QUAKERTOWN, PA. — Fabric Development Inc. acquired a Fort Washington, Pa., woven products operation from a Lydall Inc. subsidiary on March 1. Terms were not disclosed. The business, whose product line includes reinforcement materials for commercial and aerospace plastic applications, will continue in its 65,000-square-foot facility as a Fabric Development division, President Piyush A. Shah said in a telephone interview.
The Fort Washington division employs 26, operates looms up to 140 inches in width and winding equipment and had 1999 sales of more than $3 million. Research and development work involves polar and Jacquard weaving and three-dimensional structures.
Quakertown-based Fabric Development occupies 60,000 square feet. Shah also owns Textile Products Inc., which occupies 15,000 square feet in Anaheim, Calif. Collectively, the businesses use carbon fiber in about one-half of their products, he said.
Shah characterized the total operation as "the largest independent weaver of high-performance fabrics in the world," excluding corporate players such as Cytec Industries Inc.'s Cytec Fiberite unit.
Manchester, Conn.-based Lydall acquired the business from Textiles Technologies Industries in December 1996 and moved the operation to Fort Washington from Hatboro, Pa.
"The products did not fit the long-term strategy of Lydall," Christopher Skomorowski, president and chief executive officer, said in a press release. "The sale of this business is part of Lydall's ongoing restructuring plan."
Lydall recorded a $4.9-million loss before taxes from the woven products segment last year, the company said Feb. 29.
Lydall reported a profit of $10.8 million on 1999 sales of $318.5 million primarily from specialty applications in filtration, separation, thermal and acoustical markets.