Beacon Linens makes blanket along original Beacon designs


Beacon Linens, an Asheville-based company, has released two original and highly popular Beacon Blanket designs, available at beaconlinens.com.

“Resurrecting the Beacon Blanket brand has been a labor of love,” Tedd Smith, the company’s president, said. “From their Navajo origins to their current stature as collectables, the idea that we can bring them back at such quality and value — and sell them online — is kind of hard for two old textile guys (Smith and Steve Hutcherson) to get our heads around.”

The company has a rich local history. Although the company was founded in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1904, the Charles D. Owen family bought it and moved it south in the early 1920s. They literally rebuilt the business in Swannanoa, taking the deconstructed bricks from the New Bedford manufacturing site and moving them by rail to their new home.

For years, Beacon was the largest manufacturer of blankets in the U.S., and one of the Asheville area’s largest employers.

The first production runs of the new Beacon blankets will be limited (the company owns more than 100 original designs it plans to manufacture, it said).

“We’re taking our time and making sure that our reproductions are accurate,” Smith said.