There are very few manufacturers of textile product operating in the United States today with the tag “made in America” because cheaper imports are making it hard for them to remain profitable. Not so, at the Wearbest Sil-Textile mill in New Jersey, a company that caters to luxury hotels and restaurant chains and makes draperies and upholstery for them. The company now even has bragging rights for its work in the White House; profits were up by more than 52% during the past year.
The company’s owner has made a commitment to keep its goods “made in America,” something that is essential and important to the business. The owner, Irwin Gasner’s grandfather founded the business back in the early 40s with his first mill in East Rutherford, NJ. He made silk lining for men’s suits in those early days. After the war, Mr. Gasner turned his attention to making decorative draperies and upholstery for America‘s homes.
The company became profitable and when the younger Gasner took the helm in 1980, he moved to a bigger facility to continue the “made in America” tradition. Unfortunately on Labor Day in 1985, there was a setback when a fire burned the mill to the ground. Despite this, Gasner was able to get the funds necessary to get the mill back up and running. Then came the recession in 2008; the mill was forced to lay off 50% of its workers after sales dropped.
Gasner admits today that it hasn’t been easy, but the company is back and thriving. In order to remain competitive and keep the business in America, he now focuses on creating more innovative fabrics. He says it’s the latest crave because they are environmentally friendly. The fabrics are also of high quality and performance and good for areas that receive high traffic. Then too, made in America is always appreciated.