Rug Making

Mountain Rug Mills

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Elsie Trivette

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Elsie Trivette

Fiber artist

Avery County, NC

For well over half a century, Elsie Trivette practiced and perfected handicrafts that she learned from her mother and grandmother while growing up in the mountains of Avery County. She was skilled at making knotted bedspreads and hand-tied fringe, venerable crafts that were widely practiced in the mountain region in earlier generations. Her expertise ranged from growing, processing, and spinning flax, and carding and spinning wool, to making quilts and hooked rugs. By selling her handmade rugs and quilts, she single-handedly supported a family of seven after her husband became ill.

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Leniavell Trivette

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EvaNell Trivette Thomas

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Mary Ann Dotson

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Evanell Trivette Thomas

Rug hooker and quilter

Zionville, NC (Watauga County)

"What I do best is the rug hooking," says Evanell Trivette Thomas. Evanell grew up in the Beech Mountain community of Watauga and Avery Counties, and she has been involved with traditional crafts since she was a young girl. "I've been doing this more than sixty years," she says.

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Mary Ann Dotson Silvey

Rug braider

Lake Lure, NC (Rutherford County)

Mary Ann Dotson Silvey braided her first rug in 1980, when her aunt Virginia Boone offered to provide her with wool if she would come to Virginia's rug making class at Haywood Community College to learn how to braid rugs. "When I braided that first rug, I never dreamed I would continue," says Mary Ann.

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Virginia Boone

Rug braider

Asheville, NC (Buncombe County)

Virginia Boone braided rugs in Western North Carolina for more than sixty years, continuing to make them in her Asheville home until her late nineties. Although she had no idea how many rugs she made over the years, she did know that her rugs are in each one of the 50 states and at least seven foreign countries.

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Mountain Rug Mills

Rug makers

Hendersonville, NC (Henderson County)

Founded in Fletcher in 1952 by the Boss family, Mountain Rug Mills has undergone a few changes over the years-it is now located in Hendersonville, for instance, and owned by the Morgan family-but its tradition of producing beautiful handmade rugs is intact. Making old-time braided yarn rugs and hooked rugs with elaborate pictorial designs, the more than forty artisans employed at Mountain Rug Mills use centuries-old techniques to create wares that will be admired for centuries to come.

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