York County, PA is known for being the factory capital of the world. With so many factories ranging in diverse product lines such as snacks, soaps, and other goods, many of the area’s surrounding factories are also renowned for offering up fantastic factory tours fit for the whole family to come out and enjoy. This is the case with Family Heir-Loom Weavers, Inc. in Red Lion.
With “family” already a part of its name, Family Heir-Loom Weavers, Inc. offers up special family-oriented tours at their historic textile mill sure to please everyone in your crowd. A delightful outing for history buffs, inquisitive children, decorators, and just about everyone else, you’re sure to enjoy a visit to this hidden gem, nestled distantly away from the bustling main street, hindered by surrounding trees.
The textile mill dates back to “the new era,” with 40 mills that, by today’s standards, were once deemed outdated and useless. There have been ongoing efforts since the early 1980s to rescue these “useless” looms and establish a working textile mill museum that still actively spins out textiles in the quaint, old-fashioned way they once were. So there you have it—the useless trash by today’s mainstream standards is a priceless gem by yesteryear’s quality. And the textile mills are very much still in production and more popular than ever, giving rise to the question of what is truly useless and outdated?
These old looms produce new, quality nostalgic goods in what can only be described as the remarkable feat of producing modern antique woven fashions and décor. In keeping with the concept of celebrating American-made products, all raw goods and materials are purchased from producers in the United States—from the Carolinas as to Philadelphia. Goods produced here include a whole host of styles and accessories including, blankets, throws, curtains, pillows, shams, coverlets, tablecloths, floor coverings, and so much more. Styles range in French countryside, prairie, traditional American Revolution, industrial, urban country, and a whole host of other nostalgic styles. In addition, new styles are also being produced, including modern trendy themes as well as mid-century modern nostalgia. The mill also does work by commission.
The textile’s completed goods have found their ways into various notable venues, including museums, movie houses, historic presidential homes, and other sites. Some of its most notable commission work includes a wool fabric replica of the Star Spangled Banner, the linen for a replica of George Washington’s tent used on the Valley Forge Campaign, and even supplying Hollywood with fabrics. The loom’s work can be seen in such movies as Cold Mountain, Gods and Generals, 3:10 to Yuma, and Jonah Hex. Most recently was work done for Hateful Eight, which opened this past Christmas.
So, if you’re looking for an interactive museum experience, complete with vintage looms producing modern classics on the spot, and even a chance to purchase some accessories yourself, this is the place to come. Following your tour of the working mill, be sure to stop in at the log showcase next door to see the fine selections of woven table accessories. Please note that these tours last approximately 45 minutes. Touring season will resume in March 2016, the last Saturday of the month.
Family Heir-Loom Weavers, Inc. is located at 227 Meadowview Drive, Red Lion, PA. In spring of 2016 there will be a showroom location opening at 601 W. Maple Street, 2nd floor. For all other information about the mill, tours, purchases, or information on the new showroom, call 717-246-5797 or click here.