Mr. Ford said about five dozen people lost their jobs when Stitch Fix ceased operations at the factory and mill in November. Some of them had been working at the sites for decades, he said.
“All those skills must have been lost,” he said.
By March, the facilities had reopened as the Buck Mason Knitting Mills, and many of the employees who had worked for Stitch Fix were re-hired.
Shillington’s textile mill has begun producing fabric for Buck Mason’s T-shirts and other tops, using cotton grown in California, Georgia and Texas. Albert Bareika, who was hired by Buck Mason as the mill’s knitting chief in January, said there were plans to release a limited-edition T-shirt made from fabric produced at the facility on a 1940s Singer Supreme machine . Its Singer Supreme machine is one of the few still operating, said Mr. Barica, 66, who lives in nearby Leesport, Pa., and previously worked for Stitch Fix at the mill.
At the Mohanton factory, some workers are responsible for cutting and sewing T-shirts, while others hand-iron them or package them for shipping. About 10,000 T-shirts are made there every month, Mr. Ford said. “By the fall we aim to double the capacity,” he said. “The goal is to quadruple it.”
The factory in Mohonton, a small town in Berks County, Pa., produced hats and military uniforms before shifting to T-shirts, said Mr. Plaim, who lives in the town. He said, during the facilities’ heyday, the late 1970s, the factory and mill employed about 100 workers, and the factory made about 22,000 T-shirts a week using the mill’s fabrics.