A History of the Golden Belt - ADALÉI

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A History of the Golden Belt

A History of the Golden Belt

We are so excited to be planning our next photo shoot at this amazing building full of history  in downtown Durham, NC !!  Follow our social for pictures of this behind the scenes story.

 

The Golden Belt District is Durham's most "intact and representative example of the early twentieth-century mill village" and was originally established to produce bags for local tobacco manufacturer W.T. Blackwell & Co.  Ninety-two thousand yards of cotton were purchased monthly to produce the daily output of 70,000 to 80,000 bags.

Understanding the economic value of vertical integration in manufacturing, President Julian S. Carr founded the Durham Cotton Manufacturing Company, producing cotton cloth on 200 looms and was considered "one of the finest factories in the country".

      

A few years later, The Golden Belt Bag Factory was incorporated to produce a single product - tobacco bags.  Workers, mainly women and children, would do the hand finishing work at home for 30 to 40 cents per thousand bags.  This equated to a day (or two) of full labor.  Hand work, like sewing production today, was still necessary to clip strings, turn, and drawstring each bag. 

As tobacco grew, so did the Golden Belt, with the purchase of the vacant factory buildings of the American Tobacco predecessors and by 1900, 48 machines produced up to 15,000 bags each day for tobacco, flour, cornmeal, and salt.  Even at this capacity, the labels and drawstrings were still being done on the kitchen tables of local Durham workers. 

 

Carr continued his expansion of the Golden Belt Manufacturing Company directly across the street from his other textile investment, the Durham Hosiery Mill.  As a cotton and bag mill requiring dangerous work (often 12 - 18 hours each day), Golden Belt was one of the first southern textile mills to employ African American workers in production.  Although, the majority of jobs were held by women and sadly, children 8 years of age and older. 

 

Like many mill villages, small homes within walking distance of the factory were built for workers to rent, however, few stand today.  Even diversification into plastic cigarette tips couldn't save the mill from closing during the decade of 1975 to 1985, when our country lost 800 textile mills to outsourcing and 100,000 jobs here in North Carolina.  

The building remained vacant until 2016, when New York based LRC Properties did a complete renovation of part of the original campus, including the 118 year old cotton mill.  Now a vibrant community where music, the arts, entertainment, and food meet residential and commercial development, this century old building on the National Register of Historic Places has been given a new lease on life and modernized for the 21st century.  With a vision to make "arts the center of the community", the Golden Belt Campus is playing a vital role in the revitalization of one of America's coolest cites; Durham, NC. 

 

* to learn more and watch some great videos, go to www.goldenbeltarts.com

 

 

 

 



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SIZE + CARE GUIDE
BUST (measure at fullest part)
WAIST  (measure at or below belly button)
HIP  (measure fullest part of low hip)

 

MEASUREMENTS ARE IN INCHES

XXS |  size  0   

B
W
H
32 1/2
25
35 - 35 1/2

 

XS  |  size 2/4

B
W
H
33 - 34 1/2
26 - 27
36 - 37 1/2

 

 S   |   size 6/8

B
W
H
35 1/2 - 36 1/2
28 - 29
38 1/2 - 39 1/2

 

 M   |   size 10/12

B
W
H
37 1/2 - 39
30 - 31 1/2
40 1/2 - 42

 

L   |   14/16

B
W
H
40 1/2 - 42 1/2
33 - 35
43 1/2 - 45 1/2

 

 ALPHA SIZES (XXS - L) ARE CLOSER TO THE LARGER SIZE. 
EXAMPLE IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING A SIZE 4 OR 6. 
If you typically wear a solid size 6, never buy petites, and do not like your clothes form fitting, PURCHASE TRUE TO SIZE. 
If you typically wear a size 6, also buy petite, occasionally buy a size 4, and/or prefer your clothes a closer fit, PURCHASE A SIZE DOWN. 

 WHEN SIZING DOWN, YOU WILL NOTICE IT ACROSS THE UPPER BACK, NECK OPENING, ARMHOLE OPENING, AND GENERALLY THROUGH THE BUST, WAIST, AND HIP. 

 


PLEASE READ OUR CARE GUIDE PRIOR TO ORDERING, TO ENSURE YOU MAKE THE BEST DECISION FOR YOUR SIZE AND WASH PREFERENCES. 


We understand that quality starts with exceptional fabric.  Which is why we only work with a small number of mills across the world that pass our in-house test standards and are committed to the highest quality.  We also support mills that strive for the lowest environmental impact, including Edelweiss products from Lenzing that have a zero carbon footprint. 

Our commitment to a lower impact includes washing all ADALÉI garments in COLD water only and never using the dryer, which uses a large amount of unnecessary energy. 

For our fabrics that can be washed, we suggest the following:

For our fabrics that require dry cleaning we suggest choosing a cleaner committed to not using PERC.  In 2012, the EPA classified PERC as a "likely human carcinogen". 

Several of our garments are labeled dry clean only due to the content being a specialty fiber.  Most silk, wool, and other fabrics CAN safely be washed at home, however, you might experience a change in the surface of the fabric or slight shrinkage.  

We understand some customers never dry clean anything. Do you want to pre-test a "dry clean only" garment prior to hand washing? 

We are happy to provide a cutting room floor swatch so you can do your own testing at home prior to washing your garment.  You can let us know you want a swatch in one of two ways. When purchasing, type "wash swatch" in your notes at checkout . We are happy to recycle these scraps so that you can feel confident about whether washing or dry cleaning is best for your ADALÉI garment. 

We use two types of silk in our Ethereal Silk collection.  The silk charmeuse (Gigi) is already pre washed by the mill and able to be washed by hand at home.  However, our crepe de chine (Caroline and Coco) is a standard silk and we cut the design slightly oversized to allow for some shrinkage.  We do NOT PREWASH our crepe de chine silk, for our customers who always dry clean. In our cold water wash testing, we noticed around 1/2" to 1" shrinkage in both the width and length.  Our model Eliza is wearing the Caroline (beige) in S and the Coco (black) in XS to show you the PRE-WASH comparison in sizing.  We also noticed a slight change in the "hand" of the silk, meaning it was not quite at silky.  Never put silk in the dryer.  Please consider these factors when ordering your size. 

Still have a question or just want to double check with us? Email info@adalei.com.