North American textile manufacturer Victor acquired the brand, design and collection of Pennsylvania-based Craftex Mills, boosting employment prospects at its Fall River operation and solidifying its place in the residential and commercial fabric industry, officials said.

North American textile manufacturer Victor acquired the brand, design and collection of Pennsylvania-based Craftex Mills, boosting employment prospects at its Fall River operation and solidifying its place in the residential and commercial fabric industry, officials said.

“Our goal is to transition here as rapidly as possible,” said Paul Bennotti, Victor director of marketing for the Canada-based manufacturer. The company purchased assets and equipment of Quaker Fabric 1½ years ago after what was once the city’s largest employer shut down.

The acquisition was made Monday through a “secured creditor” sale and did not include buying the mill business, he said.

The high-end Craftex textiles will be made at the city’s plant at 81 Commerce Way, where there are 136 employees, 105 in manufacturing, Bennotti and Human Resources Director Rose Pedro said. Most are former Quaker Fabric workers.

During economic times when holding one’s own in the Spindle City with a crushing 16.2 unemployment rate shows progress, Bennotti said there would be more work.

He could not pinpoint how that might translate into new jobs on their three shifts.

“It does add to our business,” he said Wednesday during a visit to the Fall River operation. “We’re hopeful this will lead to a more normal work schedule.”

He and Pedro, who also handled personnel at Quaker, said the Craftex acquisition will enable the company to rebound from reductions about four months ago.

At that time, Victor laid off eight workers, bringing its work force to 136, where it remains now. They also needed to reduce work weeks and pay to retain as many people as possible, officials said.

Many of those former 40-hour shifts needed to be scaled back to 24- and 32-hour work weeks. Manufacturing jobs pay an average $13 to 17 an hour.

Craftex, a three-generation, 100-year-old company., similar to the lineage of Victor’s in Saint-Georges, Canada, offered a line of highly styled fabrics for upholstering furniture. Its specialties have included jacquard textiles, in which the design is woven into the cloth.

Both are privately owned and Victor assumes the customers of the smaller Craftex operation, Bennotti said.

“This acquisition creates a more diverse product offering for Victor, and offers stability for customers of the Craftex brand during a challenging economic time for the entire textile industry,” Bennotti said. “The Craftex brand is going to give Victor broader exposure in both the contract (commercial) and residential markets, and deepens our product offering.” He said Craftex has a reputation for high-quality, higher-end products.

The Fall River company, recently renamed Victor Residential, is one of Victor’s two United States service and warehouse facilities — along with Grand Rapids, Mich. — and one of two design studios, the other is in New York City. The parent company was founded in 1947.

E-mail Michael Holtzman at mholtzman@heraldnews.com.