Riverdale Mills Corporation

Riverdale Mills Corporation

Riverdale Mills is a leading American manufacturer of premium quality welded wire mesh fabrics for the marine, security, construction and agriculture industries. Riverdale invented Aquamesh?, the industry-standard wire mesh used for building lobster and aquaculture traps, and WireWall?,a high-security fencing wire mesh used globally to protect embassies, airports, refineries, and borders. Forty-five percent of our products are exported to global customers. Innovative and precise manufacturing in our USA plant ensures we consistently deliver superior, cost-effective welded wire mesh solutions. As Riverdale Mills celebrates 40 years in business, we thank and are deeply appreciative of our customers, distributors and business partners who work with us ? day-after-day, year-after-year.

Company details

130 Riverdale Street, P.O. Box 920 , Northbridge , Massachusetts 01534 USA
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Globally (various continents)
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This company also provides solutions for other industrial applications.
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Company Overview

Riverdale Mills Corp. is one of the largest manufacturers of welded wire mesh in the world and is known as the industry leader for its galvanized and PVC coated wire mesh products. James Knott Sr., an energetic engineer and inventor with a passion for science and business, created the company.

Knott, a native of Gloucester, MA, America’s oldest seaport, saw a fundamental weakness in the design of lobster traps: the harsh Atlantic Ocean quickly corroded the wooden and rope structures, forcing lobstermen to spend an inordinate amount of time and money replacing their traps.  Knott pioneered a manufacturing process, which combines galvanized welding and a PVC coating, to create the only wire mesh fabric in the world specifically engineered to withstand the harshest subsea conditions.

Riverdale Mills delivered the first shipment of its marque product Aquamesh® to Maine in 1980; it is now shipped to fishing ports around the world.

The same techniques originally applied to create Aquamesh are now used in industries as diverse as security, agriculture and construction.  Aquamesh is used for security along the U.S./Mexican border, the company’s WireWall® fencing product can be found in areas of Kuwait, and its Soft-Step™ poultry wire is used to reduce bacteria levels in breeder and boiler houses.

Riverdale Mills continues to focus on cutting edge research and innovative engineering methods to deliver products of unsurpassed quality and provide customers around the world with superior service.

Riverdale Mills is a proud member of the following industry and trade organizations:

  • American Fence Association
  • American Galvanizers Association
  • American Shotcrete Association
  • Associated Industries of Massachusetts
  • Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen’s Association
  • Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • Cooling Technology Institute
  • East Coast Shellfish Growers Association
  • Independent Galvanizers Cooperative
  • Maine Lobstermen’s Association
  • Manufacturers’ Agents National Association
  • Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association
  • MetroWest Human Resource Management Association
  • National Federation of Independent Business
  • Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association
  • Society for Human Resource Management


The history of Riverdale Mills is a classic American story of hard work, perseverance, and entrepreneurship. Back in the 1960’s Jim Knott, Sr., Riverdale’s eventual founder, owned a leading industrial coatings company and was awarded several patents on innovative new coating processes. Jim eventually sold his coatings company to a wire mesh manufacturer who soon after became his employer. During this time, Jim got involved in part-time lobstering operating his own boat out of the famous fishing port of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Jim used the same old wooden lobster traps that had been used in the industry for over 100 years. They had the irritating habit of breaking virtually every time the lobsterman hauled the trap, which could be as often as two or three times a week.

Jim got the idea that a trap made of wire would be lighter than the wooden version when out of the water, and would be easier on the lobsterman’s back. They would also be heavier than the wooden version when in the water, so that they would sink quickly and tend to stay in their assigned place. Finally, the wire traps would be considerably more durable than the wooden ones.

Jim began work on developing a suitable coating system that would protect the wire from the ravages of the harsh sea. He would concoct a formula, make some samples and try the material in the ocean. This trial and error period extended over several years until Jim finally got it right. He developed a method to continuously galvanize a complete, long roll of welded mesh referred to as galvanized after welding, followed by a similar method that uniformly fusion bonded a thick coating of marine grade PVC outercoating to the galvanized substrate. He named this new coated wire “Aquamesh®”.

Jim now had to convince the local lobstermen to start using wire instead of wood while building their traps. It took many years of walking the docks of New England, touting the benefits of Aquamesh®, until eventually the fishermen started trying out this new wire to make traps and realized what Jim knew all along: it worked much better than wood.

Jim left his job and went into the wire mesh manufacturing business for himself, starting Riverdale Mills in 1979. He purchased an old run-down former textile and paper mill in Northbridge, Massachusetts and completely renovated it. Riverdale Mills began producing Aquamesh®, which has become the standard material used for all North American lobster traps.

Today Riverdale Mills manufactures a wide variety of welded wire mesh for many different applications. The mill has been expanded several times and now occupies almost 400,000 square feet and employs over 100 workers. Riverdale has also expanded its brands which now include Aquamesh®, Marinemesh®, WireWall®, Geomesh™ and Soft-Step™, which are worldwide leaders in the marine, aquaculture, security, and agriculture industries. Riverdale Mills has become a trusted and respected American manufacturer known for supplying the highest quality wire mesh available in the marketplace.

Manufacturing and Capabilities

Riverdale Mills manufactures the highest quality welded wire mesh fabrics in the industry. Our 391,000-sq. ft. production plant is located in Northbridge, Massachusetts. Our extensive, state-of-the art plant includes computer controlled welders and drawing machines, proprietary hot dipped galvanizing and automated PVC coating lines and an in-house shearing department. The equipment is meticulously maintained and continuously upgraded to ensure precision manufacturing, reinforcing Riverdale’s commitment to make and supply superior welded wire mesh products.

Drawing: Riverdale draws its own bright basic wire from premium low carbon steel rod that meets or exceeds ASTM specification A510 “Standard Specification for General Requirements for Wire Rods and Coarse Round Wire, Carbon Steel, and Alloy Steel.” Riverdale strand wire is available in a wide range of sizes from 0.054 inches to 0.225 inches.

Welding: Riverdale delivers a precise welded mesh by utilizing state of the art computer controlled welding equipment to guarantee consistent weld quality. Our wire spacing capabilities are adjustable and our advanced welders allow us to respond quickly to customer requirements and deliver quality welded wire mesh when our customers need it.

Galvanizing: Riverdale wire mesh is manufactured using an incomparable galvanized after welding (GAW). The galvanized coating uses a pure zinc to completely encapsulate the weld area and protects the weld against rust and corrosion. For less critical applications where corrosion is not a major concern, galvanized before welding (GBW) is available.

Coating: By combining high-performance PVC with a breakthrough coating process, Riverdale wire mesh delivers a protective, uniform PVC coating that is designed to withstand extreme weather exposure and UV light without stripping or peeling. Using an advanced proprietary method, our PVC coating is fuse-bonded to the wire, creating the longest lasting wire mesh on the market. Standard PVC colors include: Black, Green, Yellow, Blue, White, Red, Gray, Orange and Brown.

Shearing: Riverdale’s in-house shear department can accommodate a wide range of capabilities to meet our customers’ specific demands. Our six shearing machines offer precision cutting for a variety of panel sizes and are operated by our skilled and experienced shearing staff. The shearing department also has the ability to bend or form panels upon request.

Quality Control: Riverdale’s manufacturing process, from the sourcing of raw materials to the finished product, follows a strict quality control system. Our production equipment is meticulously maintained and continuously upgraded to guarantee our products are of the highest quality available. The Riverdale staff is constantly evaluating and refining all processes to ensure the factory and all equipment are performing at maximum capacity.

Testing: Riverdale preforms all regulatory, physical, environmental and product performance testing in-house to meet the appropriate compliances. We can certify that our products meet ASTM or International specifications where applicable. Riverdale also has the ability to meet the requirements of “Buy America” upon customer request.

Additional Services: Budget Estimates, CAD Drawings, Product Samples, Arranging Logistics

Green Initiatives

Riverdale Mills is committed to environmental responsibility and to ensuring our manufacturing processes never impede the integrity of the environment. Our Green Initiatives Program includes recycling and reducing waste; producing phthalate-free and plant-based products; utilizing renewable resources; and preserving our natural resources. We continuously review and improve our processes to promote sustainability across all areas of our operations.

Recycling – The majority of Riverdale Mills’ products are made from steel, the most recycled material in the world. Almost 100% of the steel used in the manufacturing of our wire mesh products is recycled. In addition, Riverdale collects and recycles all of its scrap metal, wood, plastic and paper to significantly reduce waste.

Phthalate-Free PVC – For 35 years, Riverdale Mills has developed an extensive library of phthalate-free PVC compounds. Many of our PVC coated wire mesh products are manufactured using our proprietary, phthalate-free marine grade PVC.

USDA Certified Biobased Products – In 2015, Riverdale Mills was awarded the USDA BioPreferred Label for its MarineMax PVC coating. MarineMax is a thermoplastic, bio-based fusible coating made from renewable plant based materials that is compounded with thermoplastic resins, pigments and stabilizers. MarineMax was invented by Riverdale Mills to provide an alternative to traditional petroleum-based plasticizer offerings.

Sustainable Manufacturing – Riverdale Mills uses water from the Blackstone River to generate a portion of its electricity and run its machines with hydroelectric power. Riverdale also uses natural gas fired diesel generators to heat the plant and generate additional electricity, thereby reducing the company’s carbon footprint.

Wildlife Conservation – Conserving the natural habitat surrounding the Mill has always been a top priority for Riverdale. In 1979, as part of the initial restoration of the mill, the Knott family restored and rebuilt the existing dam and re-hydrated the millpond. The continuing pond restoration has provided a thriving habitat for wetland plants, trees and animals, has allowed for the ponds biodiversity to flourish, and has created a safe environment for a variety of fish, reptiles and birds, including bald eagles.

LEED Credits – Riverdale products are used in construction projects throughout North America to earn credits toward LEED certification; the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Credits are applied for Recycled Content and Regional Materials.

The Riverdale Mills Advantage

  • Recognized for Excellence in International Trade, and Innovative Domestic and Global Initiatives
  • 3,500 Configurations of Superior Welded Wire Mesh for the Marine, Aquaculture, Security, Farming and Construction Industries.
  • Proprietary Galvanizing After Welding and Automated PVC Coating Processes
  • Ability to Meet ASTM and International Specifications
  • 391,000 square foot, fully integrated USA Production Facility
  • Products Manufactured and tested in-house Under Strict Quality Controls