Hardcore Luxury®

Production Backstory

Here's the backstory on why we are sold out, and why we haven't made any new Fabric recently.

If we had been happy with any of the commercially available fabrics, we probably would not have started WeatherWool in the first place. Our company is all about making our own Fabric, and then making garments from that Fabric.

But America's textile manufacturing capacity has been drastically reduced in the last 20-40 years ... there are very, very few companies left in USA that can do what is necessary to make our Fabric.

We had been working with the famous Woolrich since 2010 or so, developing our Fabric over a period of three years. Woolrich acted as our main contractor ... they couldn't make our Fabric completely by themselves, but they had the connections and the expertise to put a team together. As Rob Stuart, Woolrich's Senior Fabric Engineer, said to me, WeatherWool was treated like a separate mill within the main Woolrich mill. We owe a lot to Woolrich and Rob and his colleagues ... another big business that spent an awful lot of time and effort working with our little company, which at that point was nothing more than an idea.

[Funny story regarding the "mill within the mill" ... Advisor JR Morrissey did a lot of consulting work with the garment designers from Woolrich. On a visit to JR's studio, the designers admired some WeatherWool Fabric, wishing they had wool like that to work with. They asked JR who made the fabric, and they were very surprised when he said "You did!". But the fact is, Woolrich did not have all the equipment needed to make our Fabric, and nor did Woolrich invest in the type of fiber that we use.]

In 2018, I expected Woolrich to be getting to work on Batch 5, but instead, Rob Stuart phoned me with some unhappy news. Woolrich had been sold to a European investment company that immediately ordered a shutdown of all US operations.

We spent the next year trying to find people that could replace the things Woolrich had done for us. We began fairly quickly to work toward a transition to American Woolen Company. But although AWC had the experience and equipment to do much of what we needed, AWC's equipment was not sized to be compatible with the looms of Material Technology and Logistics of Pennsylvania ... and MTL's specialized looms are absolutely key to our Fabric production.

MTL and AWC worked for several months to modify their equipment so they could partner on our Fabric. And in November of 2019, they produced a few bolts of Fabric that we were very happy with. But before we could really get rolling again, a few internal issues slowed AWC ... and then the virus struck and everyone knows that story.

 

Thanks for your understanding and patience!!

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26 November 2020 --- Ralph