Milliken Research has been creatively shaping the future since its inception in 1945.  It is wholly-owned by Milliken & Company, whose roots date back to 1865, when Seth Milliken and William Deering founded Deering-Milliken Company, a small woolen fabrics company in Portland, Maine. Shortly after, Deering left to start his own company.

In 1868, Seth Milliken moved the company headquarters to New York City, at that time the heart of the American textile industry.  In 1884, the company invested in a new facility in Pacolet, South Carolina, and from that basic beginning, the manufacturing operations grew. What was once small dry goods and woolens business in the state of Maine is now one of the largest privately-held companies in the world, an internationally-recognized manufacturer with 6,000 associates, 45 locations in 8 countries, and 19,000 diverse products.

Commitment to innovation has always been one of the most significant and honored attributes of the Milliken organization. Recognizing early on the potential importance of man-made fibers, Milliken invested in testing and developing them, and in WWI, was at the forefront of the development of synthetic materials for military clothing, and man-made fibers for military tire cord.

But it was immediately after the war that a true "new era" at Milliken dawned, when a trusted advisor who'd participated in the U.S. Government's famed "Manhattan Project" inspired Mr. Gerrish Milliken to view scientific and technical research as an absolute necessity.  The idea of creating a textile-oriented technical and scientific organization to strengthen the company and help build its future was conceived — and the original "Deering-Milliken Research Trust" was born in the fall of 1945.

A group comprised of six engineers and scientists was hired and brought to Clemson, South Carolina, to begin a venture that would change forever the future and the orientation of the company.  This pioneer research group was headed by an electronics genius who believed electronic technology was essential to the future success of the textile industry.  He hired a small group of top-notch technologists — not textile experts, but broad-based scientists and engineers.  Their breadth of background became the hiring philosophy of Milliken Research in the years ahead.

From its first kitchen lab in a humble brick bungalow in Clemson, through relocations to Connecticut and south again to Pendleton, SC, and finally in 1958 to its permanent quarters in Spartanburg, SC, Milliken Research has grown and flourished.  Meaningful discoveries have been made, exciting inventions created, unprecedented numbers of patents granted.  Many have led to great fortune and acknowledgment for the parent company, others "only" to greater knowledge and future discoveries.  Never has the parent company's enthusiasm for Milliken Research's efforts and contributions waned.

A rich history of innovation and a strong technological heritage have made Milliken & Company one of the most significant, successful, and respected organizations in the world. Today, Milliken remains at the leading edge of research and development in materials science and technologies, supported by the largest research facility of its kind in the world, Milliken Research.

Milliken & Company Leadership History

Founder Seth Milliken, who died in 1920, was succeeded by his son Gerrish Milliken.  Upon Gerrish Milliken’s death in 1947, his son Roger Milliken assumed the presidency of the Company. He became Chairman and CEO in 1983, at which time Dr. Tom Malone was named President and COO. In 2002, Dr. Malone retired and Dr. Ashley Allen succeeded him as President and COO. In January of 2006, Dr. Allen was named President and CEO, the first CEO outside of the Milliken family.  Following Dr. Allen’s 2008 retirement, Dr. Joe Salley was named President and CEO.

Formula for Success!

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