CORDOVA — If you happen to see a soldier in the U.S. Army’s new service uniform, you may be surprised to know it got its start in Richmond County.
Burlington Industries, a division of Elevate Textiles, announced April 8 that more than 1 million yards of fabric for the uniforms was produced from American-made yarns in the company’s Cordova and Raeford plants.
“The one million yards of fabric is equivalent to about 200,000 jackets, 115,000 hats and belts, 320,000 pants and 195,000 ties — nearly 575 miles of fabric,” a press release reads. “If laid end to end, this amount would stretch from Burlington’s divisional headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina to New York City.”
The uniform, inspired by those of the World War II era, was introduced last year and will remain in use until 2028. The current
According to the press release, the worsted wool fabric for the uniforms has been in development for two years in partnership with garment producer Fechheimer, the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Philadelphia, the United States Army and several private industry partners.
“Burlington is thrilled to have reached the milestone of producing over one million yards of the new Army Green fabric, and we continue to be honored to serve the men and women of the U.S. Military with a dedication to quality and innovation,”said Joey Underwood, president of Burlington and Safety Components. “The worsted wool fabrics of our Raeford operation and brand consistently provide soldiers with comfort, durability, wrinkle resistance and color capability unlike any other.”
Burlington has been “an integral part” of the military’s supply chain for more than half a century, according to the release.
“Our plant was proud, excited, and honored to be a part of the military heritage,” Plant Manager Ed Cox told the RO in an email, clarifying that the uniforms aren’t made at the plant, just the fabric.
After being woven in Cordova, the fabric was sent to the finishing plant in Raeford, just up the road in Hoke County.
Last year, Burlington increased production in its Barrier Fabrics division in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The red, white and blue fabric for the parkas worn by Team USA in the 2018 Winter Olympics was also woven at the plant.