Two cousins from Edina, Chuck and Paul Mooty, brought Faribault Woolen Mill Co. back from the dead in 2011 — just two years after rescue efforts failed to keep it afloat. Aside from a brief period (2001-2009) under the control of an investment group, the beloved heritage brand had been in the Klemer family since 1865. While sales were relatively steady for more than a century — and included major deals with the U.S. Army — Faribault saw a noticeable dip in its profits during the ’90s, when synthetic fibers drove its competitors’ prices down and the demand for top-notch American textiles all but disappeared.
To give you an idea of just how iconic the company was at its peak, its Faribault, Minnesota-based factory was producing more than half of the country’s blankets by 1977. It’s nowhere near that dominant these days, but its locally made textiles are still of equal or greater quality than those manufactured by Pendleton, Woolrich, and other heritage brands. Located next to the beautiful Cannon River, its factory also houses one of the last vertical woolen mills in America.
Goods of this caliber cost serious money, so we recommend saving the date for Faribault’s annual warehouse sale, which is always held on the second Saturday of October. Up for grabs: drastically discounted wool blankets, throws, pillow covers, accessories, scrap material, and other seconds you’re gonna wish you had when the temperatures drop into the single digits. All sale items are exclusive to the event and not available online.
If you miss the one-day event, no worries — there is a flagship boutique attached to the mill that you can shop in year round, as well as a Minneapolis location (1029 Washington Ave South). Bedding aside, the offerings include handsome work shirts, scarves, backpacks, log carriers, pint sleeves, dog beds, and more. With advance notice, interested parties can even schedule a tour of the historic mill.
Faribault Woolen Mill Co.
1500 2nd Ave. NW, Faribault, MN; 507-412-5510.