, upholstery fabric, and pocketing products.
Mount Vernon traces its origin to the Jones Falls area in what is now Baltimore, Md. Several flour or grist mills were built there around 1810, and by the 1830s, many of the mills were being converted into cotton duck manufacturing operations. One such mill, when it was converted in 1847, was named “Mount Vernon Mill No. 1” This mill, together with several others in the area, would soon become the Mount Vernon Company, a leading maker of quality cotton duck cloth for sails for clipper ships and canvas cloth for tents.
The Apparel Fabrics Group is the largest of all the Mount Vernon Mills groups, accounting for more than half of all company sales. In fact, denim fabric is woven and finished for sale to many major manufacturers across the country like Wrangler, Lee and Levi's.
The Apparel Fabrics Group consists of two greige mills in Alto; a fully integrated denim mill, plus a piece dyeing and finishing plant located in Trion, GA; and a chemical processing and plastic coating facility in Ware Shoals, S.C., called Riechem. The AFG also has sales offices throughout the country.
The Apparel Fabrics Group operates one of the largest denim manufacturing facilities in the world. The mill at Trion produces more than 400,000 square yards a day in a wide variety of denim including washed, over-dyed, and stretch fabrics. Other products within the group include twills, drills, duck, and plain weave fabrics. These are piece-dyed for career apparel, work clothing and sportswear -- most of which is considered "bottom weight" for pants, slacks, and trousers.
Mount Vernon has faced many challenges in its history, with the current pricing pressures from increasing imports and financially weak domestic competitors being among the toughest. Yet Mount Vernon has always found a way not only to survive but to thrive. This time should be no different. The company continues to maintain one of the strongest balance sheets in the industry, with debt to equity well under 10 percent. To meet the competitive threat, the company has recently shed some capacity, most notably its plants in Fresno, California and Commerce and Cleveland, Ga. But the company is in a stronger position as a result. The company will also continue its push toward niche, value-added products that provide opportunities to use our technology and experience.