Our Fall River Heritage
At its peak in the 19th century, Fall River boasted more than 40 mills and was a bustling hub for manufacturers, fabricators, and craftsmen. But foreign competition put local producers out of business and jobs went overseas. By the 1960s, many of the historic mills were abandoned or razed, and generations of knowledge and talent went untapped.
When Merida made the decision to manufacture in the U.S. almost two decades ago, we knew the rich heritage that was right in our backyard. We believed the market was ready for beautiful, high-quality products made by expert craftspeople, and Fall River had the people and skills to deliver on that. The rest came down to a rigorous design process, an innovative approach to manufacturing, and skill.
On heritage looms, we began creating heirloom rugs.
Our design team inventively introduced new yarn types to the looms to allow for the frequent yarn changes needed to produce many individual rugs on the same loom. And they designed to the limits of the looms’ capabilities to create new patterns and textures. Our design ingenuity and skilled craftsmanship have restarted the time-honored tradition of weaving in Fall River, in a way that is new and uniquely ours. In the process, we have elevated the expectations in the design community for quality and individuality—rare things in today’s mass-oriented world, and true luxuries.
Our innovation on those heritage looms continues, under the artistic direction of Sylvie Johnson, using master-level design and technique to create subtle, minimal designs as our collection grows.
Today, Merida’s 40,000 square-foot workshop hums to the rhythms of heritage and modern looms, and the combined talents of local craftspeople, designers and product development teams at work. Fall River is an emblem of transformation, with a new story to tell, and Merida is excited to be part of that process, bringing textile manufacturing back to its roots.