How It's Made: Martha Washington's Choice Collection
The Martha Washington's Choice Bedspread is the most iconic terry bedspread ever produced by Bates. Originally released in 1940, this popular design continues to be our best seller today! Over the last 80 years of continuous production, the Martha Washington's Choice has also been known as "George Washington's Choice", "America's First", and simply "George Washington".
We are proud to continue to produce this heavyweight terry bedspread at our family-run mill in Maine using the same process that was used to create the very first Bates Martha. Today, we also manufacture the beloved Martha Washington pattern as pillow shams, throw blankets, and as a coverlet. Each of these classic products follow the same path of manufacturing. From building the warps for our looms to packaging and shipping, our team does it all!
From throw blankets to shams, warping is the first stage of the manufacturing process for all of our American made home goods. The "warp" refers to the vertical running threads in any woven fabric. Large warp beams are created with the correct number of warp "ends" and then installed into our industrial looms.
For example, our Martha Washington's Choice is woven with two warp beams. Combined, there are 5,830 warp ends (or vertically running pieces of yarn) in our Martha Washington's Choice Bedspread.
After coming off the loom, fabric rolls are brought to the cutting table where they're unrolled and cut to the correct size.
Once the fabric is cut, it goes to our talented stitchers. Depending on the style, fringe or plain hems are added. If you own one of our terry bedspreads, you may notice that the bedspread in the video below has a slightly different texture than what you're used to. That's because the yarn changes quite a bit after the first wash, also called wet finishing.
5| Washing & Drying
Before heading to inspection, all of our products are "wet finished" in our wash room. "Wet finishing" is really just a fancy term for washing raw yarns for the first time. This helps shrink and puff the yarns so that our bedspreads and blankets are soft and fluffy.
The power of proper wet finishing is illustrated well in these photos of our Martha Washington's Choice design. On the left is the unwashed fabric, and on the right is the fabric after wet finishing!
6| Inspection & Packaging
Finally, all of our products are carefully inspected one by one before being shipped to your home to be enjoyed - like this beautiful Martha Washington's Choice Cotton Throw!
We hope you enjoyed this overview for how we make the items in our famous Martha Washington's Choice Collection. If you did, be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more inside looks on how our products are made!