Vintage Trims.com buys Trimtex Inventory January 26 2017
In July, 2016 Vintage Trims owner Kurt Kiefer traveled to Williamsport, Pennsylvania to complete the purchase of truckloads of "vintage trimmings" from the long closed TrimTex factory.
Williamsport was the "hub" of the United States Trimming industry from 1900 into the 1990's. Trimtex started operations in 1919 and had 60,000 patterns that came off over 6,000 braid and trim making machines. At it's peak it employeed over 400 people and had revenue upwards of $200 million a year. As sales declined as less people sewed and bought narrow trimmings and lace the building was finally shut in about 2007. The trim inventory remained untouched at the building at 400 Park Avenue in historic downtown Williamsport.
In addition to Trimtex there were several other narrow trim manufacturers in and around Williamsport including Lycoming Trim. In nearby Scranton was Scranton Lace Co., whose large manufacturing building sits idle awaiting redevelopment. The Scranton Lace building is featured in a 2015 art book of abandoned buildings "The Art Of Abandonment" by Walter Arnold. In the book. In the book you can picture the abandoned lace factory and see lace still on the looms the day the factory shut.
As the textile industry left central Pennsylvania for the southern United States then overseas the way trims were sold changed forever. In the past the cards or rolls would be sold in retail dime stores and fabric shoppes across the USA by the yard. Shoppers would cut off the yardage they needed and stores would stock hundreds of styles. Today, with trims being made in low labor country, trims are sold in small yardage rolls at big-box retailers. Many trims are packaged in one yard or two yard increments to get to the selling price point the big retailers need. They frequently only sell the best selling trims which make the more unusual trims harder to find.
Vintage Trims.com based in Fergus Falls, Minnesota built it's business on finding warehouses of original fabric trims made in the 1950s and later that used higher quality materials not found today. They stock thousands of unusual and hard to find trims. In fact one grouping of trims from Trimtex was found marked with the dates of manufacture on them from the period 1957 to 1968 and we offer them by the date made. This is literally a trim museum that you can buy trims from the exact day of manufacture.
The advantage of vintage trims is they tend to constructed better using high quality materials than today's trims. There are also colors and patterns not seen for generations. When you are looks for unique and different, think VintageTrims.com of Fergus Falls. We celebrate sewing and creativity and every order is important to us. We try to fill every order the day it comes in, even cut yardage. Our inventory spans categories but we specialize in colorful jacquards and braids, but also have a wide variety of fringe, lace, cord, piping, and speciality trims plus a full line of embellishment including mini-bows, rosettes, appliques, tassels and notions.
The Trimtex brand continues to live on along with its sister brands Carolace and St. Louis Trimming out of New Jersey where they import trims and sell under the brand names.
There continues to be two small narrow trim manufacturing plants in the Williamsport area that continue to make trims. Both factories have former employees of Trimtex and some of the manufacturing equipment still curns out speciality trims.