By: Richard Ward
Date: January 14, 2020
Did you know 90% of all wall to wall carpet created worldwide is made within 25 miles of Dalton, GA.?
Like many other industries, the carpet industry had a simple and humble beginning. In the late 1890’s, Catherine Evans began tufting patterns onto bedspreads as gifts for family and friends. Evans spun her own yarn, which she used in the bedspread to make the patterns. She would clip the stitches to create a chenille appearance. Afterwards, she boiled the bedspread multiple times so the fabric would shrink and hold the yarn in place. Soon people in the community became interested in the bedspreads, and she now had a market for her product.
The demand grew large enough that she taught friends and neighbors the technique used to make the tufted patterns. In the early 1900’s, Evans began selling the bedspreads to Northern department stores to have her product be in broader markets. Throughout the next few years, the tufting business continued growing and the manufacturing process kept evolving as well.
In addition, competition also became a large aspect of the industry, which helped the tufting business continue to thrive. By 1950 many companies were producing room size rugs and broadloom carpeting, and soon carpet and rug production was the main focus of Northwest Georgia’s tufted textile industry. The tufted carpet industry is one of the great manufacturing success stories in American history thanks to the hard work of many local entrepreneurs, who combined their design skills and business philosophies to create quality tufted carpet. This is a great example of the free enterprise system at work, of how over 150 competitor mills can co-exist, and how management and employers can get along without unions. During the 1960’s, there were more millionaires per capita in Dalton, Georgia than anywhere else in the United States. The industry has now consolidated and most of the founders are gone, but their stories of hard work and great success remain.
Dalton, the Carpet Capital of the World, is truly an essential area for the technology that keeps the carpet industry moving ahead. Carpet manufactured in Dalton winds up in homes, office buildings, and even ball fields all around the world. The variety of carpets manufactured here is endless – tufted, commercial, patterned, oriental rugs, bathmats, etc. With 150+ plants and approximately 100 outlet stores, Dalton has any floor covering your heart desires.
One of our collaborators Tony Sosa with SosaScope has visited the area and confirms the many carpet outlets in the area.
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