Monday, 15 December 2014
W O O L R I C H
You may know them as one of the countries oldest woolen blanket mills ( founded in 1830's) or as the maker of fashionable soho-brooklyn-hipster snow parkas. Regardless, the company is an amazing piece of history and american manufacturing. I recently went on two separate tours of the mill while working in their in-house photo studio, located right inside of the turn of the century brick building.
It was an eye opening experience to say the least. I learned that Woolrich is "the oldest continuously operating vertical woolen mill in the United States" ( *vertical means start to finish, from raw wool all the way to finished product) You can see above and below some examples of the raw wool that they begin the process with.
They fabricate wool yardage as well as finished blankets, sold worldwide, in their mill in Woolrich, PA. . The process is quite amazing to witness. The historical machines are elaborate, employee run and working round the clock. The smells of the dyes, the sights and sounds of the machinery - its a truly sensory and eye opening experience. My appreciation for how these gorgeous blankets are made, the incredible pride of the employees ( many of whom had parents & grandparents who worked here) and the complicated history of the company is apparent and permeable.
Made In The USA - I am fortunate to have witnessed and now fully appreciate, what this really means, firsthand.