a Jaquard loom weaves New Zealand wool and American cotton to create blankets.
a dobby loom creates cloth that is indistinguishable from hand-woven fabric.
O’Bryan’s sewing company creates pillow shams and blankets, which are sold in small retail shops in Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Knudson and Michelson built a trusted team through empowerment. Each member, no matter his or her title, has the authority to make a call on quality control.
Top, Phyllis Bonham checks the tension of the threads as she creates the warp.
Today, the mill is home to five operating Jacquard looms, two dobby machines, and five automated hand looms, all used to produce high-quality, sustainable fabrics from Egyptian pima cotton, bamboo, linen, mohair, silk, and wool.
Damask fabrics are used to make coverlets and shams.
Artistic Director Bethanne Knudson, Director of Education Kelly Hopkin, Western Carolina Sewing Company owner Libby O’Bryan, and Bonham wear aprons made at the mill in Hendersonville.
Kelly Gassert, O’Bryan, and Knudson in the Western Carolina Sewing Company room.
Knudson’s designs, such as the reversible color-block pattern, are the foundation of the mill’s products.
Overhauler Barry Connor (below) knows the machines inside and out, diagnosing and fixing problems to keep the looms running.