History

MICROFIBRES was founded in 1926 by Norman E. McCulloch as the Payon Processing Company of Rhode Island. The company spent most of the first twenty years of its life, up to and WWII, cutting, dyeing, and marketing precision and random cut rayon flock under the Raycote brand name. This raw material was the key ingredient customers used to create coated fabrics found in a wide variety of consumer products and display material. The company’s reinforcement fillers appeared in everything from paper goods to army helmets and rifle butts.

Business was good, and in 1947, management added a new division called Indev to specialize in the production of flocking equipment the company would sell to its customers. The basic idea was that you could sell more flock if you provided equipment that made it easy to use.

By the 1970’s, production at the Rhode Island manufacturing facilities had begun to resemble present day operations. The company specialized in cutting and dyeing nylon flock. Modern coating and printing lines had been set up, using Indev equipment, to supply outside converters. By the end of the decade, revenues in the commission coating business were almost as big as the cut fiber business. Top management, however, was uneasy about the future.

In 1980, under the direction of Jim McCulloch, MICROFIBRES current president and CEO, the company began to market a proprietary line of upholstery fabrics under the MICROFIBRES brand name and sell these products directly to customers. It was a decision which proved to be crucial turning point in company history.

Today, as the company approaches the start of a new century, manufacturing operations are conducted at live primary locations.

  • The original plant in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, was the first company headquarters. Modernization of the dyeing machines and flocking lines means the company is busier than ever before producing greige goods and nylon velvets in solid colors.

  • MICROFIBRES purchased its Canadian unit, known as Hartford Fibres, back in 1972. This is part of the Speciality Products Division. Future manufacturing efforts and growth opportunities at this plant will focus on products designed for markets outside the upholstery industry; home textiles, apparel, automotive, and specialty fabrics.

  • Purchased in 1986, the Winston-Salem plant is the largest and newest manufacturing location in the US. The plant’s capacity has been expanding constantly using state-of-the-art equipment and technology.

  • Located near Brussels in Loarnei Belgium, MICRIOFIBRES-Europ joined the company production learn in 1994. The plant’s proximity to key overeas markets will enable the company to shorten delivery times to customers on the other side of the Atkintic. In fact, MICROFIBRES-Europe was printing on greige goods supplied from the plants in the US aand Canada. On top of all that, MICROFIBRES-Europ had experience producing a wide range of products outside the company’s traditional business in nylon velvets, which opens up all kinds of possibilities.

  • Additional capacity was added in 1996 with the acquisition of Upholstery Fabrics of Georgia in Jasper, Georgia.

  • The company continues to grow with major expansion under way in Belgium and Winston-Salem.

    MICROFIBRES has embraced a Total Quality Management (TQM) business philosophy that emphasizes continuous improvement, total associate involvement, and customer satisfaction. The company’s partnership with customers, suppliers, and employees contribute to its low cost producer status.