Yet another small company closes their doors
Posted January 22, 2011
I don't knit with cotton yarn that often, but Pisgah's Outlet in Asheville was on my list of places that I wanted to go shop. I've seen pictures and it looks like it'd be dangerous for me and my credit cards to go in there.
It is always sad to me to see small companies closing their doors because they just aren't able to compete with the big guys and even sadder that it is here in NC. Whenever possible, I try to check where the yarn that I'm buying comes from and try to buy US milled stuff whenever possible. There are times that things cannot be made in the US, like Malabrigo, but I feel happy knowing that my purchase from Malabrigo is helping farmers and villigers in Uruguay. I've read a little about the company and they pay their farmers fairly and the animals are raised running all over the mountains so I buy happily.
Within the next few months, Pisgah Yarn & Dyeing will effectively shut down its operations in Old Fort.
Jack Lonon Jr., president of the family-owned company, told The McDowell News on Thursday that the company’s assets will be sold to Spinrite Yarns of Canada. The sale will become final on Feb. 25. After that, the future of the business will be uncertain.
“There’s too many things up in the air,” he said. “I am not sure what is going to transpire.”
But he added that the new owner will use the plant buildings as a distribution center for three months. This new operation will employ just six people and there is no telling what will happen after that.
Pisgah Yarn & Dyeing now has 81 full- and part-time employees. The change means many of these folks will likely be out of a job. Lonon made the sad announcement to his workers on Wednesday.
All of the yarns and inventories at Pisgah Yarn will go to Canada. Lonon said his firm is probably the largest sewer customer for the town of Old Fort too. Pisgah Yarn has three buildings in the town.
Lonon said this is happening for several reasons, including the bad economy. The price of cotton is going up and this will result in significant increases for goods made from cotton. Walmart, which is Pisgah Yarn’s biggest customer, has also made some changes in the types of yarns that are sold at its stores.
“It is just hard for the little fellow to compete anymore,” he said. “We can’t compete on the level where we need to be.”
Based at 550 Orchard St., the company dyes yarn. It was founded 40 years ago by Lonon’s father, Harold Lonon Sr.
Pisgah Yarn is also known for its outlet store where folks can buy such brand yarns as Peaches & Crème, America’s Best and Honeysuckle Yarns. A billboard on Interstate 40 advertises the company and its outlet store.
“Our sole mission is to produce the highest quality craft and specialty yarns,” reads the company’s website. “As one of the last surviving American textile mills we have to be nimble in providing service, often shipping orders on the same day we receive them.”
Now, all those years of providing quality goods and services may be over.
“It’s the plight of textiles,” said Lonon. “It’s just a sad day.”