When I was a little girl the highlight of each Summer entailed traveling to my Aunt Eunice’s lovely farm house in Easton, Maine. I loved her blue ribbon vegetable garden; the way strangers gave a friendly wave from their cars passing by the farm house; and the soft Terry coverlets and bedspreads she had on all the beds. The raised hobnail patterns and pom pom fringe gave each of her many bedrooms such a happy and welcoming feeling that to this day when I see a Terry bedspread I am immediately transported back to Summer in Maine.
I am super excited to tell you about my visit and tour of Maine Heritage Weavers in Monmouth, Maine where those Terry coverlets and bedspreads are still manufactured today along with Matelasse and classic woven bedspreads, coverlets and blankets!
With Spring here and redecoration on our to do lists how about a Candlewick bedspread in French Blue or one of my favorite the White Matelasse…there is nothing more cooling and refreshing on a hot day! For more information or to order visit www.batesmillstore.com
AN AMERICAN TREASURE
Maine Heritage Weavers has a rich and interesting history. It started out as the Bates Mills Manufacturing Company in 1883. It was established by Benjamin Bates (Bates College is named after him) in Lewiston, Maine as part of the thriving cotton textile industry in America. During the Civil War Bates Mills worked full throttle producing duck fabrics for tenting. After the war Bates Mills continued to produce hundreds of fabrics from damasks to gingham’s to cottons for myriad of household products. During WW2 Bates Mills turned out vast quantities of nylon parachute cloths and camouflage cloth. Bates Mills had many ingenious inventions and ideas including the matching bedspread/drapery sets very popular with college students for their dorm room decor. Check out this vintage Bates advertisement in Vogue Magazine August 1948 with a very young George Bush Sr and Barbara Bush posing in a dorm at Yale University.
However, in the 1950’s Bates Mills started closing until there was just one mill remaining in 2002. Fortunately the wise and industrious Mr. Fred Lebel who had worked for Bates Mills since 1961 and worked his way up to President of the company was determined to build up the business. Mr Lebel located a large factory in Monmouth Maine, tracked down the looms and equipment and secured the proper funding to establish Maine Heritage Weavers. Thanks to Mr Lebel, his family, and his family of employees those candlewick spreads, coverlets, and blankets continue to be made with pride, quality and are loomed to be heirloomed by the good people in Maine and Made with Style in the USA!
Until next time Happy Stylish Shopping Made in the USA! L