Economy

Towel manufacturer Australian Weaving Mills placed into administration

Kirsten Robb /

Australian towel manufacturer Australian Weaving Mills has collapsed into administration.

The textile company joins a long list of Aussie manufacturing companies that have notably collapsed in the past 12 months.

BRI Ferrier administrators Peter Paul Krejci and Brian Raymond Silvia were appointed on May 1, with the first meeting of creditors to be held on May 14.

Australian Weaving Mills produced textile brands such as Dickies and Dri Glo, as well as a range of products under licence to retailers including Country Road, Esprit Home and Koala Blue.

Krejci told SmartCompany the textile business will continue to operate in a limited capacity during the administration process and the company’s 12 employees will continue to work during that period.

He said the company had more than 40 creditors spread across the eastern seaboard, but could not give any specifics of how much the company owed or how much the business had been turning over at this point. “It will all come out in the major investigation,” he said.

A spokesman for Australian Weaving Pty Limited, an associated company, said the wider group continued to manufacture and supply a large range of towels to a growing number of customers both in Australia and overseas.

Sister company Australian Weaving Mills was once itself a major manufacturer, employing more than 500 people.

It moved its towel-making business to Wangaratta, Victoria, in July last year after closing its Tasmanian mill in November.

Between 2001 and 2004, the Tasmanian government had a 49% stake in the Tasmanian mill and loaned Australian Weaving Mills $2.5 million.

An Australian Weaving Mills spokesman said the wider group had a steady growth of around 15% since the company had made the shift to Wangaratta, and a new range of towels and associated products had been well received by the market.

“Without a doubt, the growing home-improvement sector has also added significant growth to Australian Weaving’s bottom line. The company is confident about its future and its ability to meet current and future demand for new towelling products,” said the spokesman.

“Australian Weaving is particularly excited that its export market is improving and offers huge growth potential over future years. Once this is fully realised, and with improved sales in the domestic market, Australian Weaving is well placed to continue its role as a significant Australian-owned and operated manufacturer.”

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Kirsten Robb

Kirsten Robb is a former journalist at SmartCompany. Previously, she worked at News Corp as a property reporter for Leader Newspapers and the Herald Sun, and holds a Masters of Journalism at Melbourne University.