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Cliff Cox - Chargeurs Wool USA

Cliff Cox - Chargeurs Wool USA

The wool is always the same, Cliff says. The machines that treat the wool, those are always the same, too.

“But it’s the people who are the most interesting,” he says. “The people and their dynamic are what changes. Each one has a different personality.”

Cliff Cox is the plant manager at Chargeurs Wool USA in Jamestown, South Carolina. It’s a rural manufacturing plant that was first built in 1955 by the Prouvost family textile empire and called the Santee River Combing Company. Chargeurs, an international manufacturing company based in Paris, France, bought the mill in the 1990s.

Today, it is the last remaining top making facility in the United States, a wool process that has largely been moved overseas.

When the mill opened in 1955, it employed around 170 workers and it did much of the same work as it still does today. “The Jamestown plant will scour raw wool; card and comb the fibers into condition for spinning into worsted yarn,” read a newspaper story on the plant’s opening in Charleston’s News and Courier newspaper in May 1955.