American Made Since 2010


CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina
Pam Heavner Fabric -Digitally printed, 100% linen, for drapery and upholstery. Custom coloring available.
Design, Textiles

Tell us about your business.

With a 25 year career in Interior Design there seemed to be a void in the fabric market. The beautiful, deep detail in fabric for over 100 years was now a sea of geometrics. A good geometric is great once - but a house full will be out of style by the time you get back from walking the dog. Researching textile production I found two hurdles. Very little fabric is still produced in the US, and 1500 yard minimum is required for each design. This would be expensive and could be ruinous if a couple "great" designs turned out to be not so great. A girl with a mission, I pushed on to learn about digitally printed fabric. I found a printer an hour from my home, who would not only print my designs, but a yard at a time. Print on demand. All my dreams had come true. 3 1/2 years later, PAM HEAVNER FABRIC is in homes all over the US and is sold at the Atlanta Design Center (ADAC), with my samples hanging next to the most famous fabric designers in the world.

Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.

I work out of a cottage on out property. There used to be a church on this land and this was the cottage where the priest lived. A quick renovation involving taking out a wall between the living and dining rooms gave me a large open space. I had the ceiling removed and kept the attic joists just as they were and painted all white. We covered an old brown brick fireplace with North Carolina field stone and I painted the floor with a large checker board -walnut and dark walnut. My favorite part of the office is my very large table. It is 60" X 120" - A beautiful antique from the Beret Museum in Paris. Perfect for rolling fabric, checking designs and color - or just having a meeting. Since it is a house - there is a kitchen which comes in very handy and the other rooms are for bookkeeping, computer work, and packing and shipping. There is also a screened porch for a bit of fresh air and when Jane the dog is tired of work and needs a nap.

What inspires you?

Many of my designs originate from 15th and 16th century drawings I find in old books. An animal, a ribbon, an architectural feature. Each little piece contributes to the next line on the paper and eventually turns into it's own pattern and design. Some of my patterns are vintage designs from a life long collection of antique fabrics. I take a fabric from 1920 and move the parts around and change the dimensions and give it all new color.

What makes your business stand out?

When I first began in 2010, digitally printed fabric was so new and unusual - that was the real stand out. When I would meet people and they would inquire about my job,and I would tell them I had a company producing digitally printed fabric - they were mesmerized. Now the market is broader, the stand out of my business is not just the new designs, but any of our one color designs can be custom colored. We can match the paint on your walls or the fabric color in your dress and produce a one of a kind fabric for your home with our ink. Digitally printed fabric is produced using ink instead of dye so this gives us infinite design capability.

What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?

Winston Churchill -"Never, never,never give up"! A cliche for sure, but oh so true. That is the definition of an entrepreneur- someone who won't give up no matter the odds. If you want a 9-5 job you should work for someone else. You must pursue what you love and not pursue a product or service that you believe the world needs. If you love it and believe, you will be a success. You will not fail.

What does American Made mean to you?

American made is not only something that is made in the US, but having it produced by people in my state is important too. American made is when Robert the digital printer listened to my plea and said,"I think we can do this". Then there is Phyllis who sits at the computer and takes my images and makes them repeat so that they can become fabric. (I made a D in 8th grade Geometry). And UPS -Doug who schleps heavy fabric bolts in and out of my home and office. He gave me his contact info so I can text him when I am gone and he will make sure the fabric is placed safely out of the rain. And my yardman Woodrow. His job description is so far beyond mowing grass that he should start a one man Union. And the Husband who didn't sign up for any of this 30 years ago and is my relentless fan - every single day. These are the people that American Made means. There is no question there would be no Pam Heavner Fabric without them.

Comments (1)

  • marilou mcfarlane 10 Aug, 2014

    Not to mention that your fabrics are named after every member of our family. Go GiGi Go! We are so proud of Pam Heavner Fabric and proud to see it in homes across the country, all originated from our Tar Heel State, the Southern Part of Heaven!


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