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Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday Morning Inspiration/Textiles

Rather than pretty, inspiring pictures this morning, I thought I would share a video that I found especially interesting. It's about the textile manufacturing industry here in America, and primarily the state of North Carolina. For a period of time, my family lived in rural Mississippi when I was growing up. Many in the community worked at a local mill. They took great pride in what they produced. Sadly, as manufacturing went over seas, the jobs were lost. 

So many in the sewing community are trying to be responsible with what they wear, taking the "no purchasing of ready to wear pledge," or just simply taking pride in what they have made by joining in on Me Made May. 

Pictures like the one below stir mixed emotions. A child laboring away, while consumers take advantage of  an incredible price tag. 


The video below is a wonderful documentary on the textile manufacturing industry in North Carolina. It's about 30 minutes long. It's a piece that can be listened to rather than watched, so listen as you work :)

In the documentary, you'll learn about an energetic young woman who began manufacturing her clothing line in Sri Lanka, but as she grew, realized that it was more profitable to bring the manufacturing back to America.

And I think that like me, you will fall in love with 2 older ladies who after being laid off, bought World War II era knitting machines and became entrepreneurs, knitting socks, 1 pair every 9 minutes.



For all those who say something can't be done, take a look at Raleigh Denim, handcrafted in North Carolina. Not only are they creating jeans, they are creating jobs and pride.



Last March, I posted the video below entitled The Last Pattern Maker. You get a glimpse of her in the above video on Raleigh Denim. She is amazing! She has been an integral part of the success of Raleigh Denim.



One aspect that I especially appreciated in all of the video documentaries is the coming together of young and old, or maybe I should just say older :) Sara Blakely created Spanx, and thanks to her success, 100s of manufacturing jobs were created. The founders of Raleigh Denim had a dream, but it took and 82 year old craftsman to bring about success. Two women who only knew how to knit socks, took their knowledge and made a dream come true.

Dreams have no age limit :)



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18 comments:

  1. Thanks for those videos, Rhonda. Here in Kansas City we have Baldwin Denim. It's designed here in town and manufactured in the US. They have a great reputation as a quality product, too!

    http://baldwin.co/product-category/mens/mens-denim/

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    1. Thanks for the info Brabara. I just love discovering people who are making such a positive impact :)

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  2. Great video. The Sew News article about dressing the aging figure sounds interesting.

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  3. Thanks for this informative post with all the fascinating videos. I've shared the first one with my two sewing groups. It is inspiring to see what these people and their companies are doing.

    Unless I missed something, there is no data mentioned on the number of employees now versus during the hey days of southern textile work. Probably significantly less. Through 21st century technology and thoughtful business plans, they are doing things in a way that is sustainable and ever changing. But we will never go back to such large employment in textiles. And the jobs will require ever more willingness to retrain.

    Thanks so much!

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    1. Oh, I'm sure the numbers are considerably less. But the good news is that people are working. I also like the fact that people are being very inventive with how they are creating a new industry. Glad you enjoyed it.

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    2. Thank you for the very inspiring words and videos. It is so nice in this ever increasing sad world to read your inspiring posts to cheer me up❣ Thank you for all you put in to your sharing.

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  4. Wow Rhonda , thank you so much for sharing these , fabulously inspirational. I love them .Sue
    suessewbynme.com

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  5. Thanks for all your posts. I appreciate them.

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  6. Thanks for sharing these videos. I've seen textile manufacturing come and go here in NC. It would be great to have the empty mills up and running again. But some is better than none.

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    1. I absolutely loved the two gals who purchased the WWII vintage knitting machines and started manufacturing socks. Tried to find thei line of socks, but wasn't successful. I would love to have a pair just to have a pair :)

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    2. I had a chance to watch, while I sewed tonight. Thank you for sharing. It was a wonderful documentary. I have a college friend who lives near the sock ladies. I asked her about it. She said she's seen the building but didn't know anything about it. Did you try calling? If you google Jrb & J knitting, a phone number does come up, (910) 439-4242.

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    3. Thanks Ginger. Lori did some detective work and found where I can order some of these socks.
      I'm not at
      All surprised that your friend didn't realize that they are manufacturing in the building. The commentator even talks about how nondescript it is.

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  7. I can't help wondering what the poor people in Sri Lanka (and other countries) would do if clothing manufacturing jobs were taken away from them...

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    1. And that's one of the mixed emotions that the picture of the child laboring with the sale price tag draped over his neck conjures up. It's a big conversation and a situation that's not easily fixed.

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  8. I did some sleuthing on the internet and am pretty sure I found where you can buy the socks the ladies with the WWII knitting machines make. First, the video showed their company is called "JRB & J Knitting". I found this site that shows that their brands are "Sock Dreams" and DreaM Stockings": http://www.manufacturednc.com/JRB-and-J-Knitting-Inc/. Then I found that Sock Dreams and DreaM Stockings are sold by this small Portland sock store: http://www.sockdreams.com/products/socks-special-collections/dream-stockings/. It seems to fit and the stripey socks from the video look like the same stripey socks on the website. Also makes sense that the ladies don't do their own retail selling.

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    1. Oh Lori, THANK YOU!!! I just took a look at the site and I will be ordering some socks today. Thank you so much for your great detective work. Like I said, I just fell in love with these two ladies. Now I want to go to North Carolina and meet them :)

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  9. Wonderful entertainment for my hand sewing stint Rhonda, thank you. It gives hope to a similar plight for Geelong's wool industry. Once upon a time it was the biggest and richest port in Australia, but since the demise of wool, it's all but finished. Our wool is now sent to China for processing except for 1 carpet manufacturer here in Geelong.

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it. I saw a piece on the wool industry in Scotland and how many of the mills have been closed. Prince Charles has made it a mission to bring back the industry. I hope the same can happen in Australia.

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