About | Our History

Since 1792, when Samuel Slater established the first American textile mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, this area has had a rich tradition in the textile industry. The same spirit of innovation that inspired Slater to develop manufacturing techniques for spinning yarn is carried on today at Murdock Webbing Co., Inc. Founded in January of 1936 by M.I.T. graduate Frederick Murdock just a few miles from Slater’s original mill, Murdock Webbing began with 10 employees and two looms weaving Venetian blind tape. As WWII erupted, the industrial base began to gather even more momentum and Murdock Webbing played an active role in producing cotton webbings for the war effort while at the same time helping to introduce synthetic fibers into the narrow fabrics industry.

In 1954, the DeAngelis family took ownership, not only of the company but also of the innovative approach to producing textiles that Frederick had long established within the company. Weaving was performed on shuttle looms in the early stages of the business with the introduction of much faster needle looms to our manufacturing process in the early 1960’s. Around that time, Murdock further expanded its product line by playing a vital role in developing the specifications for arresting tapes which are still followed today. These arresting tapes are used at modern day military installations around the world ensuring the safety of our military personnel. From the 60’s forward we have continued to expand our product line, including a number of acquisitions throughout the 70’s and 80’s, both within and outside of the textile industry. The majority of the non-textile assets were divested in the late 1980’s.

One of the integral acquisitions that remain with us today was the 1987 purchase of Phoenix Trimming Co. based in Tarboro, NC. In honor of the first generation DeAngelis ownership, the plant was then named John DeAngelis. In the early 2000’s, we further expanded our offerings by purchasing the assets of two Jacquard weaving facilities, Velcro Webbing (formerly Impact Textiles) from Fall River, MA and Bison Weaving from Longmont, CO. The equipment from these two acquisitions was relocated to our RI facility, giving us the largest domestic capacity for Jacquard narrow woven fabrics.

The introduction and utilization of Lean Manufacturing concepts for the last 5+ years and celebrating our 80th year of being in business in 2016 are some of the more recent milestones we have achieved. We look forward to building upon our strong foundation and desire for continuous improvement as we strive to be the best at providing textile solutions to our ever-expanding customer base.

Murdock opens the J.D. Plant in Tarboro, NC

Our Rhode Island headquarters was originally constructed in 1863, during the American Civil War, and functioned at the time as the U.S. Cotton Mill. In 1936, Frederick Murdock founded Murdock Webbing in the heart of the American Industrial Revolution with only 10 employees and 2 looms. In 1954, Murdock Webbing was purchased by the DeAngelis family, who still currently presides over a thriving company with more than 150 associates in the 285,000 square foot facility.

Our North Carolina facility is conveniently located for shipments south of New England. Previously Phoenix Trimming, this 125,000 square foot building was constructed in 1963 and began operation as Murdock Webbing’s second facility in 1992. Known as the J.D. Plant, this building is named in honor of John DeAngelis.

1861

1861

Fales and Jenkes Machine Shop

Our building is built between 1861 and 1863 by Fales and Jenkes. It begins as a shop that manufactures ring spinning frames and Rabbeth self-centering spindles.

1866

1866

The A and W Sprague Company

The building was sold to the A and W Sprague Company. They produce linen until 1869 when they switch to print cloths for the duration of the company.

1885

1885

United States Cotton Company

US Cotton Company

The officers of the new firm are the direct descendants of the original owners. By 1917 the building housed 80 carders, 58,200 ring spindles and 1,600 looms.

1936

January 1, 1936

Murdock Webbing Company is founded by Frederick Murdock

Frederick Murdock

Frederick Murdock graduates from MIT and leaves New England for the South. After becoming one of the founding members of Southern leaving, he returns to New England to start Murdock Webbing.

 

1938

Late 1930s

First product line is Venetian blind tape

Early Days

Later, in the 1940s, Frederick Murdock and John DeAngelis develop a patented loom attachment that improves the process of weaving ladder webbing for Venetian blind tape. The patent number is 2,469,202.

1940

Early 1940s

Murdock begins manufacturing cotton webbing for military use during WWII

WWII cotton webbing beltMurdock Webbing expands their product line to help in the war effort. Cotton webbing produced by Murdock is made into belts, packs, and other military gear.

1940

Mid 1940s

Murdock is instrumental in introducing synthetic fibers to the narrow fabrics industry

Synthetic

Through our work in the Narrow Fabric Institute, Murdock Webbing is responsible for the development of the specification for MIL-4088.

 

1950

1950s

The DeAngelis Family becomes owner of Murdock Webbing

Deangelis

John DeAngelis becomes President of Murdock Webbing when Frederick Murdock retires. John DeAngelis was one of Murdock Webbing’s first employees after graduating from Rhode Island School of Design’s textile program in 1936.

 

1960

1960

Murdock starts manufacturing arresting tapes for domestic and global military bases.

A US Air Force (USAF) F-16 Fighting Falcon

An arresting tape is a mechanical system used to rapidly decelerate an aircraft as it lands.

Murdock Webbing purchases modern needle looms

Needle

Needle looms greatly improve and increase Murdock’s production capabilities.

1960

Mid 1960s

Murdock introduces our new logo

Logo

Murdock Webbing works with a local designer to develop our logo. The logo represents cones of yarn in the shape of the letter M.

1973

1973

Murdock buys Rockland Webbing Company

Rockland

Rockland Webbing Company, located in Rockland, MA becomes a part of Murdock Webbing. Through Rockland Webbing’s product line, Murdock Webbing begins to manufacture elastics.

1974

1974

Murdock acquires Prentice Stamping Company

 

Murdock Webbing Purchases New Hampshire based Prentice Stamping Company as an investment.

1976

1976

Murdock purchases McGuire-Nicholas Company

For an investment, McGuire-Nicholas Company from Commerce City, California becomes a part of the Murdock Webbing family.

1980

Mid 1980s

Murdock divests most of the non-textile assets purchased in the previous decade

1986

1986

Murdock celebrates its 50th anniversary

Murdock celebrates its 50th anniversary

Management hosts a family day at a park in nearby Lincoln, RI. There is a cookout, food, games, a bouncy house, and a very large cake.

1987

1987

Murdock purchases Phoenix Trimming Company

Murdock purchases Phoenix Trimming Company

Murdock purchases Phoenix Trimming Company in Tarboro, NC. We move the equipment to our Rhode Island facility.

1990

1990

Don DeAngelis becomes the President of Murdock Webbing

1992

1992

Murdock opens the J.D. Plant in Tarboro, NC

Murdock opens the J.D. Plant in Tarboro, NC

After some reorganization, Murdock reopens the former Phoenix Trimming facility. It is named the J.D. Plant in honor of John DeAngelis.

2000

2000

Murdock purchases Velcro Webbing

Murdock purchases Velcro Webbing

Murdock purchases Velcro Webbing was formerly Impact Textiles of Fall River, MA. Murdock Webbing now has a jacquard department and begins to expand their offerings.

2001

2001

Murdock acquires Bison Weaving

Murdock acquires Bison Weaving

Murdock purchases Bison Weaving, a sub-company of Bison Designs in Longmont, CO. This increases our jacquard weaving capabilities. Murdock Webbing continues a relationship with Bison Designs, producing a lot of their webbing.

2004

2004

Murdock makes major automation enhancements to our Tarboro, NC facility

2008

2008

Murdock implements a Lean Manufacturing concept

Murdock Webbing hires RIMES (now Polaris) to lead us in training employees in the lean manufacturing concept.

2011

2011

Murdock celebrates its 75th anniversary

Murdock celebrates its 75th anniversary

Management hosts a cookout for employees at the RI and the NC facilities. There is a pig roast, lawn games, and contests

2012

2012

Murdock creates a fabrication division

Murdock creates a fabrication division within the company to produce specialized finished items. We now have the capability of sewing, cutting, printing, and silicone application in-house.

2013

2013

Murdock rebrands our company logo

2016

2016

Acquire the assets of Victor Balata Belting Company.

This broadens our market share and capabilities in the arresting tape industry

2017

2017

Greg Pilgrim becomes CEO

 

Murdock Webbing purchases state of the art dyeing and finishing equipment