Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Central Pennsylvania Garment Factories

My experience with garment factories started in 1976 when my husband and I started a business to cut trims for the many factories in our area. We made bias binding, cross-cut ribbing, straight cut trim, bows for nightgowns, and spaghetti strap cording. Eventually, we worked for factories in other states as well.

David Peet, Inc. in East Salem became our first big
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customer.  They were located in what is now Ted Wood Fine Custom Cabinetry. Another of our clients was Juniata Garment, located in Mifflin. Their building was removed to make room for the new bridge to Mifflin. In McAlisterville, the dress factory of Lyon Fashions operated near the Fayette Elementary School. Women at that factory could send their children to the factory-owned daycare. Some more local customers were Pebb in Mifflintown, Probity in Blain run by Bob Yohn, and an East Waterford factory run by Bob Yohn’s Dad. 

Former Lyon Fashions 
We became good friends with one factory owner, John Specht, who owned Jody-Lynn Sportswear in Middleburg. His daughter Joanna, the Jody part of the name, actually mentored me when I started to homeschool. Kirby Manufacturing located up the road in McClure employed Inca Moyer who formerly worked at Lewistown Sportswear with my husband. 

Mifflin County factories included my husband’s old workplace of Lewistown Sportswear and later JDM owned by Ray Yetter who rented the same building. Another one located in Allensville was Brandywine County LTD owned by R.S.Vogt. We dealt with his son, Charlie. 

Former Daycare for Lyon Fashions
In more recent years, we have worked for Fabtex, Inc. in Danville where my husband used to talk to a long time industry owner, Bill Albertson, who had been my father-in-law’s industry friend. Bill at one time owned a factory in Lock Haven called New Haven Industries and also managed Quaker Manufacturing in Lewisburg.  

We have little business in these days. The majority of the Pennsylvania garment factories have been replaced by foreign ones. We do still have two customers. One is Fabtex, but the other is an Amish man Ben Lapp. He has Nancy’s Notions and Clothing in Intercourse, Pennsylvania. We cut nylon type fabric into rolls of narrow straight cut so he can make the long ties you see hanging from Amish women’s caps.

All the factories that I have mentioned except Fabtex and Nancy’s Notions which isn’t really a factory are no longer in business.

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