This week my daughter Rosemary and I toured the Matouk Factory and headquarters in Fall River, Massachusetts. I have always loved this line, first as a consumer and now as a store owner. I can completely trust the quality and attention to detail they have been providing since 1929. I first visited the factory in the late 80s when it was still in New Bedford. Back then you would enter by going up rickety stairs in an old factory on New Bedford’s Inner Harbor. It was like going back in time to the 1920s when the textile industry had eclipsed whaling in southeastern Massachusetts. It would have been completely believable had a WPA photographer jumped out from behind a loom. Not so any more. In the last decade, George Matouk Senior and now Junior, the son and grandson of founder John Matouk, have moved the headquarters down the road to Fall River and into what is now an 88,000-square-foot space in an office park. There are walking trails and break rooms for the 125 employees, all on one floor—that was a main stipulation in the new building. The factory is powered by 30% solar and most of the products are finished in Massachusetts. The Matouk logo is painted on the building and there are plate glass windows everywhere possible.
I have always loved this line, first as a consumer and now as a store owner.
Tracey Johnson, head of customer service, took us behind the scenes to see the production lines. There are amazing new quilting machines and still some really old Singer sewing machines, all of which are run by the Matouk staff who hand guide and finish the linens. The logistics are mind boggling as the sheeting long staple cotton sheeting mostly imported mostly from Egypt–gets cut, then finished, trimmed, monogrammed and appliqued, quality checked and packed and shipped. A hefty 35% of their sales are custom work which means that each of those work orders is bespoke as it wends its way through the facility.
There are amazing new quilting machines and still some really old Singer sewing machines, all of which are run by the Matouk staff who hand guide and finish the linens.
Because I am now the owner of one of the independent stores that make up 45% of their sales, I thought I had better sample – well let’s be honest – continue to sample their work. I did a little retail damage myself, purchasing a Mirasol duvet and shams for my bed and new Milagro towels for the whole household. Okay, I threw in some complimentary Cairo bathmats for my bathroom. Cairo is the toweling that Waterworks has private labeled if you ever wondered. I even bought Rosemary an adorable Marlowe duvet and shams trimmed in green which she is going to accent with some Charlotte pillows (they are on her dime) on a recently inherited four-poster bed from my mom. Oh—did I tell you about Marlowe? —it is a 50%/50% of long staple cotton and polyester. It is fabulous. We have had it at our beach house for years. Matouk embraces their 50%/50% fabrics because they know they work. The polyester is blended with long staple cotton and it is exceedingly soft, and, better yet for the beach houses, and kid’s rooms, easy care. Finally, it’s been cold at night at the beach (should I even admit that to my Philadelphia friends??) so I splurged on a few Luna quilts. They have really dressed up our whitewashed bedrooms! I am sure I’ll pay for this when I reenter the steam bath that is Philadelphia in summer.
I did a little retail damage myself, purchasing a Mirasol duvet and shams for my bed and new Milagro towels for the whole household.