Status as of 20 March 2023 --- Ralph
In general, the American Textile Industry is only a tiny fraction of its former self. In 1965, 95% of the clothing worn in America was Made in America. Now that number is 2.5%, maybe 3% (but at least it is growing). And American clothing is only about 2% woolens, at most. So there is simply very little capacity for pure-USA manufacture of woolens. We love being part of the group bringing American Woolens back into the mainstream!
We have a separate page showing what is In Stock Now.
Tailors are now making several pieces ... Peacoats, All-Around Jackets, Hooded Jackets, Basic Vests, Ladies Blanket Coats, Double Hoods. And we continue to work on the North Maine Double Coat and are ready-to-roll with some Mouton pieces. These items are all made with Batch 7 Fabric, which is of which little is left.
Fiber for Batch 8 is cleaned and dyed and some is spun and weaving started. Batch 8 production will be spread over several months, completing probably in June of 2023.
Production of Fabric Batch 9, our largest batch yet, is under way. We plan for production to keep on at a steady pace through 2023.
Since February of 2022, we have an intact production chain. In the four-plus years since July of 2018, we have only had our entire production chain up and running for a little over a year. At the same time our products seem to be catching the public's attention and thus we are chronically short of inventory. It's also a glimpse into the overall state of America's Garment Industry.
Our Production Backstory page gives some more info about why we have been so low on inventory. If you are interested in a product that is out of stock, please place a no-obligation backorder. We base our production on the garments people have requested.
We presently have enough wool, in various stages of the Fabric production process, to make thousands of garments. That's a lot for us. The question is how long will it take. But it's great that production is moving again.
Because no commercially available fabrics meet our specifications, we make our own Fabric, which is a significant undertaking in terms both of capital and calendar-time. It takes almost a year to turn raw wool from the ranches into finished Fabric. And the raw wool is generally available only in April. Making our own 100% American Fabric is the heart of our company ... but that has also been our difficulty.
We have five different batches of Fabric in various stages of production, or with finished garments in stock:
- Fabric Batch 9 Is our largest-ever purchase of greasy (raw) wool
- Fabric Batch 8 is in the works now
- Fabric Batch 7 was caught in the flood but we rescued it and we expect to complete the Fabrics in 2022. FullWeight Lynx Pattern and FullWeight Brown (Duff) are complete and already being made into garments
- Fabric Batch 6, all MidWeight Fabric, has been made into Anoraks, CPO Shirts and Hooded Jackets. A little bit of MidWeight Lynx still available for garments (planned and under way) or for purchase by the yard
- Fabric Batch 5 has been sewn into garments which are nearly all gone. The virus played havoc with Batch 5 production
- Sewing professionals are pretty well back to pre-virus pace, but everyone talks about labor shortages. New York City is still not what I'm used to ... but not nearly as distressingly deserted as it was in July of 2020, when there were so few people we felt like we were on the set of a Science Fiction movie. BUT it looks to me like the politicians want to shut it down again, so I am definitely nervous. On the other hand, there is huge desire for MADE IN USA and so our production Partners are busy!
- We are very eager to get going with a great many items, in particular some new items: Peacoat, North Maine Double Coat, Blankets ...
- We actually have large backorders across all our products and which ones we make first will be determined by what the tailors can do, what Fabric we have and how many people are waiting.
Something else ... some people may think our lack of inventory reflects a lack of commitment on our part. It's a natural enough assumption to make, I guess, but it's not the case. We are ready, willing, able and absolutely eager to commit enough time, energy and capital to make a great many garments. But there is still very little American factory capacity to turn our very specialized raw wool into our very custom finished Fabric and garments. But things are coming together now.
Thank You for your patience, and for working with us!
Ralph, Debby, Alex, Denali
Updated by Ralph on date at top of page.