Churchill Weavers

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Churchill Weavers


One of the graduates of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1899 was Davie Carroll Churchill. His goal in life was two-fold: to make fine handwoven fabrics and to help others.

Hand-weaving was still done in India and young Mr. Churchill left for that eastern land of Kipling to study the methodology. Millions of weavers still were at their looms in India. But mass production with mechanically driven looms was fast destroying the hand weaving industry. Churchill felt that the solution lay in the development of new types of fast hand looms. His M.T.I. studies stood him in good stead and he helped develop such looms.

Upon returning to the United States in 1917 he visited Berea. While there he discovered that hand-weaving was still done by the peoples of the Kentucky mountains. Churchill was surprised at the ready supply of skilled artisans and he decided to open a loom-house at Berea. He could use his engineering ability and his experience from India to develop an industry which would aid the economy of southeastern Kentucky and at the same time be in the field of his first love.

Experts in the textile industry predicted his failure, but they did not know Carroll Churchill and his wife, Eleanore. The first loom was pieced together from scrap, but it turned out exquisite pieces under the master's touch. Mrs. Churchill had a masterful flair for colors and patterns and her designs became things of beauty when merged with Mr. Churchill's mechanical genius.

Churchill Weavers soon became internationally famous and their hand woven woolens are shipped the world over. Many tourists on America's great north-south road (once U.S. 23, now 1-75) stop off to buy direct from the gift shop and to tour the loom-house.

Mrs. Churchill continues to operate the business and the names of Caroll and Eleanore Churchill are enshrined forever in the weaver hall of fame.


Dr. Fred Engle




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Dr. Fred Engle, “Churchill Weavers,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed March 25, 2023,