Inspired by Innovation, Driven by Excellence

Our History

For more than a hundred years, BGF Industries has pursued excellence in every endeavor and in every product developed for customers throughout the world.

Since 1885, we have progressed from our early days as a producer of fine silk fabrics, to a leader in the industry manufacturing fiberglass and other high-performance fabrics for an ever-growing range of industries. The common denominator in every phase of growth has been a profound commitment to research and new product development.

BGF’s lineage began in 1885, when Hess Goldsmith & Company was founded in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to weave fine silks. By the early 1920s Hess Goldsmith & Company was one of the country’s leading silk goods manufacturers and had begun to experiment with the difficult new fibers, equipment, and weaving processes involved in the production of crepe de chine, rayon, and woven nylon.

In 1938, Owens-Corning developed the first fiberglass textiles and asked Hess Goldsmith & Company to join its market research and product development efforts. Soon after, when the United States entered World War II and metals became scarce, the demand grew for strong, lightweight glass fabric materials for reinforced plastics. The two companies stepped up their research efforts and managed to compact ten years of market and product research into three very busy years. Fiberglass fabrics were therefore available to the market by 1941.

Hess Goldsmith & Company started manufacturing and selling glass fabrics independently of Owens-Corning in 1947. Four years later the company merged with Horace Linton & Brothers, a narrow tape manufacturer that had teamed up with Owens-Corning in 1939 to develop and market fiberglass electrical insulation tapes. The company grew rapidly, then, in 1956, was acquired by Burlington Industries.

In 1988 Burlington Glass Fabrics was purchased by Porcher Industries of Badinieres, France. In recognition of the global capabilities of the merged companies, the former Burlington division became BGF Industries.

Today, BGF markets and distributes products through domestic and international sales offices around the world.


BGF Industries has enjoyed over 25 years of explosive growth. Download a pdf outlining our history.