As sewists, we cannot take anything for granted. When we sew those projects we know completely how they are constructed, but for most people, those projects are a complete unknown to them. Take a simple stuffed animal. People may know that it is filled with a poly-fil since on some occasion they have probably seen one fall apart, but they do not know all the choices that it could have been filled with and if any stiffener was used to keep its shape. So much goes into the construction of a sewn project and these fillers truly are “at the heart of your project.”
Fairfield™ Processing Corporation www.FairfieldWorld.com is “at the heart of your project” as a leader in manufacturing quality fillers. Fairfield™ is located in Danbury, CT, and being a resident of CT, I had the privilege to have a behind the scenes tour with them.
The company is 77 years old and began as a manufacturer of natural fillers for hats and clothing. It is no wonder that they would be located in Danbury as at one time Danbury, CT, was the “Hat City of the World,” with 56 hat shops in Danbury by 1809. [https://connecticuthistory.org/the-danbury-hatters/ ]
I would surmise that the company name was derived from the name of the county which they resided, Fairfield.
One could spend a whole day just reading the captions of the historical pictures that line the halls of Fairfield™ . It looks like a museum with its pictures of hat manufacturing and hat memorabilia. What an inspiring place to work with such a rich history.
History is not the only thing that lines the halls. Gorgeous quilts and fiber art are everywhere. Each office is a showcase. I wanted to know about the creator and history of each one, but there was not time – business must go on, and I did not want to impose.
Down at the end of the hall, is where all the magic happens. All those wonderful fillers are magically turned into creative, fun-filled projects. The door opens to the spectacular showroom that showcases most of their products. There are completed projects everywhere and there were even a few that they allowed me a sneak-peek. They did not say, but I think they will be revealed this week at Quilt Market. I have been searching my Instagram account for them.
Robin Dann and Tricia Santamaria, are the driving forces behind this creative “Design Team,” which is also comprised of sewists and crafters nationwide that create using Fairfield™ products. [I apologize that none of my pictures came out well of these ladies. Next time I will have to check for blinking before I leave.]
As you would imagine they have a sewing room tucked in the midst of all this. Adilia Duarte has the wonderful privilege to be the sewist for Fairfield™.
She has been with them for the past 29 years. She started out in manufacturing and knew her first day on the job that she was not meant to be in manufacturing. She told her supervisor and husband that she was not returning, but she did return, and I know she is glad she did, because just a few months later she found her way into a lifetime career of a sewist at Fairfield™. When someone has an idea, she is the person that brings it to life. She creates simple stuffed friends, as well as beautiful ball gowns. Her closet is her inspiration. She knows what it has and what it can become. This Juki sewing machine has been her life-long friend.
She was so gracious to tell me all about her sewing adventure at Fairfield™, and as you would expect, she also provided me with tips along the way.
Here is one tip... be careful with your foam. Do not take it out of its packaging too soon, as the oxygen turns the foam a different color. It does not affect the integrity of the foam, but it can be an eye-sore.
Each one of the projects sitting out, she knows who made them and why they were made. She is the Fairfield™ historian as well.
A sincere thank you to everyone at Fairfield™ who allowed me this wonderful behind the scenes tour and who have asked me to join the Fairfield™ “Design Team.” Followers will benefit from this relationship, as you can expect to be seeing many free sewing projects posted on this blog. A special thank you also to Abby Glassenberg at www.whileshenaps.com. It was the article in her newsletter that lead me to Fairfield™.
Behind the truck in front, are several eighteen wheelers that are being loaded for a store near you.