Grow, gin, spin, knit. Finish, cut, sew, dye. You know the story of cotton in North Carolina: By 1815, the first cotton textile mill appeared. By the 1920s, on through the 20th century, our state was a leader in textile production. By the turn of the 21st century, the industry had largely migrated overseas. But now, the idea of cotton blooms anew: Many of our once-abandoned mills are alive again, filled not with machinery, but with music, food, and art. Elsewhere, an artist uses cotton to piece together memories, and a family business spins a candy version of the stuff. All around our state, companies work together to bring textile production back home. Grow, gin, spin, knit. Finish, cut, sew, dye. There’s a rhythm to the work, and it’s coming ’round again.
Mill Town Memories
Elaine O’Neil’s Textile Art
From Dirt to Shirt
Oscar William’s Gourmet Cotton Candy
Durham artist Skylar Gudasz covers “Freight Train” by Libba Cotten.