By: Latricia Thomas When the housing market crashed, times got tough for the carpet industry, which is centralized right here in Northwest Georgia. So how have huge companies, with thousands of employee, survived?One step inside one of the largest plants in the carpet capital of the world and it's easy to see how Dalton earned the title. "About 75 percent of the carpet in the country is made right here in North Georgia," says Tom Lape, Mohawk's President of Residential and Commercial Business.Mohawk Industries let us inside on of their Dalton plants, where some of the 2,000 employees turn fiber into yarn, which is carried by tubes to the needles in what's essentially a gigantic sewing machine.The tufting machines, that press the yarn through the carpet backing, are such an important part of the process, some think they may have helped slow the shrink of the carpet business here. "One of the reasons Dalton has been able to maintain its position in the textile business," Lape says, "is we've made so much investment to be efficient so we can still compete."After tufting, the rolls are dyed, steamed and set before their first visual inspection under harsh fluorescent lighting to make sure it would hold up to a customer's look in any situation.Add a quick layer of latex to bind the backing, and the carpet's ready for the roll. Just one of many products that helps Mohawk loom large in the industry. "While the industry has changed and shrunk, most companies have expanded their footprint within the industry," Lape says. "And that's made it even more important to the Northwest Georgia area as well as Mohawk."Mohawk has 32 facilities across Northwest Georgia and employs 6,500 people, a number that's even more important when you consider September's unemployment rate in Dalton was more than 11 percent.For more about Mohawk Industries, click here to head to their website.