Burlington Industries Hosiery

Burlington Hosiery

As stated in the main article about Burlington Industries, hosiery was added to the company in 1938. Nylon was added a fiber in 1940 and then the war came and all further development ceased on the domestic side. Harriman Hosiery Mills was acquired in 1944. After the war, May, McEwen and Kaiser was acquired in 1948. Hub Kaiser became the manager of the Burlington Hosiery operations.

Skip ahead to 1954.

A survey of Hosiery Industry Weekly for 1954, revealed turmoil in the fiber and hosiery industry that caused many companies to fold or merge. DuPont, the pioneer producer, began to have competition. Chemstrand announced the first shipments of filament nylon from their new 50 million pound/year plant in Pensacola, FL, December 23, 1953. 15 ­denier filament yarn would be available with 30 ­denier available in March. Seamless hosiery was beginning to replace full fashioned hosiery. Those people with the right equipment were as much as eight weeks behind in making shipments. Meanwhile those who had the old full fashioned knitting equipment were trying to decide whether to rework the machines to make sweaters. To top this off, a recession was underway that saw many firms cut wages and close plants. In this crazy economy, Burlington expanded under the direction of Spencer Love. Sales for the entire company hit $82,368,000 for 1953 and hosiery expanded. Full­scale production was reached in February at a new 150,000 sq ft Bur­Mil finishing plant in Asheboro, NC. With the addition, the three plants in the division were reworking floor allocations. On March 8, Hosiery Industry Weekly announced Burlington would build a seamless hosiery plant in Scottsboro, AL. On April 5, 1954, a million dollar ad campaign was announced for Bur­Mil Cameo hosiery.




Bur­Mil Cameo sold at fine stores 1950
Hosiery Times

Cameo Hosiery Life Magazine 1950
Courtesy TJS­Labs

notable development for the comfort of man was made when Burlington Bioguard Socks of cotton and synthetic polymer fibers were introduced. The website of The Straight Dope explains that a silicone quaternary amine is trapped in a non­hydrophilic layer . The moisture from a sweaty foot is wicked away from the foot to the absorbant cotton and any bacteria that cause odor are zapped by the quaternary amine. To distinguish these socks from others, Burlington adopted a green toe closing seam as shown on the water tower below.


Burlington Socks Green Stripe Bioguard Toe Water tower, Burlington, NC 2008.  Photo: Gary N. Mock





Source:  Hosiery Industry Weekly, 1954, Howe Publishing, New York, various issues.