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Malden Mills Now Polartec LLC

Officials with Chrysalis, the parent company of the new owners, Pipeline MMI LLC, say they plan to operate, not liquidate, the company. The company will operate under the name of Polartec LLC although Pipeline will own the name, Malden Mills and “use it where appropriate”.

Malden Mills, a 101 year old firm, manufactures knitted polyester fabrics to manufacturer’s specifications and sells the mill ends through it’s online store to consumers. Now you can go to Polar Tec’s online store: The company, located in Lawrence, MA, has entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is being sold to Pipeline MMI LLC, a newly created affilliate of Chrysalis Capital Partners LLC, as the only bidder upon sale of assets. It was thought that Gordon Brothers Group would buy the assets for $44,000,000 but apparently they dropped out. Chrysalis has entered into an agreement with the union concerning vacation, health and union dues.

No matter how wonderful polartec fleece is I hope that doesn’t mean that the new owners will stop making the other wonderful MM powerdry and the various forms of Windpro.

Four years ago this early spring I was able to go to a now-closed Malden Mills outlet in Seattle, Washington, and spend hours with the staff, pouring over the technical manuals and learning about the different fabrics that Mill creates for high end manufacturers. It was during that visit that the custom color silk weight powerdry coop purchase was conceived. Thousands of yards of this dark beige fabric were sold in two days time and many hours were spent getting this fabric ordered, paid for and delivered to hundreds of coop buyers.

I spent hundreds of hours online trying to keep the puchase on track. This work netted me the grand total of $0 as was the nature of this co-oping venture. I was able to buy 35 yards of the fabric at cost plus shipping, the same deal available to all the buyers involved in this group purchase.


Georgene and I worked on trying to mimick a color first produced by Georgio di Sant’Angelo but the color didn’t translate well from the original nylon into the MM polyester. We intended that it be a good color for lingerie and underlining the popular see-through fabrics of the times. Many people loved the color and found it a great fabric for underlining lace dresses and such, but some very fair skinned people hated the color. Just goes to show you can’t please everyone.

This photo is darker than the fabric actually is.

All I can say is that I will never work that hard for free again! But I’m very glad I did it once. I continue to enjoy working with the fabric and using it for linings, underwear and basic tees.

I made this medium weight pointelle power dry nightgown 3+ years ago. I live in it all winter. The pattern I used was based on the KwikSew Book on lingerie.

Using software purchased with my Designer 1 I combined a couple of embroidery designs to create the Scottish thistle surrounded by bows for the front yoke. The design is backed with light weight tear away stabilizer and even though the photo shows the embroidery as rather lumpy, it actually lies flat and looks as perfect as the day it was stitched.

I wore the night gown sans bottom flounce to the first PatternReview weekend pajama party in Manhattan, Nov 2003. The construction is simple 4-thread serge stitch

This medium weight pointelle loved being lettuced by my industrial Merrow Overlocker MG-2DNR-1 with 2 threads running through the looper

A very similar stitch can be accomplished using a regular serger. This fabric, stretched during the stitching, produces a very nice lettuced edge.

This medium weight fabric has definitely worth my sewing time and effort as have all my adventures with Malden Mills fabrics.


About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

9 responses »

  1. Sigh. Don’t you know I (and probably a few others) am *still* kicking myself for not jumping on that co-op bandwagon and getting a bit of that fabric…just was too new to the internet community at that time to know what I was missing.

    Like you, I hope it continues to be manufactured; maybe I’ll get another chance to get some one of these days.

  2. I have this same fabric and love it! I made a few T last summer out of it and practically lived in them. I think there is a huge market in sportswear for PD, so I don’t think we should worry too much (I hope). I know of many higher end sporting/camping suppliers whose stock is all MM fleece and PD. I am just glad they found a buyer who was able to reach agreements so fast with all the groups involved.

  3. Thank to you MaryBeth I was able to learn about this fantastic powerdry fabric.From the generous sample you did sent me last year I made a tanktop and it is indeed a fantastic fabric. It will keep you cool in hot weather and even in the winter wearing the top under a sweater it will keep you warm enough.

  4. i loved getting this fabric, and thought the color was great. so many times i can NOT use ‘nude’ colored stuff because it is too pink or too pale. so i was thrilled when i got this stuff. 🙂

  5. Leslie in Austin

    Consider this my long overdue love letter to you, MB. Thank you for all your work on that powerdry order! I bought 6 yds and am carefully rationing it (every project goes through a “spongeworthy” test, if you will). I hope my undying appreciation makes up at least a little for the lack of monetary gain. Thanks, too, for the update on MM.

  6. The whole coop purchase was a labor of love, a love letter to all the buyers as well as a love letter to Malden Mills. I hope the new owners get to read this blog entry!

  7. It’s too light for me. 🙂 But I bought it twice. It’s better than just white or black.

  8. I bought 15 yds of this fabric and I love it. I
    wore a twin set that I made out of this fabric yesterday and got a lot of positive comments from my staff. I have used it to underline a dress and skirt. I wish that I could get more of this color. Thanks a million times.

  9. Pingback: Outdoor Fabrics from an Outdated Stash | The Stitchery

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