The Factory is home to Alabama Chanin, The School of Making, and Project Threadways. The space includes the design and production studio, the flagship store, and the Bldg. 14 Design + Manufacturing division.
In addition to the collections, our store features machine-sewn organic cotton knits, accessories, home goods and kitchen wares alongside celebrated artisans, local music offerings, and a selection of fabrics, sewing notions and tools, books, and more. Throughout the year, we host sewing workshops, dinners, events, and special gatherings.
Plan a visit to experience Alabama Chanin, The School of Making, and Project Threadways in person, view the collections, work with our teams, and learn more about our commitment to responsible production, sustainable practices, and thoughtful design.
The studio is open to the public for tours every Monday – Friday at 2:00 pm.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a private tour.
The Shoals’ long history of producing textiles begins with Native Chickasaw and Cherokee nations, who grew cotton as early as the 1700s and continued until they were forcibly removed between 1837 and 1838. Before the Civil War, textile mills lined the creeks that feed the Tennessee River, and by 1856, three textile factories operated in Lauderdale County. The Civil War devastated the local landscape and economy, but textiles remained an important part of business, relying on sharecropping after slavery was legally ended. New mills, including the Ashcraft Mill and Cherry Cotton Mill, opened in East Florence, fostering a thriving industrial community.
By the mid-twentieth century, the textile industry in the Shoals was flourishing. Lexington Fabrics and Tee Jays Manufacturing opened in the 1970s, and Florence eventually became known as the “T-shirt capital of the world.” At the same time, agricultural production techniques changed: farmers turned to new pesticides and equipment that made human labor obsolete and resulted in the closure of a number of gins. Other changes in labor also affected the industry. Following NAFTA, the factories and mills that once employed thousands were shuttered. An industry that had shaped the lives of people in northwest Alabama for generations—from field to factory, seed to shelf—ceased to exist.
The Factory is housed in a former textile mill, a sturdy, industrial-style metal building. It is the one-time home of Tee Jays Manufacturing, previously one of Florence’s largest textile employers. Since 2008, The Factory has seen thousands of guests, artisans, visitors, and team members pass through the doors. It has heard the hum of machines running and the voices of team members—which our friend Cathy Bailey calls the "hum of making."
This building is part of our history, but, more importantly, it is part of our community’s history—a symbol of economic boom, hard times, and community rebuilding. We are proud to continue the legacy of fashion and textile manufacturing in our nation.
Monday – Friday: 10am – 5pm
Closed Saturday and Sunday
The Factory is located in Florence, Alabama—a vibrant, creative town in the northwest corner of Alabama known as The Shoals. We are a day trip away from Birmingham, Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, and Atlanta.
462 Lane Drive
Florence, AL 35630