Oil and gas worker preparing for work in navy DH coveralls.

Our History

A Legacy of Pioneering Protection

1941

Westex® FR Technology Commissioned for World War II

The U.S. Military commissioned innovative technology from Westex for flame-resistant insulation in allied bombers. Westex’s WWII efforts led to other flame-resistant fabric advancements that protected U.S. military personnel in Korea and Vietnam.

1970s

Westex® Enters Protective Clothing Market

Westex developed flame-resistant fabrics to protect workers from molten metal splashes in steel mills.

1987

Westex® FR Guarantee Introduced

Westex® Indura® was the first flame-resistant fabric to guarantee protection for the life of the garment. A key achievement in a significant research and development effort, Indura helped Westex reinforce its position as an innovative industry leader.

1997

Milliken™ Protects NASA Astronauts

NASA awarded Milliken the contract to provide fabrics for its flight suits. It was an opportunity to demonstrate the extreme testing and protective ability of Milliken flame-resistant textiles, which were worn by astronauts during the Atlantis, Columbia and Discovery orbiters’ launch and re-entry.

2000

Raising the Bar on Protection, Comfort and Value

Westex® UltraSoft® was developed as the result of a new proprietary fabric softening process. UltraSoft combined protection, comfort and value in a single fabric, which became the first line of flame-resistant textiles to fit and feel like everyday clothing.

2001

Westex® Quadruples Warehouse Capacity

Through the acquisition of a second U.S. manufacturing facility, Westex brought dyeing capabilities in-house and expanded manufacturing and warehousing capacity.

2003

Westex® Launches Electrical Arc-Flash and Flash-Fire Experiences

Westex created the first real-world testing seminars where customers can experience a live electrical arc flash or flash fire in a safe, controlled environment.

2007

Milliken™ Earns First Ethics Award

Milliken has earned recognition as one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by Ethisphere® Institute every year since the award’s inception in 2007. Ethisphere is dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics and corporate citizenship.

2014

Milliken™ Acquires Westex®

Milliken acquired Westex, establishing a partnership dedicated to protecting men and women in dangerous, demanding jobs around the world. With Milliken’s history of advanced manufacturing and Westex’s deep market knowledge, the new organization quickly became the trusted, innovative leader in flame-resistant fabrics.

2015

Milliken™ Acquires Springfield

The acquisition of Springfield LLC, a manufacturer of flame-resistant fabrics for the safety apparel, fire service, military and occupational markets, expanded Milliken’s global presence. It also enhanced Milliken’s ability to deliver comprehensive solutions that improve end-user comfort, protection and safety.

2017

Milliken™ Named on EHS Today’s America’s Safest Companies List

Milliken earned a place on EHS Today’s list of “America’s Safest Companies”, which honors organizations with a demonstrated commitment to employee safety and health, environment management and risk control. When a work environment is safe, workers can focus on their jobs. That is the driving belief behind Milliken’s commitment to safety.

2018

Westex® Expands into the Asia-Pacific Region with Teijin®

Westex and Teijin joined forces to bring Westex® Synergy® Pro to the Asia-Pacific region. An aramid flame-resistant fabric designed for oil and gas flash fire hazards, Synergy Pro offers the highest comfort level in a reliable protective layer for daily wear.

2019

Westex® Introduces Westex® DH Air™

Westex® DH Air™ was engineered to evolve Westex® DH with a new lightweight, Cat 2 fabric. Since launch, it has become a popular choice for electrical arc-flash and flash-fire protection.

2019

Milliken™ Acquires Polartec®

The acquisition of Polartec enabled Milliken to combine innovative Westex® technology with Polartec’s unique fabric constructions. Their collaboration led to the Polartec FR Collection.

2020

Westex® Joins Partnership for Electrical Safety

Westex, along with other industry leaders, is a proud member of the Partnership for Electrical Safety. This continues our commitment to worker safety, education and electrical industry support.