Chatham Manufacturing Company

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Chatham MFG Co.
Industry Blankets and home goods
Founded 1877 in North Carolina
Founder Alexander Chatham, Hugh Gwyn
Headquarters Elkin, North Carolina, U.S.
Area served
Key people
Alexander Chatham
Products Outdoor apparel; blankets

Chatham Manufacturing Company is an American textile manufacturer that made the famous Chatham Blanket. It was the largest blanket manufacturer in the world at its height.[1]


The company was established in the late 1860s by Alexander Chatham and Thomas L. Gwyn. In 1890, the railroad line was completed in Elkin and Chatham and Gwyn enlarged their company, Elkin Mills. Alexander Chatham later retired from the company and Gwyn sold his interest in the company to Chatham's son, Hugh Gwyn Chatham. By 1894 the company was renamed Chatham Manufacturing Company with Hugh Gwyn Chatham as its president. Richard Thurmond Chatham assumed the presidency in 1929.[2]

The second Chatham Mill, built in 1893.


A second factory was built in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1907 and expanded through 1951.

During the first part of the century the primary focus of company sales were blankets but by the 1930s the company started producing automotive upholstery. By the 1980s the company had plants located in Eden, North Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina along with the Elkin plant.


In 1988, family members and senior management of the company were outbid by the Danish textile firm, Northern Feather. The purchase of the company by Northern Feather ended the 100-year reign the family had over the company. Northern Feather went bankrupt soon after and the company was sold to Columbia, South Carolina based CMI Industries, renamed True Textiles, Inc.[3][4] True Textiles continues to use the Chatham facility in Elkin, North Carolina.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Heather Fearnbach (March 2014). "Thurmond and Lucy Chatham House" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2014-11-01.
  3. ^ "True Textiles". Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  4. ^ Goulette, Tom. "Guilford, Maine". Retrieved 7 April 2014.


External links[edit]

  • Powell, William S., The North Carolina Gazetteer: A Dictionary of Tar Heel Places, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, ISBN 0-8078-1247-1
  • Powell, William S., Encyclopedia of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, ISBN 978-0-8078-3071-0

Coordinates: 36°14′42″N 80°50′41″W / 36.2449°N 80.8447°W / 36.2449; -80.8447

  1. ^ "Stevens Wespoint Purchases Chatham". Retrieved 1 December 2014.