A&E has been in the textile business for more than 120 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. As part of the KPS Capital Partners portfolio, American & Efird LLC stands ready to meet future challenges and continue to serve the needs of the industrial sewing thread, technical textile and embroidery thread markets.
Currently, the A&E global supply network has 31 manufacturing centers and 76 distribution points located within 41 countries. In recent years, A&E has increased its global product offerings through the acquisitions of Ludlow®, Robison-Anton® and Synthetic Thread, well known manufacturing companies of quality industrial sewing thread, technical textiles and embroidery yarns and thread. A&E continues to align itself with industry leaders such as India’s Vardhman Threads.