Company Timeline

February 04 2021 – Capel Rugs

New Departure Braided Rugs "New Departure" Braided Rugs


1917 Capel Rugs is Born:
Using the raw material from his venture Gee-Haw Plow Lines, A. Leon Capel fashioned braids and created the very first reversible braided rug, calling it "New Departure." This was the beginning of the Capel family rug business.
1919 20"x30" Capel braided rug first appeared in Sears Roebuck catalog. Sears bought 5000 of these scatter rugs.
1926 Troy Knitting Mill Company, now the corporate headquarters, was purchased

Capel Market ShowroomCapel market showroom



1935 Capel partners with JC Penney

1939 Three large braids were made for President Franklin Roosevelt's Hyde Park home: 12' round, 12'x15', 9'x12' oval

1942 First Braided Rug Catalog, Marshall Fields ordered braids, but since raw materials were being used for the war, Leon Capel proposed that Marshall Fields (who owned Fieldcrest) exchange cotton for rugs.

Smitherman Mill 1976Smitherman Mill in 1976



1947 Capel partners with Montgomery Ward

1954 A. Leon Capel, Jr. joins family business, the first of the second generation of Capels to work at the company, affectionately called ‘G2’, Capel partners with Spiegel

1957 Jesse Capel joins family business Company renamed A. Leon Capel & Sons, Inc.

1992 Capel 75th Anniversary1992 Capel 75th Anniversary ad


1961 Arron W.E. Capel joins family business Pee Dee Mill purchased

1963 Capel launches imports business: Seeing a demand for a more diverse product line, Capel branched out from braids and began offering imported collections from Japan and Finland. The line would continue to expand to include high-quality hand tufted and hand knotted rugs from India and China.

1976 Smitherman Mill purchased

1978 Old Homestead, one of Capel’s first rugs, inducted into World Floor Covering Association Hall of Fame
1980 Company renamed Capel, Inc.
1981 Mary Clara Capel joins family business, marking the beginning of 'G3' : It was customary for the Capel children of 'G3' to start working for the company part-time in the summer at the age of 14—the girls in the home office, the boys in the maintenance department.

2017 Capel releases New Homestead2017 Capel releases New Homestead, a special
anniversary collection that pays homage to a signature design
first created in 1917.



1982 Capel rug appears in Steven Spielberg's sci-fi classic, E.T.

1984 Capel partners with LL Bean

1987 Ron Capel joins family business

1988 Debut of Capel Galleries: In response to dealer input, Capel developed the first-of-its-kind in-store gallery concept—a customizable point-of-sale environment set up as a stand-alone brand showroom—which debuted at the annual High Point Market tradeshow.

1989 Richard Capel joins family business

1990s Woven Spirits Navajo program started

1991 Cameron Capel joins family business

100 Years Of Heritage



1996 Capel partners with Pottery Barn: Pottery Barn was instrumental in the revival of rectangular braided rugs by putting a fresh, colorful spin on this traditional style

Capel Incorporated Endowed Scholarship for Montgomery Community College established

2002 Williamsburg® license begins

2005 Biltmore® license begins

2013 A. Leon Capel Jr. inducted as a Fellow Member into the American Furniture Hall of Fame - the inductee from outside the furniture industry.

2015 Capel rug appears in Netflix original series Grace and Frankie

2017 Capel’s centennial celebration

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