Appalachian Gear Company is a brand new outdoor lifestyle company specializing in performance-based clothing and equipment manufactured in the United States. We're combining 45 years in the textile industry with countless miles logged on trails across the country to introduce innovative products that provide performance and value while minimizing environmental impact.
John Gage and Mike Hawkins started their careers with different Fortune 500 textile manufacturing companies and, for over 25 years, they've been friends and business partners in various entrepreneurial endeavors. They've developed and produced fabrics for different industries and many well-known apparel brands. They saw American textile apparel manufacturing eventually lost to offshoring, but they always hoped to re-enter the apparel industry.
"We came up with the idea to utilize Alpaca Fiber as we were brainstorming ideas for performance fabrics with less environmental impact than polyester and nylon. We also wanted a fabric that would improve upon the benefits and production methods of Merino wool," John Gage.
The primary challenge in developing the All-Paca fabric – a lightweight 100% Alpaca fiber fabric with no harsh chemical processing and no synthetic fibers blended into it - was that this type of fabric had never been successfully produced in a form that could be used for performance fabric or active wear. There was no blueprint to guide the way.
"It took us 3 years of researching, purchasing machinery based on a hunch, and experimenting with the entire process. We had to customize the fiber specification, yarn specification, machinery set-up & procedures, and even numerous individual pieces of the machinery we had purchased. Each time we thought we had it mastered, another barrier would present itself. We thought we were defeated many times, but we finally succeeded and are proud to introduce All-Paca to the world."