EDINBURG, RGV – Officials with Santana Textiles have officially announced the start of denim fabric production at its huge Edinburg production facility next year.

Addressing the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation’s board of directors, Santana administration and finance manager Javier Martínez confirmed that after nearly eight years of development and $60 million worth of investment at the Edinburg plant, the textile giant will begin production in January 2016.

Santana has begun stockpiling the cotton needed, equal to more than 700 tons sourced from American, Texas and Rio Grande Valley farmers. The company will begin with 100 employees, the majority of which will come from Edinburg, according to Martínez.

Santana, a Brazilian company, began production this month with a soft launch, starting with the production of yarn, before it revs up significantly next year, Martínez said.

“We estimate by Q2 or Q3 we will be at maximum number of employees,” Martínez said. “It’s a big deal. Yarn production started in October. That’s part of our core business. Right now we’re making cotton to yarn, soon we will make cotton to denim. Starting in 2016, we are going to be one of the most modern industrial denim plants in North America. That is our commitment to the EDC, to Edinburg and to the people of the Rio Grande Valley.”

In attendance at the EEDC meeting, but not speaking was Santana CEO Roberto Cantú. After the meeting Cantú spoke exclusively to the Rio Grande Guardian.

“We have already begun buying from local producers,” Cantú said in Spanish. “Not more than a month ago we began buying from farmers here in Edinburg. The idea is to cultivate those relationships with them. I have a meeting on Friday with another group in Harlingen, and that’s what we want to do. We want to grow little by little.”

Santana will hold a small celebration announcing the start of production on Nov. 19 to commemorate the start of the manufacturing facility in progress.

“Our goal, I can tell you that from day one we have named this city ‘Denimburg’,” Martínez said. “Our goal starting in 2016 is to sell premium denim fabric to the U.S. and Mexico.”

Editor’s Note: Featured in the main image accompanying this story are, from left to right: Alicia Ruiz, Textile Engineer for Quality Control and Product Development; Lucivaldo Monteiro from Santana Textiles’ Argentina Division; Javier Martínez, Administration and Finance Manager;  Janette García, Human Resources Coordinator; and Ulric Cantú, Finance and Purchasing Coordinator. Ruiz, Monteiro, García, and Cantú are holding yarn produced at Santana Textiles’ huge new production plant in Edinburg. They gave a presentation about the Edinburg plant to Edinburg Economic Development on Tuesday, October 27, 2015. (Photo: Mark Montemayor)