Welcome to Tuscarora Mills, where our mission is to design and manufacture quality American-made, natural fiber fabrics, as responsible alternatives to oil-based synthetic materials produced by carbon-intensive global supply chains.
Our journey began in the mid 1980s when we taught ourselves the art of tie-dye, clothing design and sewing. Over the years, we built a business selling our textile creations at arts and crafts shows throughout the United States.
In the beginning, we sourced woven and knit fabrics from American textile mills and worked with cut and sew operations across Pennsylvania. However, the closing of American mills in the 1990s and the subsequent NAFTA-led offshoring of the American apparel industry forced us to explore similar opportunities in Central America and in Southeast Asia. Here, we sourced fiber and fabrics for our apparel manufacturing endeavors and gained insights into fiber processing, fabric manufacturing, textile dyeing and apparel production.
In 2014, we had an epiphany – our dependence on global supply chains, use of man-made, oil based synthetic fibers and petro-chemichal dyes and fabric finishes was but a small part of a much broader environmental crisis facing the global textile industry.
We decided to shift our focus back to the United States and re-engage with America’s fashion and textile supply chain in search of solutions to the immense challenges posed by the global exploitation of natural resources and human labor in the over production of textiles and finished goods.
We set out to discover what still was being made in the United States by who, where and how.
The American supply chain had seen significant changes due to offshore manufacturing and the loss of skilled labor. Our search led us to find niche operations geared towards knits and proprietary brands, while a few traditional weavers, dyers, and spinners had persevered in specialized markets around defense, home goods, heritage and non-wovens.
Our mission is clear:
We aim to weave quality, environmentally responsile fabrics of beauty and value contributing to the renewal of the American textile supply chain.
We’re determined to curtail our dependence on global supply chains driven by oil and the overproduction of textiles and finished goods with quality regenerative fabrics suitable for circular design and reuse.
We strive to work with nature by using regenerative and biodegradable farm grown and raised natural cotton, flax, hemp and wool fiber, in the fabrics we design and produce.
We’re committed to reducing our dependence on oil as a base material for plastic fibers, dyes and fabric finishing, in the manufacture of textiles.
We’re dedicated to contributing to local and regional economies, building communities, and honoring the art and craft of textile, apparel design and manufacturing, effectively bringing capital and jobs back to the United States.
At Tuscarora Mills, our vision is to provide quality natural fiber fabrics allowing designers, brands, and consumers to make responsible design and consumption choices.
We aim to position natural fibers as a quality alternative to plastic materials and to mitigate the industry’s current environmental impact through education, advocacy and a focus on reducing our collective carbon footprint.
We recognize and support the important role farmers, agriculture and rural communities have in the building of a supply chain necessary for encouraging farm grown and raised natural textile fiber here in the United States.
Our Journey Forward
As we move forward, we aspire to be a part of the solution to the crisis of oil-based materials and the environmental consequences of the global textile industry. By working with nature and natural materials, while reducing our reliance on plastic fiber and synthetic dyes and petro- chemicals, we aim to chart a new course for responsible textile manufacturing here at home.
We invite you to join us on this journey towards American-made natural fiber fabrics. Together, we can join in the renewal of America’s textile tradition, support our communities, and address the causes and effects of our climate crisis.
Thank you for your support in moving toward the change our common future demands.
Dave and Heidi