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  • Warren Shoulberg

MWW Writes the Manual On Domestic Production And Distribution

One of the 63One of the 63 jacquard looms at MWW that can produce wovens for everything from dec pillows to wide fabrics.
HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. - While there has been a recent renewed interest in Made in America opportunities, the folks at MWW Solutions have been ahead of that curve for years.
     The division of longtime textiles and gift resource Manual Woodworkers and Weavers has been offering manufacturing, supply-chain management and distribution services to the home business since the mid-2000s and is generally considered to be one of the largest domestic resources around.
     Whether digital printing, cut-and-sew, jacquard weaving, tech support or complete order and distribution fulfillment, the company has a full range of services to offer textiles firms looking for an alternative to overseas options.
     "With the increases in the costs of doing business in China and Asia, we definitely see an uptick coming in manufacturing in the U.S." said Nathan Byrd, vp of sales for MWW, which operates a 600,000-square-foot production and distribution facility here. "We've signed three nondisclosure agreements in the last week alone," he said, for companies interested in relocating production to MWW. "They come here to see our facilities and you should see their eyes light up."
     Byrd says companies like MWW are particularly suited for the changing global economic conditions because they've been doing it for some time and never moved their facilities off-shore. "Companies like ours that kept their infrastructure in place are going to have a huge opportunity."
     And those opportunities extend into a wide range of services, with two manufacturing operations especially well suited for the times, he said. The first is the company's digital printing capabilities, a business it moved into in 2008 and where it is now one of the largest players in the country. Byrd and John Lenihan, vp of marketing, say they are capable of printing on all kinds of fabric, from cotton to polyester, up to 126 inches wide and in runs as small as 200 pieces.
     Combined with the ability to recreate colors and patterns that "are virtually impossible to print conventionally," MMW offers a viable alternative to printing in Asia.
     And it seems to be paying off. "Our printing business has doubled every year since we started this in 2008," Byrd said.
     The other key area has been in weaving, an outgrowth of Manual Woodworker's core business in throws and other textiles, a business it continues to operate and do nicely in. Byrd said the company has 63 jacquard looms and can weave up to 120 inches wide, making it ideal for everything from decorative pillows to upholstery fabric.

MWW Solutions’ 600,000-square-foot facility in North Carolina includes extensive digital printing and cut-and-sew capabilities with the ability to work with wide home textiles products.
MWW Solutions’
The distribution
The distribution center in Hendersonville, N.C., is capable of supply-chain management from simple cross-docking to total EDI processing.

     But manufacturing is only part of the story. MWW offers third-party fulfillment services, cut-and-sew finishing, EDI, packaging and overall tech support. "We do everything from soup to nuts, from as simple as being a cross-docking facility to EDI for multimillion dollar businesses," Byrd said.
     The Solutions operation grew out of Manual's core business in manufacturing and distribution. The 80-year-old company began as a woodworker for gift items but is most familiar to those in the home textiles trade for its throws and other woven products. "Entrepreneurial companies like us are always looking for new businesses," Byrd said.
     MWW will be showing in New York this week as part of Manual Woodworkers' showroom in 7West. "We really just want to show what our capabilities are so companies can see what we can do," Byrd said. "Seeing is believing."

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