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The Tufted Bedspread Industry

The multi-billion dollar carpet industry of Dalton, Georgia had humble origins. In 1893, 15 year-old Catherine Evans created her first tufted bedspread. By the 1920’s, the production of tufted spreads had blossomed into a “cottage industry.” Cotton mills produced the raw materials, and “haulers” served as middlemen between the mills, the spread makers, and the merchants. Highway 41 became known as “Bedspread Alley” for its proliferation of merchants. The industry spared Dalton the worst of the Great Depression. The introduction of machines made chenille possible. Today, 75% of the world’s carpets and rugs are produced in Dalton. Historians comment, and hand tufting is demonstrated.