A Carolina Story – Sometimes you lose sight of how far you have come.
Recently, I watched the documentary called Still Standing – The Real Story of the NC Textile Industry. (H. (2013). Retrieved December 22, 2016, from Youtube) It was very informative and detailed the roots of our great state of North Carolina. It made me proud to know I was part of this textile legacy’s past, present, and future.
“Little did I know then how woven into our lives this business would become.”
My father started our family in the textile world when we relocated to North Carolina back in the 1960’s. Little did I know then how woven into our lives this business would become. First my brother, then my sister, myself, my younger sister, and finally my nephew. My dad created our family’s piece of the textile industry back in the early 70’s after 10 years with Fieldcrest Mills. He had an idea, lots of ambition, some investors, and created Royal Carolina Corporation – a Textile Printing Company.
He garnered contracts with some big players to start the ball rolling. We began in towel printing and curtains, then apparel, dabbled in dart boards and tube socks, then mattress ticking and lots of camouflage. Now we find ourselves heavily into nonwovens. A whole new genre that has taken us into so many areas; automotive, filtration, prom & party, bedding, furniture, industrial applications and so much more. This business evolution seems so far from where we began, but yet not.
I know to have survived in this industry we had to be resilient, hardworking, innovative, and dedicated to the families we supported. There has been much carnage over the years in this business; living thru it has not been for the faint of heart. Our biggest giants have fallen by the wayside and become only a memory of those glory days. Some have broken apart or been reinvented. The fibers of textiles run deep though – we are a tenacious bunch, and will not go away. The bits and parts left in forgotten mills are used by those still around or to start over……….the cycle continues!
“Do not forget us, do not count us out, do not steal our livings, because we are resilient and have the same blood that brought our forefathers here to build the American Dream.”
Textiles are ingrained in North Carolinians and we continue to make a living doing what we are good at. Do not forget us, do not count us out, do not steal our livings, because we are resilient and have the same blood that brought our forefathers here to live the American Dream. When I see this video I am impressed with these people and proud to be one of them. What an amazing heritage we have.