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In 1972, a young man by the name of Nat Thakkar emigrated to Canada from his native India. He was the first and only of his family to leave the country, with dreams of coming to America. Well, Montreal, Canada isn’t quite America, but it was close enough.
At 24 years of age and with not much to call an education, he ended up finding employment as a factory worker, as did most immigrants at the time. His first job was as a sample maker for a company that sold woven fabrics from Japan. That position lasted less than a year and in 1973, Nat found employment with a knitting mill and was taught how to operate circular knitting machines. The next 18 years saw him grow from a lowly immigrant who came to Canada with less than $100 to his name and knew nothing about textiles to the production manager of a vertical knit fabric manufacturer, overseeing all their knitting, dyeing and finishing operations.
It was May of 1991 and the time was right for Nat Thakkar to go out on his own and begin a new dream—that of owning his own knitting mill. He started as a “converter" of knit fabrics: one who would buy yarn, have it sent to a mill to be contract knitted, then sent to a dye house for dyeing and finishing and shipped directly to his clients. Customers fell in love with his quality, service and price and that saw the business grow out of his home in Montreal all the way to the suburbs of Toronto, where he opened a full fledged knitting mill with brand new machinery in 2001.
The time period from 1999 to 2006 saw many Canadian knitting mills go bankrupt or close down due to fierce competition from Asian manufacturers who were no longer held back by import quotas. An industry that once had over 100 companies in Canada has now been reduced to less than 10 today. It was a given that if he wanted to survive, he had to change with the times and offer his clients more than ever before.
In 2001, Nat’s son, Amit, joined the business on a full time basis and brought with him a fresh perspective on the direction of the business. Roopa Knitting Mills went from being a supplier of basic cotton and polyester circular knit fabrics to a manufacturer that produces technical and eco-friendly fabrics, high quality novelty and textured knits and the best Canadian fleece available. Due to the high demand of Roopa’s clients for fully finished product, Roopa now also offers a full package knit program for high quality t-shirts, sweatshirts, socks, beanies and other knit goods.
Please contact us to learn how we can help you.