Perhaps my history with manufacturing is the origin of my fascination with where things are made — my grandfather retired from a bus factory, my parents met in a record album pressing plant and my father eventually retired as a kitchen cabinet builder. So, when I found out that Eastern Accents is based here in Chicago, I had to get a peek inside.
• A machine blows filling into a pillow form. As fun as this photo is, it cannot compare to how neat it was to see in real life.
• Yes, that's just what it looks like – a giant pile of fill for pillows. Do you know how hard it was to resist temptation to jump into that?
• Sewing staff are lined up at machines, pulling fabric and notions from bins as they go along. The sound of dozens of sewing machines creates an exciting din – to me anyway. I'm sure the staff prefer listening to music to make the time pass.
• Those pleats don't make themselves, people! Seeing the little details being hand sewn is a great reminder to appreciate the artistry.
• This laser cutting machine makes short work of cutting pillow forms and sturdier fabrics. Fine fabrics, however, are still cut by hand.
• In addition to bedding, Eastern Accents makes window treatments. Seamstresses can create large drapery panels that appear seamless by clamping them on this mechanized table to pin them.
• A wood shop is tucked into a section of the building far removed from the fabrics and sewing machines. Here, woodworkers build the frames for upholstered benches – and also build the sewing tables and other furniture used in the factory.
• Professionally trained in-house artists hand paint designs for luxury bedding. They begin with pencil drawn outlines and then paint the designs using a special paint that won't crack or flake.
• The process for creating a pillow is illustrated on a wall in the hallway of the offices. Similarly, this small facility houses a complete operation: from designers to production to sales. Walking around, I was able to get a sense of the process for making a small manufacturing business work.
• Siw and Ridvan Tatargil started the business in 1989 and it remains a small, family- oriented operation.
For more information, and for links to retailers, check out the Eastern Accents Website.
You can also order luxury bedding directly via Belmont Home Decor.
Images: Jason Loper