In January of 2010, founder Judy Hill's eldest son Cameron, who attended UVa medical school, informed her that a recent study was released discouraging doctors from wearing silk neckties in the hospital due to the tie’s tendency to harbor harmful bacteria. Judy knew that doctors did not want to do away with their neckties, as to them a tie is a way to represent their own personality. Judy decided to sew Cameron a cotton bow tie to wear since it was not only handsome, but also machine washable, so it would not spread harmful bacteria.
What started off as a loving gift for her son in medical school, quickly evolved into a product that had widespread appeal. The rest is history, as High Cotton quickly established a niche in the market as the first bow tie company made primarily out of cotton fabrics.
High Cotton offers classic accessories for gentlemen, inspired by a higher purpose and committed to the South’s values and people. Our locally hand-cut and hand-sewn products support the revival of the North Carolina textile industry and the Southern tradition of the mannerly, warm, and approachable well-dressed gentleman.
How We Do it
All of our core products - bow ties, neckties, cummerbund sets, pocket squares, and braces - are all made within the North Carolina state lines. Originally, Judy made our bow ties until she could no longer keep up with demand (In the first year or so, she sewed over 1,000 bow ties by hand!). But when it was time to ramp up production, we searched all over the state to find the best factories and seamstresses in the industry, and worked with them to perfect the art of crafting a High Cotton product.
Manufacturing is just half the story, however, as our fabric is also what sets us apart. We started out with one single yard of cotton fabric back in 2010. One yard turned into 2 yards, which we then turned into 4 yards, and so on, until we started ordering bulk fabrics to keep up with increased demand. This enabled us to start designing and producing custom and exclusive fabrics. Now, High Cotton sources some of the best fabrics in the world - primarily from Portugal, England, and Italy.
When you hold our product in your hands for the first time, you can tell that our quality - in construction and composition - is what sets us apart.
Back in 2010, only 1% of all garments in the USA were actually made in the USA. It was a tragic stat for us North Carolinians, because our home state was once home to a thriving textile industry. When we conceived the idea for High Cotton, there was no question as to where we were going to make our products. Going overseas would have been the cheaper, and quicker option, but we made a promise from day one - to make our products as locally as possible and to help revitalize the textile industry, bringing jobs back to our state. Now, whenever you buy High Cotton products, you are supporting over 200 jobs in North Carolina.
We understand that when you choose a bow tie to wear, it will end up saying a lot about your character. It is our hope that High Cotton will be able to extend itself to our customers as a helping hand to properly reflect their individuality, in good conscience and in good style.
Thank you for reading! Welcome to the High Cotton family!