Tricots Liesse is the only vertical circular knit manufacturer in Canada, and is dedicated to providing the best possible fabric solutions to meet their customers’ needs. By constantly innovating, as well as utilizing a highly trained workforce and cutting edge technology, Tricots Liesse offers the fastest delivery turnaround in the industry. They have made it their mission to establish long lasting partnerships with customers and suppliers, meeting their ever-changing needs and requirements.
The company was first incorporated in 1967, and has been serving the apparel trade ever since. In the beginning, they occupied 10,000 square feet and specialized in single knit apparel textiles only. The intervening years have seen Tricots Liesse expand many times, achieving steady growth in sales, equipment and expertise along the way. In the early 1970s they added double knit fabrics to their capabilities, and in 1998 they built Di-Tech, their own dyeing and finishing facility. Today they occupy a state-of-the-art 250,000 square feet facility.
Tricots Liesse is a vertical operation, which means they do everything from the knitting of yarn to the dyeing and finishing of fabrics. Recently, they even introduced garment manufacturing capabilities to their organization.
Di-Tech was designed exclusively for Tricot Liesse’s fabric needs as a result of the company’s desire to be completely vertical. The business was built from scratch – they bought the land, they built the facility, and stocked it with the best dyeing and finishing equipment available to marry with their fabric collection. Tricots Liesse has a European-style product line, so all machinery was acquired from either Germany or Italy to serve the global market with high quality fabrics. This enables the company to position itself as an alternative to countries such as Italy, France and the United Kingdom when it comes to higher-end fabrics. Customers looking for product in those markets are able to go to Tricot Liesse’s sales office in North America and buy local, at no loss of quality.
From Di-Tech’s facility, they can finish the hand of the fabric to accommodate all types of designer requirements. Everything from granular high twist hands to extremely silky soft sueded hands are within their capabilities. They also offer ultra violet protection finishes, water repellent finishes, anti-microbial finishes, soil resist finishes and more.
When it comes to quality control, the company’s self-certified laboratories – established in 1994 – work day and night to ensure speedy results using the standards set forth by the CATCC and AATCC. Greige from each knitting machine is tested daily for knitting defects, and in-house spectrophotometers guarantee accurate colour matching controls. All finished fabrics are tested for colourfastness to chlorinated pool water, seawater, acid perspiration, clear water, home laundering, wet and dry crocking, home laundering conditions.
Competing with overseas competition is the chief challenge in the fabrics industry, and Tricots Liesse has done it by working hard and producing a premium quality product. Tricots Liesse fabrics end up in designer labels in swimwear, high-end fashion, performance wear, as well as industrial fire-retardant, anti-static, water-repellent lines – to name just a few.
Management at Tricots Liesse is hands-on from the top down, and the company employs over 200 workers. The Tricots Liesse design team is stocked with personnel famous in North America for their talent, knowledge and abilities – both technical and creative. Designers work with the latest computerized graphical design software, and their fine detail work is what the company has become renowned for.
Another feature Tricots Liesse has become known for is their practice of creating and selling collections – they are one of the few companies left who do that. Their design team travels to Europe often, seeking out trends and producing samples day-in and day-out. This strategy is in contrast to the standard textile operation, where clothing manufacturers simply call a textile company, provide them with a piece of fabric, and request a product. Tricots Liesse aims to inspire customers with their collections. They create in excess of two thousand items of new product a year, and every year the market embraces something of theirs.
For the future, the company’s goal is to be in the market long-term. As more North American garment manufacturers recognize that spending less for inferior quality is not the solution, Tricots Liesse are reminding them they can get superior quality, right here in their backyard.
According to Abie Sterner, that is exactly what Tricots Liesse offers above all else – superior quality. “Although we have very large production capabilities, our focus is on quality and quality alone,” he says. “That is our first and foremost concern. We breathe quality day in and day out. That, to us, is truly our mission – to strictly produce quality and innovative fabrics on a day to day basis.”