Through the
Years


From making aviation history with the first ever free-fall parachute jump with a parachute in 1919 to the design and build of the first seat belt in 1922, Irvin has sought a journey of adventure. Through the years our gained experience has built a rich foundation and taught us to never shy away from the next great adventure.




1919

Making The Leap


Founder Leslie Leroy Irvin makes history as the first ever free-fall parachute jumper with a parachute that he created himself as part of the Army Air Service’s parachute research team.

Less than two months after the parachute, Irving Air Chute Company was created. The “G” on Irving was thought to be due to a secretarial error.



1922

From Aerospace to Automotive, We Were Founded on Safe Mobility


The Company institutes the “Caterpillar Club”, which awarded a gold pin to pilots who successfully bailed out of disabled aircraft using an Irving parachute. The name was selected in homage to the silk threads that made the original parachutes and how a caterpillar lets itself down to earth by a silken thread. The Club’s Motto was "Life Depends on a Silken Thread".

In the same year, Irvin introduces his product into automotive applications when he designs and builds the first seat belt for the famed auto racer Barney Oldfield. Diversification, along with company growth, continued at a steady pace over the years. Business historians easily track the introduction of automotive products from Irvin as a close parallel to the growth and development of the automotive industry itself.



1939

Saving Lives with Style


Irving becomes the largest parachute manufacturer in the world with parachutes located in 45 countries. During World War II Irving parachutes saved over 10,000 lives and also created the classic sheepskin flying jacket. After the war, the company continued to make car seat belts, clings for cargo handling, and even canning machinery.



1942

Welcome to America


Irving Air Chute Company has a U.S. Expansion after being mostly based in Europe with a plant opening in Lexington, KY, where many of the company’s seat belts are made.



1970

"G"oodbye Irving Air Chute Company, Hello Irvin Industries


The infamous “G” in Irving Air Chute Company is officially dropped, to reflect Leslie Irvin’s last name. Company changes its name to Irvin Industries to reflect diversification into fabricated metal products, seat belts, vending machines and about ten other areas.



1977

Automotive Expansion into Visors and Armrests


The Greenwood, MS plant opens producing sun visors and arm rests. Later, in 1991, the Greenwood plant would incorporate the production of automotive seat trim products.



1988

From Handbags to Automotive Seat Trim


Expanding into cut and sew seat covers in 1988 Irvin purchased Tennessee Handbags but as business went overseas, began pursuing automotive seat cover.

Located in Dandridge, TN Irvin made seat covers for jump seats in the Ranger Pickup, Corvette seat covers, foam in place head rests and arm rests, sew/assemble hard armrest console covers, and driver side airbags for Morton Thiokol (now Autoliv).



1989

Seat Trim Finds a Front Row Seat at Irvin


Irvin Automotive Products (manufacturing sector of Irvin Industries), through acquisition, becomes a division of Takata Corporation, one of the world’s leading automotive OEM suppliers of safety restraint systems. While Takata’s other North American Divisions specialized in seat belts, electronics, and airbag technology, Irvin focused on soft trim components and assemblies for interior automotive applications.

Irvin begins production of seat trim on the Buick H-car (series).



2016

Shifting Momentum with a New Starting Lineup


Irvin Automotive is acquired by Vinnie Johnson’s Piston Group from Takata.



Today

We're Onboard, We're Prepared, and We're There for the Road Ahead


Irvin is known for supplying a full line of high-quality interior trim products to OEM’s worldwide. Irvin’s products include seat covers, headrests, cargo shades, barrier nets, armrest, and sun visors.