robert george culp, sr.
Robert George Culp, Sr. (b.1917 d.1991) devoted his entire career to the further development of the upholstery fabric industry.
In 1972, at age 55, he risked his entire life savings to start Culp, Inc. with his son, Rob. During 20 years as the head of Culp, he guided the firm from fabric converter to one of the leading vertical manufacturers of upholstered fabrics in our industry. In addition, he became a manufacturer of Jacquards, dobbies, prints and velvets. Sales at his death approached $200 million.
Recognized as a leader in all areas of fabrics, he introduced many new concepts regarding the application of various upholstered fabric instructions to upholstered furniture, including developing 54" as a standard width and railroading of fabrics for better cutting yield. He is credited with developing and pioneering the heat-transfer method of printing cloth for upholstery; introducing tufting machinery for the manufacture of velvets; and developing a regional warehouse concept to support manufacturing centers.
His company has become one of the most important suppliers of fabrics for the furniture and bedding industries. He was a builder... not only of a respected company ... but of many educational and civic organizations.
With limited resources, Mr. Culp developed a business from scratch to become a leader in both innovation and growth in a major industry against well-entrenched, powerful competition. He also gave generously of his time, talents, and resources to education and the community.