A division of CMI Industries, Chatham Manufacturing began operations in 1876 as a blanket manufacturer. In 1999, the company was an integrated manufacturer whose products included automotive fabrics, blankets, mattress pads, jacquardwoven cotton throws, and furniture upholstery. Chatham employed more than 1,600 as the largest employer in the Elkin area.
CMI bought Chatham in 1992. Chatham became a global supplier of automotive textile products through joint venture and cooperative alliances with several worldclass automotive textile suppliers. Chatham has partnered with Tatsuma Textile Company of Japan since 1987, which focused on increasing business with Japanese automobile manufacturers. In 1999, Chatham supplied a variety of fabrics for vehicles produced by Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Mazda, and Isuzu.
The company also participated in a joint venture with AB Borgstena Textile, Borgstena, Sweden, a leading European automotive supplier. In 1995, Chatham formed a cooperative alliance with Treveo, a leading French automotive supplier.
Source: John W. McCurrey, Melissa Stampley, Walter N. Rozelle, Textile World, December 1999, p65.
Postcards of the Chatham Blanket, left, and Chatham Manufacturing Company, Elkin, NC (Home of Chatham Blankets), shown below. Courtesy: Bill Wornall Textile Postcard Collection
“The largest Woolen Blanket Mill in the South that manufactures blankets exclusively, Elkin, N.C.” Pub. by Somers 5 &10c Store. Mailed from Elkin NC on Aug 15, 1912
From The Dispatch 1907
Chatham Blanket Ads – 1933 Good
Housekeeping Magazine. Courtesy: TJS Labs
Chatham Blanket Ads – 1947 Life Magazine.
Courtesy: TJS Labs