In a time in which everything from technology to media is designed to be ephemeral, something lasting 150 years may seem downright impossible. However unbelievable, though, this is the case of Faribault, one of America’s oldest and most iconic manufacturers of woolen products. Established in Faribault, Minnesota in 1865—the same year the Civil War ended—the company is a testament to the longevity and quality of American craftsmanship.
Originally a factory for wool batting, an insulating material used in furniture upholstery, Faribault soon became known for other wool products like yarns and blankets. By the early twentieth century, Faribault was the manufacturer of blankets for the US Military and over half of the blankets in the United States. The company’s blankets could be found everywhere from department stores to hotel rooms and airplane cabins.
In the early 2000s, after decades of family ownership, the mill was acquired by new owners. As was the case with many American businesses, the company fell on hard times during the Great Recession and closed its doors, forcing many of its employees out of their jobs. In 2011, Cousins Paul and Chuck Mooty stepped in to save the iconic Minnesota factory, investing in new equipment and bringing back its employees.
Today, Faribault has returned to what it does best—producing heirloom-quality blankets that stand the test of time. For the past few years, west elm has partnered with Faribault on collections of wool blankets and pillows for the holidays. This year, we’re pleased to bring this collaboration back, with beautiful plaid (and oh-so-giftable!) products, each crafted in the USA! Shop our full Faribault collection here.