Story of Bates of Maine
In 1850, the Boston Industrialist Benjamin Bates formed Bates Manufacturing Company, a textile mill in Lewiston, Maine. This textile mill contributed largely in the transformation of a small agricultural village to a large industrial city. In less than 10 years, this had become one of the largest textile producers of New England. The first cotton bedspread woven by Bates was in 1858.
Beginning in 1915, Bates bought some new looms, permitting the company to weave a greater variety of bedspreads, such as jacquards, crochets, satins, brocades, damasks and Ripplette. They continued developing new styles, at the same time rediscovering old methods of weaving, lost for generations. The terry toweling and rib cord cloth were introduced in 1940. The famous Matelasse bedspreads were added to the Bates collection at the beginning of the 1950's. Since then Bates of Maine has become one of the great producers in the world of cotton woven bedspreads.
The old Bates factory is now being operated by Maine Heritage Weavers and they are producing the old Bates Style spreads such as the George Washington bedspread, Abigail bedspread, Heirloom bedspread and Queen Elizabeth bedspread.
"Bates of Maine" bedspreads made by Maine Heritage Weavers Is one of our best selling lines. These are the only woven bedspreads still made in the U.S. The Bates Manufacturing Company began over 100 years ago in Lewiston, Maine, and built a strong reputation for superior quality traditionally loomed bedspreads. The company survives today because of the determination of former Bates president, Fred Lebel, who saved the company by reorganizing it under the name Maine Heritage Weavers. Mr. Lebel passed away in late 2013, and the company is now managed by his daughter, Linda. Maine Heritage Weavers employs an experienced team of former Bates employees who weave the all-cotton bedspreads on the same equipment and to the same specifications that they always have.