A New Hope: how the textile industry saved Dalton

A New Hope: how the textile industry saved Dalton 2018-01-17T17:26:57+00:00

In 1895, a young teenage girl named Catherine Evans Whitener made her brother, and his new bride, a unique gift, one that would forever change the course of Dalton’s history. The gift was an unusual tufted bedspread that Catherine had sewn herself. Catherine continued to make the Chenille bedspreads for her friends and family; however in the early 1900’s she sold her first bedspread to a Socialite for $2.95. The craze caught on, and people from all over the US wanted the unusually tufted Chenille Bedspreads. Dalton is affectionately called the Carpet Capital of the World these days, but before WWII Dalton was known as the Bedspread Capital of the world. Many families in the area worked in the tufting industry or were haulers, an early form of truck delivery. Income generated by the tufting industry helped Dalton overcome the economic hardships from the post-Civil War era, but also helped Dalton throughout the Great Depression.

After WWII, a form of mechanized carpet was developed, and because Dalton had an excess of people with tufting skills, the carpet industry took off in this area. Since the 1970’s, 90% of the world’s carpet is made right here in Dalton and surrounding areas. The Industry employs over 30,000 people in Whitfield County alone, clearly giving Dalton the distinction of The Carpet Capital of the World.

Today
In addition to the carpet and now flooring industry, Dalton has a growing arts community. The Creative Arts Guild in Dalton is one of the oldest Arts Guilds in Georgia. The area is producing a lot of talented musicians who play music from a wide range of genres, such as Country, Blues, and Americana. Dalton is an ideal location in the Georgia Mountains for hiking, biking, fishing, hunting, camping, kayaking and more. There is also a delightful downtown with numerous boutiques for a unique shopping experience and locally owned restaurants, bars, taverns, breweries and even a moonshine distillery, with unforgettable fare and atmosphere.