October 4, 2012

Stafford wool mill gets $1.41M in U.S. aid

Stafford woolens maker Warren Corp. got two grants for $1.41 million to enable it to compete against textile imports despite the Connecticut mill's foreign ownership, authorities say.

Warren employs 120 at its 159-year-old textile mill at 8 Furnace Ave., in the town's Stafford Springs section, churning out luxury worsted and woolens, including cashmere, for men's and women's clothing.

Congressman Joe Courtney's office Thursday announced the grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce under the Worsted Wool Fabric Grants Program.

The program helps American worsted wool fabric makers like Warren compete with international manufacturers by offsetting the benefit provided to U.S. tailored suit manufacturers by reduced duties on imports of certain worsted wool fabrics, authorities said.

"These grants are critical to our investment and workforce here in Stafford Springs," Lisa Cornish, Warren's vice president of finance and administration, said in a statement from Courtney's office.

In January, Warren laid off 57 workers.

Italian textile-maker Loro Piana S.p.A. bought Warren in 1988.

Neither could be immediately reached Thursday for comment.

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