The owner of the 165 year-old Hathaway brand of men’s dress and sport shirts, Windsong Allegiance Group, on Monday revealed it is set to sign a licensing deal with Canadian outerwear giant DDK International Inc.

News of the proposed deal and a high-profile marketing campaign came just 72 hours after more than 230 Hathaway garment workers in Maine lost their jobs with the closure of the country’s last major shirt factory.

The Connecticut-based company blamed overseas competition and the loss of major contracts for the axing of the Waterville facility which will see the Hathaway brand made overseas instead.

COO Jay Shaw said. "We sincerely thought we would be able to obtain the business necessary to keep the plant running in this downturn economy, but aside from Wal-Mart and Dillard's, who supported the Waterville plant, we were not able to secure any other commitments for large volume private-label orders for the Waterville factory.

"Not being awarded a contract from the US Air Force was a giant blow to the Waterville Shirt Factory.

"It is our goal to continue to make the Hathaway brand, one of America's oldest, a premier apparel resource. We're looking to reinvent this classic and introduce it to a new generation."

CEO Bill Sweedler added: "We are aggressively pursuing strategic licensing partners in all product categories, including home furnishings, tailored clothing, hosiery, footwear, belts, accessories and a new partner for dress shirts.

"We are finalising an exclusive outerwear license agreement with DDK International Inc. DDK is the largest outerwear importer in Canada and is growing rapidly in the United States."