US clothing manufacturer Hanesbrands has revealed plans to double production at its Woolwine fabric plant in Virginia with a US$1.6m investment in new equipment.

Hanesbrands will install new knitting machines to make fabric for intimate apparel, with the equipment going into place from December.

"By adding the new machines, we will create additional flexibility to make other kinds of fabric at the plant and make it more competitive. The new equipment will allow total production to double at the facility," a spokesperson told just-style.

The apparel group will employ 50 people to operate the machines while retaining 215 jobs. Hiring will be done through Virginia Employment Commission job fairs and will start in December and is expected to be completed by the end of February.

"This investment and upgrade will ensure the continued vitality of [Hanesbrands'] textiles operation in Southern Virginia," said Governor McDonnell.

The news comes after Hanesbrands saw its third-quarter profit rise last month on the back of higher sales and improved margins.

Hanesbrands, which makes women's and men's underwear as well as casual wear and active wear, employs 53,300 staff around the world.