From “Peacock Alley” to Carpet Capital of the World!

In the 1920′s, U.S. Highway 41 running from Copper Harbor, Michigan to Miami Beach, Florida was a very popular tourist route (primarily because it was paved all the way!) Where the highway approached Dalton Georgia, women would hang colorful, handmade, uniquely tufted bedspreads on their porch to entice passing tourists to stop and buy.  The beautiful rainbow of colors hanging on front porches along that stretch of highway caused it to become known as “Peacock Alley.” By the 1930′s the colorful bedspreads had become popular throughout the entire country. Selling in such prestigious department stores as Wanamaker’s in New York City, it was clear the front porch approach would no longer be adequate to supply the growing demand. An enterprising machinist invented the first mechanized tufter and other mechanical innovations rapidly followed. By World War II the sleepy Georgia town had been transformed into a thriving manufacturing hub and was nicknamed the “Bedspread Capital of the World!” After WWII, demand grew even faster for tufted goods and the Dalton mills were ready to oblige.  Bedspreads and rugs began flying out of the mills at ever increasing rates. Manufacturing improvements allowed for larger and more intricate products and, with these advances, carpet began to overtake bedspreads as the number one product. Until the early 1950′s cotton had been the fiber of choice for most tufted products, but the introduction of nylon in 1947 caused a rapid change in the industry and it soon became the primary fiber used for carpets. By the 1960′s the introduction of man made fibers, along with the capabilty to economically manufacture large rolls of carpet paved the way for American homeowners to begin the transition from wood floors to wall to wall carpeting. Today, Dalton Georgia hosts  the world’s largest manufacturer’s of wall to wall carpet, accounting for over 70% of the carpeting used worldwide and over 90% of the carpeting used in the United States. Carpet and related industry sales account for over nine billion dollars in annual local revenue! Not bad for an industry that started with some colorful bedspreads on a few front porches! While we don’t clean 90% of the carpet in the U.S., we do clean a lot of it here in the Denver area. At The Clean Team we’d love to be your carpet cleaner. Just give us a call for a free estimate!

Steve C.