... LATEST NEWS ... as of 2021-01-23 --- Ralph
Our Production Backstory page explains briefly why were are sold out of almost all woven garments. If you are interested in a product that is out of stock, please place a no-obligation backorder. It's helpful to know what people want, and once we have our Fabric we will be making the garments people have requested. Our Inventory page offers a snapshot of our complete inventory.
We presently have enough wool, in various stages of the Fabric production process, to make about 2500 garments.
We have recently delivered to our tailors enough FullWeight Lynx Fabric to make 170 Anoraks and All-Around Jackets. If you would like one of these garments, please place an order, either online or over the phone. The Anoraks are likely all spoken for already, but we can probably make an All-Around Jacket for you.
We have lately made Watch Caps, and Neck Gaiters, which are knitted, and therefore very different from the rest of our offerings, which are sewn from woven fabric. The production of the Watch Caps and Neck Gaiters is completely separate from everything else we make.
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 several months, at best, to turn raw wool from the ranches into finished Fabric. And the raw wool is generally available only in April, but we have a lot of wool in process now. Making our own 100% American Fabric is the heart of our company ... but that has also been our difficulty.
We have three different batches of Fabric in different stages of the production process: Our expectations:
- Fabric Batch 5 (click for more info), enough to make about 700 garments, has been woven and delivered to Tex Tech Industries for "finishing" (made tailor-ready). The tailors are working on FullWeight Lynx Pattern Fabric now, as mentioned above. For technical reasons that I did not anticipate, we'll need more time for the Drab and Duff colors. And the Black Fabric has not been woven yet, although the yarn is ready to go. Please click the Fabric Batch 5 link at the start of this bullet item for more info.
- Fabric Batch 6 (click for more info), enough to make about 400 garments, has been scoured and the clean fiber is waiting for dyeing and spinning, the next steps in Fabric production. The people we expected to be working on this are having troubles and we need to explore other options, although we continue to hope we won't need to work with new people. Batch 6 will definitely include MidWeight Lynx Fabric. We have found people who can spin this fiber into yarn, and they have already spun about 500 pounds (227 kg) of Batch 7 Fiber into beautiful yarn.
- Fabric Batch 7 (click for more info), enough to make about 1400 garments, is clean and will be held for us at Chargeurs until we can figure out who will handle the next steps in production. We anticipate making all six of our Fabrics as part of Batch 7. About 500 pounds (227 kg) of this Batch has been spun into lovely yarn by a company we had not previously worked with. We are happy with the result of this pilot effort, but not sure how to proceed until we know what will happen with downstream processing, which is still a question.
- Tailors at present are operating on a somewhat limited basis by order of the governors of New York and New Jersey, although it seems that some people, particularly the owners, are working more than ever. But tailoring is opening up and as mentioned above our tailors are making Anoraks and All-Around Jackets from our Batch 5 FullWeight Lynx Pattern Fabric. New York City is still distressingly quiet, but not as bad as it was in July, when there were so few people we felt like we were on the set of a Science Fiction movie.
- The tailors will probably continue to focus on Anoraks and All-Around Jackets when we get more Fabric, but we are eager -- very eager -- to get going with Mountain/Ski Jackets, Hoodies and other production items, as well as to finalize development and move into production of the Peacoat, North Maine Double Coat. We actually have large backorders across all our products and which ones we make first will be determined by which tailors are available first and how many people are waiting.
Something else ... Before Corona, we received a note from a gent who assumed 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 thousands and thousands of garments. But the problem -- which existed prior to the virus -- is lack of capacity in the American textile industry. There is just an extremely limited American factory capacity to turn our very specialized raw wool into our very custom finished Fabric. The company that was our primary contractor for production of our Fabric without warning shut down American operations in 2018, and replacing them has been difficult. We're progressing, we've made small amounts of really nice Fabric to prove everything was in sync, and we're pushing as hard as we can. We have a huge backorder that we very badly want to fill!!
Thank You for your patience, and for working with us!
Ralph, Debby, Alex, Denali