When you think of Fieldcrest, does your mind wander to those beloved showy cabbage rose patterns this manufacturer made so famous? You know – the ones with the lifelike roses scattered atop an often white, cream, sky blue, dilute lemon, or pastel pink background?
Fieldcrest Had Quite an Interesting History in the World of Textiles
What an interesting history this vintage textile manufacturer has. Where to start? Well, according to the Wikipedia, Fieldcrest was born in 1953. But let’s rewind for a quick minute: Back in 1911, a department store by the name of Marshall Field & Company acquired several mills in Eden, North Carolina, which was called “Spray” in those days.
In 1919, construction was completed on “Fieldcrest Mills” in Fieldale, VA. By 1935, Field’s textile mills were reorganized into a single manufacturing op – dubbed Fieldcrest and headquartered in NYC.
Bedspreads Were Only One of a Full Range of Textiles Fieldcrest Produced
Fieldcrest Mills didn’t just produce bedspreads: according to NCSU, they manufactured a wide range of textiles from blankets and bedspreads to towels and other bed and bath linens and associated accessories.
Here’s a fast fact – in 1986, the company merged with Cannon Mills, thereafter becoming known as Fieldcrest Cannon, Inc. Fieldcrest Cannon was acquired by Pillowtex just over a decade later, in 1997.
All was not well following the acquisition, with declining sales and other woes – by 2000, Pillowtex had filed for bankruptcy. Business was over for good when, in 2003, Pillowtex Corporation filed for the final time. That July, 7,650 workers lost their jobs in what would become the biggest permanent layoff in North Carolina’s history.
Let’s remember some better times in Fieldcrest’s long history, shall we?
FundingUniverse.com reports, “Fieldcrest produced goods under its own name as well as private labels, with customers Sears, Roebuck & Co. and J.C. Penney accounting for almost 15 percent of total sales. Fieldcrest’s strength came from strong showing of its medium- and upper-priced lines, which made up almost two-thirds of total sales.”
I’ll be honest – I love, love, love, traditional chenille –but my #1 favorite isn’t the fluffy-tufted variety such as might be adorning a 1940s bedroom someplace. Nope – it’s the Fieldcrest tulips pattern, shown below in the sample image and most commonly seen in blues, pinks, and yellows with deep forest green leaves and stems.
Most people call this the Fieldcrest rosebud chenille pattern, but I’ve always called them tulips since my mom did when I was growing up. Whatever you want to call them, aren’t they adorable? Little puffs of chenille dotted a heavier-weight woven groundcloth to make for a delightful pattern that always puts a smile on my face.
Which Fieldcrest chenille bedspread pattern do you find most charming?
That wasn’t the only chenille Fieldcrest made – back in the day, their factories rolled out some drop dead gorgeous bedspreads. Though they are difficult to source today, their quality is unmistakable and their designs always unique.
The images here depict a robe handcrafted from an early Fieldcrest bedspread – a good example of their work that shows their characteristically plump “snowball” pops and intricate needletufted floral design. Note the still-vibrant colors against a snowy white background, even after all these years.
Save for the more common large cabbage roses pattern that I’ve discussed above, many of Fieldcrest’s patterns are becoming increasingly difficult to come by, in any condition. Not all people even call these chenille, especially when you get into the pieces that combined a blend of woven fabric with chenille puffs such as their tulips (or rosebuds, if you wish).
It’s said that all good things come to an end and that the only constant in life is change. Who could argue that? But (sigh…) wouldn’t it be wonderful to have Fieldcrest around again today as they once were in all their glory, rolling out cabbage roses, baby rosebuds, snowball pops…and all the associated chenille goodness we love?
Do you have a picture to share of your fabulous Fieldcrest chenille bedspread – or an interesting tidbit of their history? We’d love to hear from you! Reach out to us anytime.