Yorkville manufacturer celebrates 140 years

Aurora Specialty Textiles Group employees celebrated the company's 140-year anniversary in June 2023.

Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, located in Yorkville, is celebrating 140 years of continuous operation.

Through two world wars, two global pandemics, a major depression, countless recessions and under the terms of 26 different U.S. presidents, ASTG has been a steadfast Chicago region employer and an anchor manufacturing operation for the U.S. textile industry supply chain, according to a news release.

“Today, Aurora is the leading North American textile finishing company with wide width coating capabilities,” ASTG president Marcia Ayala said in the release. “Aurora’s product offerings have expanded greatly from our beginnings in 1883 supplying private label sheeting to Sears & Roebuck. But our core values of supporting both the U.S. textile industry supply chain and the community where we live and work have remained the same.”

ASTG opened in Aurora on the Fox River as the Aurora Cotton Mills 18 years after the Civil War. The company’s name went through a few evolutions including Aurora Bleachery and Dye Works, Aurora Textiles, Aurora Textile Finishing Company and today, Aurora Specialty Textiles Group.

In 2015, ASTG moved from Aurora to an updated facility in Yorkville to keep up with changing trends and technologies in the U.S. textile industry.

That investment in state-of-the-art textile technology made it possible for ASTG’s plant in Yorkville to offer a wide array of products and services used in a range of applications including pressure sensitive tapes, industrial belting, digitally printable textiles, military textiles, healthcare and safety, sanding abrasives and outdoor protective coverings.

While ASTG’s technologies and products have evolved, the company’s commitment to workforce diversity has remained a core value. ASTG hired women from almost day one and today, women make up 23% of the company’s workforce and 50% of the company’s leadership.

Additionally, ASTG has been a textile industry leader in the area of sustainability, winning awards for the many steps they’ve taken to reduce energy use, water consumption, residual effluent, air pollution and VOCs.

“Our Midwest roots run deep, and so does our commitment to continuous growth, innovation and evolution in step with the changing demands of today’s global textile industry,” Ayala said in the release. “For us, the key to success is continuous improvement while staying rooted in the community where our employees have lived and worked for 140 years. We are all very proud of our history and our continued place as a trusted U.S. textile industry manufacturer.”