Our State’s Made in NC Awards celebrate the talent and creativity of North Carolinians. Check out all of this year’s winners! Winner Carolina Textile District in collaboration with InnovaKnits, Fonta
Carolina Textile District in collaboration with InnovaKnits, Fonta Flora Brewery, Solid State Clothing, and Opportunity Threads — Morganton
Growing up on a farm in Burgaw, Catherine Armstrong remembers passing cotton fields on the way to school, catching glimpses of John Deere cotton harvesters in late fall. “Seeing the fiber being grown and collected instilled a deep appreciation for every person in the production process,” she says, “from farm to finished goods.” Now the director of Morganton-based Carolina Textile District, a member-governed network of textile manufacturers in the Carolinas, she gets to share her passion with enthusiasts around the region. One of the organization’s projects is COLLECTION, a line of textile products all made in North Carolina.
The idea behind the Marigold Beanie emerged in 2022, during a staff meeting at Fonta Flora. “Everyone was talking about the brewery’s amazing production facility at Whippoorwill Farm in Nebo,” Armstrong says. Inspired, she met with the owners to talk about using plants grown on their farm for natural dye. After chatting with a specialist at Solid State Clothing, they decided on marigolds and processed them into a dye in Burlington. The beanie, made entirely within a 135-mile radius in North Carolina, was knitted in Conover by InnovaKnits, and Opportunity Threads stitched branded patches with the partners’ logos. “It’s a testament to the incredible craftsmanship and expertise that’s in our region,” Armstrong says, “and the strength of community partnerships.”
TW Weaving — Burnsville
Handwoven Fancy Twill Scarf
At the Old Timey Fall Festival in Burnsville in 2018, where she watched a demonstrator work on a floor loom, Terry Weber felt a twinge of nostalgia. The New York-born artist had been weaving fabrics on and off since childhood, but when she moved to western North Carolina the year before, she’d left her table loom behind. “I didn’t want to, but we were downsizing, and I really hadn’t been using it,” she admits. “I was doing other things like knitting, crocheting, and cross-stitching, not realizing how much I missed working on a loom.” As a surprise for their 30th wedding anniversary, her husband bought her an eight-shaft floor loom so she could reconnect with the craft she loved. She soon started a business, TW Weaving, from her kitchen. Her handwoven fancy twill scarf, made with rayon and Tencel, incorporates an interplay of viridian green- and mauve-colored yarns that can appear lighter or darker depending on the lighting.
Gib’s Woodworking — Winston-Salem
Bourbon Barrel Ring
Joe Gibson was at Old Nick Williams Co. Farm & Distillery in Lewisville when he had a flash of inspiration. Days before, a friend had given him the idea to make a piece of jewelry using bourbon or wine barrels. At the distillery, Gibson began to envision a ring. “I had experience whittling, which I learned from my dad growing up, but I felt ready to tackle a new project,” he says. “I saw similar rings while doing research but wanted to create one that would portray the heart and soul of North Carolina.” The bourbon barrel ring, with its stainless steel base and charred oak inlay, is modern yet rustic, reflecting its Forsyth County roots. “It’s a celebration of our great state,” Gibson says, “which is something I always hope to capture.”print it