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German textile firm picks Mount Airy for distribution center

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53bae0bb3454d.imageMOUNT AIRY, N.C. — A German textile manufacturer, Südwolle Group, said today it plans to open its first U.S. operation in Mount Airy at an 18,000-square-foot distribution center, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

The 94-year-old family owned company, based in Nuremberg, makes pure wool and wool-blend worsted spun yarns for weaving, and circular and flat knitting. It also has operations in Australia, China, Italy, Poland and Romania.

The site, a vacant warehouse, will be at 769 W. Lebanon St. It is projected to open this month.

The company did not say how many jobs it expects to create with the center. It said it would announce full details at the SpinExpo trade show in New York City on July 15-17.

Todd Tucker, president of Surry County Economic Development Partnership Inc., said he expects two to three jobs initially. He said no local incentives were offered.

“We hope they will grow and expand their presence here,” Tucker said. “They are a good company.”

Hans von Schuh, managing director of sales for Südwolle, said in a statement that the “U.S. market for wool yarns is critical for us and continues to grow in importance as consumers demand more premium wool products.”

The company said legwear and circular knit fabrics for active/outdoor apparel and legwear are two of its key markets.

Von Schuh said Mount Airy’s location makes it “conveniently located for many of the major manufacturers in those segments, as well as for other textile, legwear and apparel manufacturers along the East Coast and throughout the South and the Midwest.”

“Through our new facility in Mount Airy, we can respond even more effectively to our customers here in the United States,” von Schuh said.

Von Schuh said Mount Airy officials and the community have been “most welcoming. We look forward to being a part of the vibrant community there for many, many years.”

Südwolle has spinning operations in Zhangjiagang City, China, Lodz, Poland, and Simleu Silvaniei, Romania. It has a dyehouse in its China operation, two central warehouses in Germany and one each in China and Italy, and a farm in Australia.

It has an annual spinning capacity of about 21,000 tons of yarn, with 60 percent produced in Europe and 40 percent in China.

Its brands are: Südwolle for weaving yarns; Biella Yarn for flat knitting yarns; Yarn in Motion for circular knitting yarns; Richter for hosiery; Stöhr – yarns for technical applications, such as automotive, upholstery and corporate; and Soey – for air jet yarns.