Our History and Heritage
A&E has been in the textile business for more than 130 years, surviving depressions, technological upheavals, and numerous other challenges to remain one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of industrial sewing thread, embroidery thread and technical textiles.
A&E began in 1891, on what was known as Dutchman’s Creek. Charles Egbert Hutchison launched Nims Manufacturing Company with six investors. The company was successful and in 1920 was consolidated, with other textile mills, into a new corporation known as American Yarn and Processing Company. In 1947, the company bought controlling interest in the Efird Manufacturing Company, located in Albemarle, NC, and founded by J.S. Efird.
After the completion of the merger between American Yarn Processing and Efird Manufacturing in 1952, the company name changed to American & Efird® Mills, Inc. In 1968, the diversified interests of R. S. Dickson combined to form the Ruddick Corporation, a holding company, which became A&E’s parent company. Under this affiliation, A&E continued to grow, expanding across the country and world.
Since the days of water wheels in the 1890’s, A&E has greatly expanded its global facilities, maintaining pace through technological improvements. A&E was the first textile company in North Carolina to digitally match colors, automate the doffing system on spinning frames, and computerize dye machines.
American & Efird stands ready to meet future challenges and continue to serve the needs of the industrial sewing thread, technical textile and embroidery thread markets.