June 22, 2007
June 22, 2007 - The U.S. Army has awarded a Northfield, Vt., manufacturer a $1.7 million contract to produce combat socks. The contract will create a half-dozen new jobs.
Cabot Hosiery Mill, Inc. and Darn Tough Vermont announced Tuesday that the U.S. government awarded the company a contract to produce 300,000 pairs of wool boot socks for Army aviators.
Darn Tough Vermont is a brand of Cabot Hosiery Mill Inc. which has made premium socks for 30 years.
Popular with bikers, hikers and skiers because of its warmth, absorption and quick drying ability and naturally antimicrobial quality, Darn Tough Vermont's military wool socks are an improvement over the standard issue boot sock, said Roland Beliveau, the company's brand manager.
Unlike synthetic material, Beliveau said wool doesn't burn, melt or drip when it comes in contact with heat or flame.
What the military found out in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said, is that the heat is so intense from a roadside bomb that it can melt a synthetic-based layer to the skin.
"Many of the Armed Forces are switching to wool for the next-to-skin layer, and as these socks are going to aviators ? there is extreme heat potentially," Beliveau said.
With the $1.7 million contract in hand, Cabot Hosiery is in the process of hiring six to eight additional workers. The company has 100 knitting machines and employs 85 workers at its 60,000-square-foot facility. Cabot Hosiery manufactures 6 million pairs of socks a year in a variety of fibers and colors.