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Merida: Bringing textile innovation back to its roots

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Published on Jan 19, 2015

Fall River, Massachusetts, was once America’s leading textile center. At its peak in the 19th century, the city boasted more than 40 mills and was a bustling hub for manufacturers as well as suppliers, fabricators and craftsmen. But, like Detroit, Fall River fell on hard times as globalization and foreign competition put local producers out of business and jobs went overseas. By the 1960s, many of the town’s historic mills were abandoned or razed, and generations of knowledge and talent would go untapped.

When Merida made the decision to manufacture in the U.S. almost two decades ago, we knew the rich heritage that was right in our backyard. We believed the market was ready for beautiful, high-quality products made by expert craftspeople, and Fall River had the people and skills to deliver on that. The rest would come down to a rigorous design process and an innovative approach to manufacturing. That, and spools of good old-fashioned American grit.

Eighteen years later, Merida continues to innovate as we expand our capabilities, with a talented team of craftspeople and designers creating unique, hand-finished rugs. Fall River is on the verge of a design manufacture renaissance, and long-shuttered mills are being converted to studios and workshops. Fall River has a new story to tell, and Merida is proud to be spearheading the next chapter, employing local talent to bring textile innovation back to its American roots.

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