A homegrown North Alabama company is bringing back high-quality textiles made in the U.S. It’s taking a big part of its locally-grown crop and creating premium 100% cotton vintage bed linens.
This summer, they even represented Alabama at the White House in President Trump's ‘Made in America Product Showcase.’ WAAY 31 took a tour of the farm-to-home luxury linen operation at Red Land Cotton.
Cotton crops have been rolling in across the Tennessee Valley. The harvest is the end of the line for many cotton producers. They sell their cotton and don’t necessarily know where it winds up. But, one farmer knows exactly where his cotton is going.
We caught up with Mark Yeager last November. The roar of machinery filled the air as his cotton gin in Lawrence County was humming. “This year’s cotton crop was a really good cotton crop,” he told WAAY 31 last year.
Ten months later, Mark met us at the Red Land Cotton store on the square in Moulton. Mark and his daughter, Anna Brakefield own Red Land Cotton. "We have been in business for about two and a half years,” Anna told us. “We had our first product in October of 2016."
Mark explained how they got into the business of making premium bed sheets. "It was in the fall of 2015,” he said. “And I guess my sister had something to do with that.”
Proud of his cotton crop, Mark was taking pictures and sharing them on social media. “I took a picture of some cotton being hauled with a forklift. And my sister said, 'I wish I had some sheets made out of that pretty white cotton.' And ever since then, it got to eating on my mind all the way to making it happen."
The idea took root. And it’s grown.
"We are a farm to home business taking the cotton fiber that we grow here in Lawrence and Colbert counties and manufacturing those fibers into bed linens and bath towels all made in the Southeastern United States," Anna explained.
Mark is proud of Red Land Cotton’s local roots. “All the cotton's grown here in Lawrence County and Colbert County,” he told us. “We've been able to open this store up. And we hire people here that are packaging and selling here. And then our cut-and-sew is located here too. And they've been able to add more employees.”
Just down the street from the Red Land Cotton store, the cut-and-sew supplier is replicating vintage sheets.
"What really makes our bedding unique is we worked with textile engineers to take this old 1920's bed linen that had been passed down to a family friend,” Anna said.
“We worked with them to deconstruct that bed sheet," Anna told WAAY 31. "We're replicating the size of the yarn that was used back then and the weave that was used to kind of recreate your grandma's sheet. So, our sheets are substantial. They're a little bit heavier. They are about seven pounds in a Queen-sized set of sheets. But, we think that we really have great quality. And it's substantial and will last."
Internet orders from around the world pour in to the Red Land Cotton store. “If you go to our website and read our reviews, people love the feel of our sheets,” Mark told us. “So, we got lucky. We made a great sheet.”
American made. Alabama proud. Tennessee valley grown. And still growing.
"Well, I hope it's going to just grow and grow,” Mark said. “That's our intention. We have plenty of cotton of what we grow to grow a lot more. And we're coming up with ideas.”
Click here for a link to Red Land Cotton's website.