In 1924, Charles W. Fifield, author of the book, "Along the Gloucester Waterfront", founded Fifield Inc. and chose a pair of majestic fishing schooners, the “Bluenose” and the “Gertrude L. Thebaud,” for his company's logo. Fifield admired the sturdiness and speed of these schooners that had plied the North Atlantic from the 1920s to the 1940s in search of cod. The schooners, inspiring reminders of Fifield’s long history of success, symbolize a progressive, innovative company standing ready to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Under the direction of Charles Fifield, and later, his son Richard, the company grew and prospered.
Its first product was a protective flannel, which was designed for the silver industry. During the 1930s, while remaining the premier supplier to the silver industry, Mr Fifield began developing other flannels to be used as covers for loose-leaf binders and ledgers. These cotton flannels were also used for lining wicker baby carriages. Later, Fifield upgraded this variety of flannels with a range of colors and styles that were used as inter- linings.
During the 1960s, Fifield developed Fi-Vel, the company’s first trademarked product. This economical, simulated velvet was used for jewelry display boxes and by the silver industry for bags and chest linings. The cost-effective value of this soft and plush fabric encouraged both industries to use flocked fabrics.
In the late 1970s, Fifield’s vice-president Randall Martin purchased the company from Richard Fifield and became president. Randall’s son, Edwin, who joined the company after college, was promoted to vice-president. Together, the Martins have built a successful company shaped by the enduring values and principles of the founder.
During this time, Fifield developed two new lines of simulated suede and velvet: Rich Suede and Rich-Vel. At the time of their introduction, these flocked fabrics, used in packaging and displays, were the most sophisticated man-made flocked products in the market. Charisma, an elegant, simulated suede, made of non-woven nylon and polyurethane, was launched shortly after.
In addition to developing new products, Randall Martin inaugurated a successful system of quality control that has become the standard of the fabric industry. Fifield’s critically demanding control system assures its clients consistent products of excellence.
In 1991, after many years of development, Fifield launched Shadow, a flocked product made to resemble fine European suede. Three years later, the company introduced Vienna, an elegant imitation leather. Fifield also introduced Elite, an innovative leather-look designer fabric that is ideal for the presentation of luxury products.
By partnering with clients to fulfill their needs, Fifield successfully developed the distinctive textures of the Vienna Collection, which include Ostrich, Tweed, Pebble, Brushed Metal, Symmetry, Horizon, and Pallino Met.
Fifield's goal was to produce products with attention to the company’s high standards of quality and service and to make them available to all international markets. By 1999 Fifield had opened an office in Hong Kong, an exclusive distributor in Mexico, and added sales representation in Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
Today, under the leadership of Edwin Martin, who became President in 1996, Fifield offers 20 fabric collections in a large range of colors. Fifield continues to develop prototypes in anticipation of clients’ future needs.