Our History


Bob Livingston, who would later become president of Emtex, went to work as a sales trainee for Emerson Textile Co. after graduating from Northeastern University.

Emerson Textile Co. manufactured and sold trimming (bias binding) to the burgeoning domestic sneaker trade. Millions of pairs of sneakers were being produced daily in the U.S. by customers like U.S. Rubber (producer of Keds), B.F. Goodrich (producer of P.F. Flyers) Converse Rubber, Vans, etc.

Emerson Textile Co. was a division of Chelsea Industries, Inc. Chelsea Industries was a conglomerate, with factories all over the country, and a leader in supplying components to the footwear industry—including products such as shoe tapes, cutting dyes, shoe fabrics, bows and buckles.

A worker in the Chelsea, MA plant cutting cotton duck material on the bias cut to be made into binding for canvas shoes.


Chelsea, MA factory circa 1975. A worker stitching together cotton duck bias cut to be made into large rolls then slit into binding.

At one point, Emerson Textile Co. had over 100 employees stitching material, 10 employees just to pull the extra fabric away from the employees stitching. At the high point of the domestic cotton sneaker/shoe business, Emerson Textile Co. was producing over a million yards of bias binding per week.


Bob became president of the Emerson Textile Co. division and was joined by Joseph Tutrone as V.P. of Sales. Joe spent numerous years on the road cultivating relationships with customers that are still beneficial to the company today. Business boomed until the domestic industry felt the impact of low-cost producers in Japan, Korea and China.

In order to offset imports, Emerson Textile Co. diversified and changed their name to Emtex as they started supplying laminated fabrics to footwear, medical and other industries.


Bob and Joe acquired the Emtex division from Chelsea Industries. Since then, Emtex has built a significant business in the athletic and military footwear industries, and diversified into new markets while establishing a major presence in Asia, representing some of the largest factories in China.


“They Said They were Crazy” –American Shoemaking Magazine April 21, 1986.
Bob Livingston and Joe Tutrone reflect on their first year of ownership. Read the article here.


Emtex partners with Realtree and Mossyoak for Cordura® Brand fabrics printed with Realtree and Mossy Oak Camo patterns.


Emtex becomes a leading supplier of Cordura® Brand fabric and laminated fabric packages to all U.S. manufacturers of military footwear.


Emtex re-invents puncture protection after a major hunting boot company experienced issues with their waterproof boots. The boots were being pierced by thorns while in the brush. Emtex developed a non-woven breathable textile that was also non-wicking and the result of that was Thornshield, which would later lend to a heavier version named Snakeguard. These products have since been used by every major boot company. In 2016, the product was re-engineered for Berry Amendment compliance.


Emtex launches its first web site: www.emtexinc.com.


Rebranding effort includes new logo, brochures and website.


With increased manufacturing costs and overhead, Emtex begins to outsource manufacturing while preserving the core strengths of converting materials, transportation and exceptional customer service. The company size is reduced, and business grows through partnering with world-class companies for manufacturing.


Joe Tutrone and Joel Livingston (Bob’s son) become partners and take over operations at Emtex.


Emtex becomes Emtexglobal and diversifies into new markets. Emtexglobal establishes a major presence in Asia while representing some of the largest factories in China.


We are proud that after over 30 years, the families second generations have become active in the management of Emtexglobal and the company continues to grow and prosper.