Full-fashioned for Charlotte

Chadbourn Mill was built in the 1930s by Rufus D. Wilson to manufacture women’s hosiery.

  • Past Use

    Textile mill for hosery, leisure wear, and work apparel;

    1930s – 1970s;
    1970s – 2016
  • Present Use

    Community hub with office, residential, retail and recreation spaces.

    2019 – beyond

Both the building and the hosiery brand went by the name Larkwood until the mid-1940’s, when J. Chadbourn Bolles and his partners purchased the company and changed the name of the mill to Chadbourn.

Early on, the mill used modern machinery to make stockings that were “full-fashioned,” a term used to connote a more perfect fit. As more women entered the workplace, Chadbourn shifted its message from one focused on style to one focused on durability, promising stockings that were “guaranteed not to run.”

The mill (and its workers) survived an ever-changing landscape as women’s fashion evolved, as Charlotte grew around it, and as wars came and went. It continued to operate until the 1970s, at which point it became a dormant warehouse and storage facility. Its distinguishable smokestack still stands against the sky as a testament to the importance of the textile industry to Charlotte’s history and, conversely, of Charlotte’s role in it. In 2019, a developer plans to convert the mill into office and retail space.