Bates at the Maine Innovation Expo 2018 May 31, 2018 08:52

We were recently invited to participate in the Maine Innovation Expo hosted by Museum LA at our original home, the Bates Mill in Lewiston. The expo was a fantastic event that offered families the opportunity to learn about all the innovative work companies are doing throughout Maine. 

Our booth focused on teaching visitors about weaving and how innovations in weaving helped build the city of Lewiston through the Bates Manufacturing Company. 

During the industrial revolution, entrepreneurs sought to harness the power of rivers in order to build their factories. In 1850, Benjamin Bates found that power in the mighty Androscoggin River of Lewiston. Innovations in weaving from mechanized looms to specialized types of weaving (like the Bates patented "terry weave") helped build Bates into one of the textile industry's most recognizable names.

To keep things fun for the children visiting our booth, we brought in lots of colorful yarn. While we no longer dye our own yarn, Bates used to not only just dye the yarn, but actually make the yarn from raw cotton. Today, we rely on a network of partners for these more specialized parts of yarn production.

Be sure to check out photos from the expo below, and if you were able to attend, be sure to share what you learned in the comments. Thanks again to Museum LA for inviting us to attend and share our craft with the community.

Store Manager, Katie, at our booth at the Maine Innovation Expo.

Left: Colorful yarn. Right: Bates Designer, Adrienne, show attendees how the table loom works.

The view from our booth at the expo early in the day. It was amazing to get to be back in the old mill, and if I'm sure the walls could talk - they would be pleased to see a loom again.