Dalton is a city in Whitfield County, Georgia, United States. It is the county seat of Whitfield County and the principal city of the Dalton, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Murray and Whitfield counties. The MSA received national attention throughout the "Great Recession" as having one of the highest unemployment rates in the United States. The rate remains at 11.9% as of January 2013. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 33,128, with the total metropolitan area having a population of 142,227.Dalton is located just off Interstate 75 in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northwest Georgia and is the second largest city in northwest Georgia, after Rome. Dalton is home to many of the nation's floorcovering manufacturers. Dalton has many historic houses, landmarks and a rich Civil War history. Dalton is home to the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center which showcases the Georgia Athletic Coaches' Hall of Fame and holds events year round.
Dalton, Georgia, was named for Gen. Tristram Dalton of Massachusetts
Downtown Dalton, GA
|Nickname(s): Carpet Capital of the World, Carpet City, Carpet Town.|
Location in Whitfield County and the state of Georgia
Dalton is often referred to as the "Carpet Capital of the World", home to 150+ carpet plants. The industry employs more than 30,000 people in the Whitfield County area. More than 90% of the functional carpet produced in the world today is made within a 65-mile (105 km) radius of the city.
The agglomeration of the carpet industry in Dalton can be traced back to a wedding gift given in 1895 by a teenage girl, Catherine Evans Whitener, to her brother, Henry Alexander Evans, and his bride, Elizabeth Cramer. The gift was an unusual tufted bedspread. Copying a quilt pattern, she sewed thick cotton yarns with a running stitch into unbleached muslin, clipped the ends of the yarn so they would fluff out, and finally, washed the spread in hot water to hold the yarns by shrinking the fabric. Interest grew in young Catherine's bedspreads, and in 1900, she made the first sale of a spread for $2.50. Demand became so great for the spreads that by the 1930s, local women had "haulers", who would take the stamped sheeting and yarns to front porch workers. Often entire families worked to hand tuft the spreads for 10 to 25 cents per spread. Nearly 10,000 area cottage "tufters"—men, women, and children, were involved in the industry. Income generated by the bedspreads was instrumental in helping many area families survive the depression. Chenille bedspreads became amazingly popular all over the country and provided a new name for Dalton: the Bedspread Capital of the World.
When a form of mechanized carpet making was developed after World War II, Dalton became the center of the new industry because specialized tufting skills were required and the city had a ready pool of workers with those skills.
By the 1970s manufacturers had begun to develop techniques to move from plain tufted carpet to sculpted carpet. Improved patterning, stain and wear resistance, and colors have made today's tufted carpet the choice for functional carpet for the vast majority of homes and moved woven carpet to a decorative role