Thorlo plants to open doors for Manufacturing Day

ROCKWELL — Have you ever wanted to see how socks are made?

Take a look next week when two Thorlo sock-making plants in Statesville and Rockwell welcome the public in celebration of National Manufacturing Day.

The Rockwell plant at 319 Link St. will open from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 3, and the Statesville plant at 2210 Newton Drive will open from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 4.

Thorlo, which began operations in Statesville nearly 60 years ago, sells activity-specific padded socks. The company markets the socks as foot protection and comfort for 32 different activities, and all Thorlo products are made in the U.S.

The open house will offer a 22-minute documentary and refreshments, followed by a tour of the plant where visitors can get up close and personal with the facility’s operations.

Tour participants will receive padded socks so that they can experience Thorlos for themselves.

“We’ve been able to thrive thanks to local manufacturing and the craftspeople who make our product,” owner and inventor Jim Throneburg said. “We hope to show that U.S. manufacturing is a growing segment and an excellent career choice.”

Thorlo employs 270 people between the two plants and has annual sales of less than $50 million.

The company touts scientific, peer-reviewed research and guarantees “your feet will feel better or your money back.” The socks are marketed to seniors with foot pain, and Thorlo has created socks specifically for people who suffer from arthritis or diabetes.

Thorlo also makes socks for a variety of sports and outdoor activities, including hiking, hunting, tennis and basketball.

Manufacturing Day is a national event that was celebrated for the first time last year. More than 250 manufacturers and educational institutions across the nation will host local events to honor the work and innovation of the 12 million men and women who make the U.S. the world’s largest manufacturing economy.

The event is also designed to draw greater attention to career opportunities in manufacturing. To learn more, go to

To sign up for a tour of either Thorlo plant, call Jennifer Crawford at 704-902-0617.

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