Meet Our Makers: Colonial Mills
| Matthew Hess
One of the biggest challenges at Hart and Hess is our constant search for new makers and new products to add to our store who value the same things that we do: quality, handmade, American products that can enhance any space and add a touch of style. Colonial Mills, based in Pawtucket, RI, is the perfect example of exactly what we look for in a maker! Offering a variety of handmade rugs in all colors, shapes, and sizes, we are very excited to bring them on board as our latest maker.
Family Owned Business
Colonial Mills is owned and run by Donald Scarlata and his brother. When they purchased the company 20 years ago, it was a tiny, braided rug company with 5 employees. Today, they have over 85 employees and they think of every one of them as family. Nothing warms our hearts like a small, local business growing. Even Donald's daughter helps out with the business.
In order to keep up with the trends, “that has a lot to do with my daughter, Meredith.” says Donald. “She has brought in a new, fresh design approach.”
Some quick pilgrim history: The original rugs were made with scraps from old pieces of clothing that were braided together. There was no real “design” involved, but just random colors or whatever was lying around. Talk about creative innovation! So, rugs from Colonial Mills are a modern day twist on an American tradition.
Colonial Mills is proud of their heritage—as they should be! They manufacture their products exclusively in the United States and never skimp on quality. Since braid is an American tradition, they believe that it is “best produced by an American workforce.” As most small business do, they value supporting and employing members of their local community.
"What interested me," says Donald, "was that this was a domestic manufacturing company and it was making tangible products. Something I could wrap my hands around and every day go out onto the production floor and see the products being made, wrapped up, and shipped out to customers." At Hart & Hess, one of the things we love about sourcing our products from makers is that their handcrafting is unique. It’s nice to know that a real person touched this product and put their effort and skill into making it.
Made with Care
What we love so much about this approach to business is the amount of care that goes into Colonial MIlls’ products. This is no assembly line product, but rather an environment of warmth and caring employees. Colonial Mills cares about their consumers, and therefore ensures that their products are perfect. Each product is braided by machine and meticulously guided and personalized by human hand. Colonial Mills take great pride in American made products and their representation of the birthplace of the American Textile industry.
The Right Ingredients
Colonial Mills uses a mixture of fabrics to create the best quality rugs for their consumers—it also feels great on bare toes!
Polypropylene - If your rug is going to be walked on a lot, don’t worry! This material is stain-resistant and easy to care for. Highly durable. Excellent for homes with kids and pets.
Naturalized Polypropylene - The same qualities of polypropylene with added texture. Almost like jute, but more durable.
Chenille Polypropylene - The same qualities of polypropylene with a softness and texture that is created through a unique process. These are commonly used for bedrooms and kid-friendly areas. The “cloud” of Colonial Mills fabrics, if you will!
Wool Blend - This blend is combination of polypropylene and premium natural wool. The texture and soft comes in a large variety of colors. It has a heathered look that adds a beautiful aesthetic. Very durable and good for living rooms and bedrooms.
Natural Wool - This premium sheep’s wool provides outstanding durability and texture. It has awesome insulation properties, too! Natural wool is so durable and cool, that it can be bent and stretched and still go back into its shape. Bonus: it is antibacterial and biodegradable. Yay for all-natural!
Space-dyed Wool - Using 100% wool as a base for durability and wearability, the yarn is then died and the dye spaces all around the rug in a random pattern. These fun rugs add color and character into any room, and they last a lifetime.
Space-dyed Nylon - This nylon yarn is typically mixed with other yarns to create texture and design and dyed in a random pattern. Nylon rugs are good for areas with high traffic since they are very durable.
Fabric - All Colonial Mills fabrics are made of cotton and polyester which adds a lot of strength!
Their patterns are fun: commonly mixing designs, colors, and shapes. There is definitely a rug for everybody in our Colonial Mills section!